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20 February 2012 at 15:20 BST

Solicitors and barristers combine to launch revolutionary fixed fees

A new generation of legal services is set to be unleashed today as Riverview Law officially becomes the first known brand-share between a barristers' chambers and a solicitor's firm in the UK.

Karl Chapman: Common sense

The innovative model will see customers being offered legal services on a fixed-price contract rather than being charged by the hour or on a project basis.
Riverview founder LawVest, which is part-owned by global law firm DLA Piper, announced that it aimed to ‘change the way organisations buy and use legal services’.

Top barristers

Riverview will give legal advice through its own solicitors and chambers, with the chambers including top UK barristers, 12 of whom have the title Queen’s Counsel, indicating  they are at the top of their fields.
LawVest Chief Executive Karl Chapman said: ‘With Riverview Law we’re applying common sense business principles to a market that has been protected from real competition for too long.’
DLA Piper – generally considered to be the world’s third-biggest law firm by revenue - holds around 12 per cent of LawVest, according to the Financial Times. DLA is also offering senior partners the chance to buy shares in the company on an individual basis.

Liberalising laws

Riverview Law represents the latest model to hit the £23bn UK legal market, which is still getting to grips with liberalising legislation that allows outside investment in firms for the first time.
On the subject of the Legal Services Act, Sir Nigel Knowles, DLA’s chief executive and LawVest’s non-executive chairman, told the paper: ‘It provides clients with an alternative choice for some of their legal needs.'

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