Today's LegalWeek.Com brings legal outsourcing news that tends to further validate our contention that (a) the long overdue move from hourly billing to flat fees (value billing) will result in a dramatic increase in offshore legal process outsourcing, and (b) Western lawyers have no reason to fight LPO, and every reason to embrace it. In particular, the news is that partners from three large US/UK law firms, and inside counsel at one large bank, have quit their jobs to form a boutique law firm that will bill for value, rather than by the hour, and that will embrace offshore legal outsourcing, rather than resist it:
A group of partners from Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, Latham & Watkins and Morrison & Foerster have come together to launch a technology, outsourcing and commercial law boutique.
Barlows partner Andrew Giverin (pictured), Morrison & Foerster partner David Skinner and Latham & Watkins partner Alex Hamilton have left their respective firms to set up the boutique alongside Deutsche Bank senior in-house counsel Mark Millward and Barlows senior associate Jason McQuillen.
The new firm launched today as radiant.law [actually radiantlaw.com], with Skinner and Hamilton serving as directors....
Radiant.law does not intend to hire any junior lawyers and will not charge clients an hourly rate. Instead, it will aim to agree fixed prices for work in advance....
The new outfit will work with legal outsourcer Pangea3 on certain transactions; however, the boutique will be responsible for managing the deal as a whole.
Former Latham & Watkins partner Alex Hamilton did not mince words in explaining that the "lack of movement toward change and development in law firms" was the impetus for the setting up of the new firm:
Hamilton said: "We have all been working at large law firms or in-house at large companies and have felt that there has been a lack of movement towards change and development in law firms that we were all looking for, so we decided to set up our own firm with a view to offering services to clients that are better value and provide ongoing support using a support network including offshore legal providers. We will be looking to grow over the coming months and years."