The senior team behind RPC’s tech-led in-house consultancy arm RPC Perform is to move lock stock and barrel to leading UK eDiscovery provider Millnet – now part of Advanced Discovery – led by Julia Chain as newly-appointed UK managing director.
Chain, formerly a managing director of Huron Consulting and before that general counsel of T-Mobile, moves alongside Varun Srikumar, former Royal Bank of Scotland legal services group sourcing manager; and Andrew Dey, ex-head of legal operations at Barclays.
RPC launched RPC Perform in May 2016 to advise in-house legal teams on improving people, process and technology. It is understood that over the past six months, costs driven but support-starved UK corporate legal teams have leaned almost exclusively towards requesting help with technology. That includes advice on eDiscovery but also on a wide range of systems and platforms including contract management, matter management and eBilling.
The hire of Chain and the RPC Perform team by Advanced Discovery, which is known for having a strong law firm practice, is indicative of the Texas-headquartered provider’s intentions to develop broader in-house capability as it also moves towards a more integrated US-UK offering. Millnet was acquired by Advanced Discovery in January 2016, as part of a growing trend towards consolidation and globalisation in the eDiscovery sector, as clients increasingly demand a centralised, joined up service.
Chain, who takes over from James Moeskops, an Australian national who will relocate to Australia as APAC managing director, will be expected to extend Millnet’s in-house reach in the UK and Europe.
The departure of Chain and her team is undoubtedly a loss for RPC, which has structured RPC Perform to cross sell its services into and across RPC’s wider business. The top 45 firm’s newly-appointed managing partner James Miller, who took over from Jonathan Watmough in January, said: “Naturally we’re disappointed as Julia is a class act, but we can see she has been given a fantastic opportunity. The focus of the team’s work had begun to shift more towards technology solutions, so moving to a technology provider is a natural step for her and her team – we understand that. As a client of Millnet, we look forward to continuing to work with Julia over the years to come and wish her all the best.”
Note: Legal IT Insider learned of the move by Chain and her team on 1 March and we will update this story as further, expected announcements are made.