Leading South African law firm and Linklaters ally Webber Wentzel has launched an in-house legal process outsourcing centre, responding to growing client demand in the region to deliver legal services more efficiently and cost effectively.
The Webber Wentzel Legal Services Centre (LSC), which will focus on optimising the right combination of resourcing and technology for each matter, will provide support for lawyers on high volume, repetitive or routine legal tasks, freeing up their time to focus on more complex tasks. The initiative – the first by a South African firm – is being led by legal project manager Celia Pienaar, who joined in October 2015 from legal process outsourcing provider Exigent, where she was head of legal.
The LSC will offer a range of skills to provide varying levels of support to the Johannesburg-headquartered firm’s clients and lawyers, including the provision of support from legal assistants (paralegals) within specific practice areas, drawing from a database of Webber Wentzel trained resources. Based in Webber Wentzel’s Johannesburg office, the centre will also offer legal project management resources when and where needed. While support for Webber Wentzel’s Cape Town office will be provided from Johannesburg, the firm may expand to provide local support in due course.
“Our vision is for the LSC – through its focus on efficiency and cost effectiveness – to fundamentally change the way legal services are delivered in Sub-Saharan Africa, for the benefit of our clients, our firm, our lawyers and future legal professionals,” said Pienaar.
“The LSC initiative is another way that we are incorporating global best practice in the way we deliver legal services for the benefit of our clients,” said Sally Hutton, managing partner at Webber Wentzel, adding: “We are continually exploring new ways to enhance our clients’ experience and the value that we add to their business.”