Linklaters ‘redesigns’ low-cost arm and commits to remote working model

Limitless by Linklaters will offer alternative legal services without need for regional hub, firm says

Linklaters has unveiled a standalone brand for its alternative legal service (ALS) offering, in the process committing itself to a remote working model for its low-cost workforce.

Limitless by Linklaters will offer the Magic Circle UK firm’s clients support handling high volume tasks such as e-discovery and due diligence alongside legal project management services, help implementing legal tech, and access to its Re:link network of on-demand contract lawyers.

Linklaters is dubbing the move a ‘redesign’ of its existing offering. Unlike its Magic Circle rival Allen & Overy (A&O), which has low-cost legal services hubs in Belfast and Perth, Australia, the firm says it has adopted a ‘location agnostic’ model, allowing it to source ‘the widest possible pool of talent from across the UK’.

Managing partner Paul Lewis said: “The world of work changed radically as a result of the pandemic and our Limitless model embraces the new way in which many talented people wish to work. They are not limited by geography; they don’t need to live in a hub such as Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds or Cardiff.”

The grouping comprises more than 100 paralegals, support lawyers, contract lawyers, legal tech professionals and legal project managers, some of whom are already working fully remotely. They sit within the firm’s legal operations division, which it launched in 2020, and are led by director of alternative legal services Jas Mundae. "The nature of the model enables us to attract a wider pool of diverse talent, wherever they are in the UK, which is something I am incredibly passionate about," she said.

The move adds Linklaters to the growing roster of law firms seeking to underline their commitment to providing ‘new law’ services to their clients by establishing so-called ‘captive’ ALS units in competition with independent providers, such as Axiom, Elevate and Integreon, as well as the Big Four accountancy firms. 

Notable branded law firm ALS businesses include Eversheds Sutherland's Konexo, which operates as a separate division and targeted revenue of £1m by 2024 when it launched in 2019, and Ashurst Advance, which recorded 75% revenue growth in the firm’s 2021/2 financial year.

Other examples include flexible resourcing businesses Peerpoint, which is operated by A&O, and Pinsent Masons’ Vario arm, as well as Kennedys' legal technology spin off, Kennedys IQ, which it launched in February 2020.

A report into the ALS market published in January valued it at $20.6bn at the end of 2021, a 45% increase from 2019. The Alternative Legal Services Providers 2023 Report found that while independent ALSPs accounted for the bulk of the market (87%), law firms accounted for the fastest-growing segment, up nearly six-fold since 2015.

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