The in-house legal arm of failed contractor Carillion has been acquired by Clifford Chance in a surprising move by the magic circle law firm. Newcastle-based Carillion Advice Services (CAS), which provides paralegal and commodity managed legal services, will be fully integrated with Clifford Chance. The move comes after the contracting giant went into administration last month. Commenting, Michael Bates, managing partner for Clifford Chance in the UK said: 'Our priority is always to ensure that we are best placed to provide the optimum service to our clients. By working with the CAS team, we will enhance our ability to provide extremely cost-effective, efficient and high-quality service on a range of low complexity legal tasks as an integral part of our overall client offer.'
He added that to date the firm had delivered this work 'either through our Legal Support Centre in India, or through working with other third parties including legal outsourcers.The addition of the team in Newcastle, with their well-recognised expertise in unbundling, developing processes and applying the latest in legal tech, will enable us to provide clients with another option from within the firm.'
CAS is built around a team of some 60 paralegal level legal advisors. Originally developed as part of Carillion's in-house legal team, over the past six years, CAS has extended its services to support other law firms and in-house legal teams. CAS specialises in large projects for clients and low to medium complexity routine work, including: document review, due diligence, e-disclosure and litigation support.
The CAS team, which will continue to be led by Lucy Nixon and based in Newcastle, will report into Michael Bates and to Oliver Campbell, Clifford Chance's global head of client services solutions, who is also responsible for the Legal Support Centre in India. Oliver Campbell said the firm had been 'very impressed by the CAS team in Newcastle. They bring a huge amount of expertise in areas that are already an important priority for the firm, such as legal tech and process-driven service delivery. Their client-centric culture, enthusiasm and proven entrepreneurialism is also a good fit and I see many opportunities for clients, and for both teams as we move forward.'