Pinsent Masons’ UK-based legal resourcing arm, Vario, is expanding into Germany with the acquisition of Xenion Legal. The move signals Vario’s first foray into mainland Europe.
Frankfurt-based Xenion was founded in 2012 and provides temporary legal resources for law firms and in-house legal departments. Over the last three years it has handled more than 150 placements.
Managed Legal Services
Pinsents has also purchased sister company Xenia, which provides managed legal services, although the deal is subject to regulatory approval.
Vario managing director Matthew Kay (pictured) said the transactions provided an effective means of launching in Germany and identified class actions as one of the factors leading to an increase in demand for flexible legal staffing in the jurisdiction.
The deal will see Xenion’s and Xenia’s founders absorbed into Vario under Kay’s leadership. They include current Xenia CEO Dr Carsten Reimann, former European head of external affairs at Nissan, and Xenia’s Dorothee Belz, former Microsoft GC for EMEA.
Since its UK launch in 2013, Vario has opened offices in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
The deal, for an undisclosed sum, is the latest of a series of launches and acquisitions in the competitive legal resourcing market involving law firms.
In April, Linklaters became the second UK magic circle law firm after Allen & Overy (A&O) to enter the market with the launch of Re:link. Like A&O’s Peerpoint, it set out to draw on its large network of former staff to build the service.
And last year Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) cashed in on its remaining 62% stake in Lawyers on Demand (LOD) with its sale to private equity house Bowmark Capital. Legacy firm Berwin Leighton Paisner launched LOD in 2007.
LOD has 12 offices operating out of the UK, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand.