International law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has today (29 January 2015) announced the appointment of Richard Sawtell as Head of Centre for its Manchester Legal Services Delivery Team.
Richard joined BLP on a consultancy basis in April 2014 and has been both leading the Manchester team and heavily involved in managing workflow from clients into the office. Before joining the firm, he established the UK’s first direct conveyancing firm, Countrywide Property Lawyers, which became the largest national provider within two years of creation. More recently, he was at Addleshaw Goddard where he led process mapping and managed a successful project to introduce paralegal transaction teams.
BLP’s Manchester office opened in August 2014 with 21 staff making up the Legal Services Delivery Team which is a key part of the firm’s wider innovative Integrated Client Service Model (ICSM). The ICSM is designed to offer clients a suite of solutions that improve the speed and efficiency of delivering certain types of work including due diligence and document review work.
The ICSM suite comprises four elements; a Legal Process Improvement (LPI) service; virtual transaction teams – a development of the firm’s Lawyers On Demand (LOD) business; the use of third party providers; and the Manchester Legal Services Delivery Team. It is one of a number of initiatives on behalf of clients that has positioned BLP as a top five firm in the UK and Europe for innovation.
In addition, Partner Barry Gross has been given responsibility for leading the ICSM initiative in BLP. In this new role Barry will ensure that the Manchester Legal Services Delivery Team and other elements of ICSM are used effectively to provide highly efficient solutions to clients. He will also help clients to understand the efficiencies available to them through the model.
Richard commented: “Having worked for BLP in Manchester for nine months now, I’ve seen a real shift in the demands made by clients and how we as a firm need to service these requirements. Our Legal Services Delivery Team can play a big role in helping to deliver on this and my new role will put me right at the heart of this exciting change.”
Neville Eisenberg, Managing Partner, BLP, added: “Our Integrated Client Service Model was developed to meet the changing needs of our clients, providing innovative solutions that respond efficiently and flexibly to their requirements. Manchester is an important element of the model and I am sure that under Richard’s leadership the Manchester team will continue to grow and expand its capability.”
To further support the development of the Manchester Legal Services Delivery Team, BLP is also taking additional space in the building it currently occupies in King Street which can accommodate up to 100 people with support facilities and meeting rooms.
The next imminent increase in team size and capability in Manchester comes with the arrival of five Real Estate associates, starting in March 2015. This move will allow the Legal Services Delivery Team to manage larger portions of routine work.