Linklaters has launched a 400-strong legal operations function that groups together its new law services under one umbrella.
The move is the latest example of a traditional law firm positioning itself to compete with alternative legal service providers by developing comparable services, although the magic circle firm has stopped short of creating a separate business entity or brand.
The firm says it has brought together “a network of business experts who work closely with Linklaters lawyers to provide high-quality, practical support for clients” while it hopes the new structure will “drive greater collaboration across the firm”.
Led by Stewart Chippindale, director of legal operations, the function is grouped into four areas: legal project management; innovation; knowledge and learning; and pricing.
Legal project management offers a range of alternative resourcing options, including the firm’s flexible lawyer network Re:link, while the innovation team focuses on developing tech tools, processes and initiatives for clients.
The knowledge and learning team offers training and know how to clients and the matter pricing arm helps with the pricing of legal work for both individual matters and in relation to fee deal arrangements with the firm.
To coincide with the launch Linklaters has also launched a legal operations graduate training scheme that provides successful applicants with two-year fixed contracts in one of the functions four teams.
Last month, top 50 UK firm Kennedys unveiled the wholly owned spin off Kennedys IQ, which it characterised as a separate technology driven company akin to ‘Kennedys, without the lawyers’.
The spin off is targeted at the firm’s large insurance client base and houses a range of existing claims management services. Kennedys says the move will allow it to focus on product management.
Other new law spin-offs include Eversheds Sutherland’s Konexo, which houses its consulting, corporate secretarial and volume insolvency businesses, and Pinsent Mason's flexible resourcing arm Vario, which recently expanded into Germany with the acquisition of Xenion Legal.