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20 May 2020

Deloitte steps up legal push with hire of Luminance chief executive

Emily Foges is tasked with developing new services for accountancy giant's legal arm

Deloitte's London headquarters. The accountacny giant first signalled its push into the legal market in January 2018 Shutterstock

Deloitte Legal has signalled the ramping up of its managed legal services (LMS) business with the hire of Luminance chief executive Emily Foges.

Foges, who spent four years at Luminance, will take up the role of lead partner for LMS at Deloitte’s legal arm with a brief to develop new services in the UK, Europe and the Middle East ‘that are not yet widely available in the market’.

Under her watch, Luminance’s AI-powered document search technology has secured a string of high-profile law firm clients and collected numerous awards; the Cambridge University start-up was valued at £100m in February 2019 when it secured an additional £10m from its backers —  Talis Capital, Invoke Capital and UK magic circle firm Slaughter and May.

Her appointment adds considerable heft to Deloitte Legal’s stated goal of putting technology at the heart of its legal offering, which it unveiled in January 2018 with the launch of its MLS arm and a consulting service for in-house legal departments to sit alongside a growing roster of lawyers.

UK & North South Europe managing partner Michael Castle, who joined from Allen & Overy in January last year, said: "Her desire to create new services that the market has never seen before goes hand-in-hand with Deloitte Legal’s ambition to provide clients with new solutions to legal problems." 

Foges said the volume of corporate and personal data was "now so vast that normally routine tasks, such as document review, have become too labour-intensive and onerous for time-constrained, high-skilled legal practitioners".

She added: "Deloitte’s multidisciplinary offering, spanning the professional services spectrum, is a key differentiator for unlocking efficiency bottlenecks for legal functions. This will enable teams to focus on more strategic issues, reducing operational risks and removing constraints to business growth."

Deloitte Legal also announced today the hire of Sonia Williamson as a director in is LMS business, leading on contract management, from EY Riverview Law, where she was head of managed services and projects. 

Meanwhile, Luminance has appointed Americas president Jason Brennan as acting CEO.

He said: “Having conquered much of the European and a large part of the Asian legal market, Emily has built a strong foundation for future growth. We now recognise that the opportunity for Luminance’s next phase of growth lies in the US and I look forward to leading the company through this important chapter.”

Foges will join European advisory board at Luminance, which has 230 clients, including Deloitte Legal Spain.

Last December, Deloitte Legal launched a tech incubator programme that hosted an initial cohort of 14 start-ups. 

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