The NewLaw Race: BCLP launches ‘BCLP Cubed’ service delivery business

July 29, 2019


2 min read

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What's going on here?

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) recently announced that it has developed a new service called BCLP Cubed that combines “complex legal advice, volume legal services and operations support,” which will be launched in September.

What does this mean?

BCLP plans to pool together its solicitors, its consultancy arm Cantilever (which is aimed at making in-house lawyers run more efficiently) and its volume delivery team, as the firm looks to broaden its services and maximise its tech platforms. BCLP Cubed will be led by Partner Neville Eisenberg, who was the former managing partner of Berwin Leighton Paisner before its merger with Bryan Cave. The project will also be run by Chief Innovation Officer Kathryn DeBord. A team of around 150 people will be part of the “cubing” of BCLP’s services, which will look to better integrate its legal expertise with its delivery platforms as well as its pricing and engineering platforms. For example, when presented with a contract, Cubed will organise competitively priced work streams (such as any relevant licenses or supply agreements) to manage contracts from negotiation to their conclusion.

Neville Eisenberg commented that “data capture, pricing and engineering skills are becoming increasingly necessary”. If successful, the project should speed up transaction cycles, reduce costs and provide data insights, whilst creating better-integrated legal solutions for in-house lawyers.

What's the big picture effect?

BCLP needed to bolster its legal tech services following the sale of its majority stake in flexible lawyering service Lawyers On Demand (LOD) in May 2018. Now the announcement of Cubed sits well for BCLP alongside the hiring of Fieldfisher’s Head of Condor (Fieldfisher’s alternative legal services division) Salim Baba. The move also works to fulfil the aims agreed by both law firms which merged to create BCLP in 2018. Both firms now have a much larger scale, geographical coverage and a more diverse client base that has spurred the need for developments in legal tech. Indeed, Thomson Reuters has forecasted that the Alternative Legal Services market (ALS market) will grow 25% annually from $11 billion in 2017. In 2018, America’s top 100 law firms made approximately $99 billion in revenue in the growing ALS market.

But no such sums are easily earnt. The attractiveness of the ALS market means that there are many competitors in this area. Eversheds Sutherland has just unveiled its new global alternative legal service provider Konexo, and aims to earn £100 million over the next 5 years. In October 2018, Herbert Smith Freehills launched a global legal operations function and an in-house software to protect the firm from data breaches and in 2017, Fieldfisher unveiled its ALS program, Condor.

Add to this list of competitive law firms the Big 4, Axiom, LOD and United Lex that put law firm’s ALS investments at high risk if they do not perform.

Can BCLP keep up with the pace in such a crowded market?

Report written by Will Holmes

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