Herbert Smith Freehills launches global digital legal delivery practice

Four hundred-strong practice brings together alternative legal services and tech teams

Libby Jackson Image courtesy of Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has launched a global digital legal delivery practice, in a move that sees the Anglo-Australian firm integrate its tech and alternative legal services teams.  

The new practice will be led by Libby Jackson, the longstanding head of HSF’s alternative legal services arm, with support from newly-appointed chief technology officer David Turner.  

Jackson was made the first managing partner of the firm’s digital legal services practice last summer. That brought the alternative legal services team HSF launched back in 2011 together with its newer legal operations, digital transformation and emerging tech teams under her leadership, though they remained separate units. Now they will work within one practice of more than 420 people.  

"We have long used digital innovation to deliver better services to our clients,” said HSF’s global CEO, Justin D’Agostino. “With every industry operating in increasingly complex environments, we need to keep pace with new digital solutions as they emerge. Bringing all our brightest legal tech minds into one practice, sharing resources and innovation, will accelerate these services."

The new practice will support businesses undergoing their own digitisation projects and those seeking “disentanglement from the manual and inefficient processes in the delivery of legal services,” the firm said.  

Jackson added: "We were an early adopter of traditional AI in law, often partnering with legal tech startups to transform how we managed and automated matters for clients. The new practice will enable us to scale up faster, redesign our technology stack and make the most of new research and tools as they emerge. We believe all HSF's practices will be hugely enhanced by harnessing technology in this way." 

In February, HSF's Anglo-Australian rival Ashurst expanded its new law offering with the launch of a global delivery centre (GDC) in Krakow, Poland, its third such base and the first in continental Europe.

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