Category Archives: Law

Introducing: Legal Departments as a Service (LDaaS)

LDAAS

By Mårten Janson

NewLaw – what is it?

NewLaw (a concept coined by Canadian lawyer Jordan Furlong, among others, which is commonly referred to as disruptive or emerging law) is slowly but steadily making its way into the legal community. This phenomenon, most visible in the USA and above all the UK due to the recently introduced ABS regime, deserves its own discussions and debates within GGI as well, because it is here to stay. In short, NewLaw firms offer models, processes and tools that represent a significantly different approach to the creation or provision of legal services than that which has been traditionally employed by the legal profession.

Interest within GGI

The Legal Department as a Service (LDaaS) is a productised service within the meaning of NewLaw which has been developed by GGI Finnish member Fondia. When discussing the LDaaS at the GGI European meeting in Lausanne in April 2015 and at the GGI Nordic-Baltic meeting in Helsinki in September 2015, it became obvious that there is great interest among a number of GGI members in the business potential associated with this offering. This article will share the rationale behind the LDaaS with the GGI community.

Problem and solution

First, a summary of the problem: SMEs – and increasingly also larger companies – do not have the means to employ their own legal counsel or a large legal team and their requirements for legal services can fluctuate significantly. One employed lawyer represents a fixed (limited) resource and range of available expertise. The only alternative so far has been to use law firms’ services, which is generally considered expensive and usually lacks the business insights and pragmatic approach of in-house lawyers that ongoing legal matters require.

The LDaaS was developed to make supply and demand a better match. The LDaaS gives the company access to an entire legal department of its own, which in practice, means all lawyers’ expertise is available to the service provider, if required. Bigger companies, including those that are listed, have seen the benefits and possibilities this scalable service offers over employing their own legal counsel(s). The outsourced LDaaS secures the continuous business-relevant legal support. For many clients, LDaaS is a strategic choice and a more reliable option than an internal legal resource, as it removes the HR risk, yet guarantees needed expertise. LDaaS builds on a business legal analysis and proactivity; clients need not to worry about unexpected legal risks and their costs. The LDaaS is a proactive service (in relation to normal reactive law firm services), with the aim being to establish and maintain the appropriate legal platform, training and processes that each customer requires and deserves.

Preferably fixed fees

The LDaaS flourishes when combined with a recurring fixed fee, which enables customers to calculate and budget their legal expenses. The service provider must produce quality legal services to remain the preferred partner, but can be profitable only if the services are produced efficiently, optimising the output. When carried out properly, the absence of the hourly fee yields many dynamic effects, while there are few downsides.

Increased focus on efficiency and productivity

Optimisation of ongoing legal support requires a clear focus on internal efficiency. For this reason, the LDaaS leverages advanced digital tools. These comprise solutions such as client team workspaces, extranets, digital knowledge management resources, contract generators, e-learning solutions and online self-help solutions (for example, the Virtual Lawyer: http://virtuallawyer.fi, a comprehensive source of self-help legal advice with more than 8,000 users).

LDaaS – fluffy theory or evidence-based success?

For those sceptical of the LDaaS concept, in just ten years, Fondia has become a top-ten size law firm in Finland and currently ranks third in reputation among all Finnish law firms. In addition, 97% of Fondia’s clients would recommend its services, especially the LDaaS, to others. Fondia currently has almost 150 LDaaS customers, securing 50% of its revenues with their prepaid monthly payments. The remaining revenue comes from traditional project work such as M&A, financing and litigation.

International recognition

The LDaaS gained international attention at the Financial Times FT Innovative Lawyers Awards in 2013, when Fondia was awarded for having the best corporate strategy in Europe. In 2015, Fondia has once again been nominated and shortlisted by the Financial Times for being among the cutting edge innovative legal service providers in Europe. The Financial Times will render its judgement at the start of October 2015.

International offering?

After successful piloting in Finland, the next logical development phase would be to explore the possibilities of expanding the LDaaS service internationally, with interested GGI members, for example. This would benefit multinational corporations and other companies with significant operations outside their domestic markets.

This article was written by Mårten Janson, Executive Director at Fondia Oy, a company established in 2004 and a GGI member since 2015. LDaaS is a trademark of Fondia Ltd. Mårten will be attending the GGI World Conference in Boston, MA, USA.

Marten Janson

GGI member firm

Fondia Oy

Law Firm

Helsinki, Finland

Mårten Janson

E: marten.janson@fondia.fi

W: www.fondia.com

 

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GGI adds Dressman Benzinger LaVelle in Cincinnati

Dressman Benzinger LaVelle (DBL) is a mid-sized full service law firm with offices located in Cincinnati, OH; Crestview Hills, KY and Louisville, KY. With a history tracing back to 1955, DBL is today the largest Northern Kentucky-based law firm, and one of the larger firms in Greater Cincinnati area and in Kentucky.

DBL Attorneys represent their clientele in a number of sectors and law areas such as Administrative, Banking & Financial Institutions, Mergers and Acquisitions, Bankruptcy, Healthcare, Litigation, Estate Planning, Corporate, White Collar Criminal Defence, Intellectual Property including Trademarks, and many more. Most DBL attorneys practice in multiple areas of law and the firm is organised into practice groups.

The firm is actively involved in Kentucky state government and handles a substantial number of regulatory proceedings in Kentucky. Additionally, DBL attorneys contribute to legal publications, lecture on practice-related topics, act as expert witnesses, and serve on the boards of numerous charitable and non-profit organisations.

Dressman Benzinger LaVelle currently employs 41 committed attorneys, out of which 22 are partners of the firm. DBL offers services in English.

Dressman Benzinger LaVelle

James A. Dressman III
Managing Partner
E: jdressman@dbllaw.com
Cinncinati, OH, USA
T: +1 859 426 2150
W: www.dbllaw.com

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South Carolina law firm boosters GGI presence in USA

Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd P.A. is a new GGI law member firm in South Carolina, USA. With offices in Charleston, Charlotte, Columbia, Florence, Greenville, and Myrtle Beach the Firm has 115 experienced attorneys encompassing a broad spectrum of business and litigation practice areas. The firm was named a top business and litigation law firm in South Carolina by Chambers USA and 58 firm attorneys are listed in the 2014 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. Additionally, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd has 35 lawyers in the 2014 edition of South Carolina Super Lawyers® – including 12 “Rising Stars”.

Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd represents a diverse clientele, including a wide array of public and private, for-profit and nonprofit entities, ranging from FORTUNE 500 companies to small and emerging businesses. The firm‘s attorneys also represent various national, regional and state banks and institutions.

Main areas of expertise embrace, inter alia, Administrative and Regulatory Law, Business Litigation, Construction, Corporate & Business, Employment, Environmental Law, Healthcare, IP and Innovation, Real Estate, Restructuring & Insolvency, Medical Malpractice, Drug & Device Litigation, Risk Management, Professional Liability Litigation, etc.

Operating languages of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd include English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

Frankie Marion

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frankie Marion
Shareholder
E: fmarion@hsblawfirm.com

Greenville, SC; USA
T: +1 864 240 3200
W: www.hsblawfirm.com

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GGI adds a law firm in Paraguay

Berkemeyer Attorneys & Counselors, newly admitted GGI member based in Asunción, is one of the leading law practices in Paraguay. Since its foundation in 1951 the firm has provided professional legal services to clients at an international and local level, gaining a global reputation for quality, expertise and professionalism.

Berkemeyer’s expertise embraces a wide array of legal services. These services include the general law practice areas of M&A, commercial transactions, corporate finance, joint ventures, employment, energy & telecommunication, IT law, immigration, environment, franchising, licensing, agency and distribution law. Furthermore, the firm has been recognized over the years for its excellence in the area of Intellectual Property like, inter alia, registration of trademarks, domain names, patents and designs, copyrights and copyright procurement, licensing, franchising, technology and biotechnology agreements, as well as enforcement and litigation before administrative, civil and criminal courts, and coordinating steps nationally and internationally.
The firm’s goal is to satisfy their clients with excellent, innovative, efficient and swift services by being open to constant improvement and aiming towards new technologies.

Berkemeyer Attorneys & Counselors employs 90 professional staff including 3 partners. Languages spoken include Spanish, English, German, French, Portuguese, Hungarian, Japanese and Chinese.

Berkemeyer Attorneys & Counselors

Antonio Villa Berkemeyer
Partner
E: antonio.villa@berke.com.py

Yolanda Pereira Z.
Partner
E: yolanda.pereira@berke.com.py

Asunción, Paraguay
T: +595 21 446706
F: +595 21 497085
W: www.berke.com.py

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Lawyer Frank E.R. Diem of GGI member firm Diem & Partner chosen as one of Germany’s best lawyers for 2014 for the second year

Germany's best lawyers for 2014

As part of the “Germany’s Best Lawyers 2014” rankings compiled by the German newspaper Handelsblatt in collaboration with its renowned partner Best Lawyers, released on 10 June 2014, Frank E.R. Diem of GGI member firm Diem & Partner was chosen as one of Germany’s best lawyers for

The decoration in the area “Corporate” was made on the basis of research from lawyers by the American publishing house “Best Lawyers”, which the Handelsblatt commissioned. Hereto the Handelsblatt in its issue of June 11th 2013, when Frank E. R. Diem had been nominated for the first time: “Qualified and notable German experts should determine, which colleagues they would choose outside their own team if they could not accept the mandate themselves for reasons of time or because of a conflict of interest.”

For the senior partner Frank E.R. Diem, who was appointed a Specialist in Corporate and Labour Law by the Stuttgart Bar Association in spring 2008, this distinction testifies to the sustained positive impression he made during his many negotiations with colleagues. His professional mantra is that “we owe our clients advice – not just information”, which has pleasingly been confirmed by this nomination from his colleagues.

GGI member firm
DIEM & PARTNER Rechtsanwälte mbB
Law Firm
Stuttgart, Germany
Frank E.R. Diem
E: fdiem@diempartner.de>

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The Lawyer Awards 2014 Memery Crystal Wins “Litigation Team of the Year”

Memery Crystal Wins “Litigation Team of the Yea

GGI member firm Memery Crystal LLP has been named “Litigation Team of the Year” at The Lawyer Awards 2014 for its resounding litigation success on behalf of Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited

(“Gulf”). The awards were presented on 25 June at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. The team has already been named “Dispute Resolution Team of the Year” at the Legal Business

Awards 2014, which were presented on 13 February. This marks the first time a firm has won both awards in the same year.

The team successfully defended Gulf against a $1.65 billion claim brought by Excalibur Ventures LLC for an interest in Gulf’s four oil fields in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The strategy set by Memery Crystal and tactics developed and executed achieved an overwhelming victory dismissing all of Excalibur’s claims and recovery of very substantial costs. The 57- day trial was the longest in the Commercial Court’s judicial year (2012-2013).

In addition to achieving complete success at trial, the team won a series of strategic victories which put Excalibur on the back foot from the start. On 13 December 2013, the Court awarded indemnity costs of £17.5 million, a payment on account of the Defendants’ costs, and gave permission for Gulf to pursue Excalibur’s funders.

The Memery Crystal team was led by partner Harvey Rands and included partner Nicholas Scott and solicitors Peter Reynolds and Anne McMahon.

Harvey Rands commented: “I am very proud of the team’s hard work, ingenuity and determination in delivering this resounding victory for the client. I am grateful for the client’s unswerving trust and confidence over more than 3 years of unrelenting litigation.”

Memery Crystal is recognised as a leading firm for dispute resolution by Chambers UK and The Legal 500 UK. It has a wealth of experience in handling complex High Court litigation, and also appears regularly before English and foreign arbitral bodies including LCIA, ICC, ICSID, AAA, LMAA and WIPO. Memery Crystal has specialist groups handling financial services and regulatory issues in the public and private markets (including FCA) for institutions and individuals, as well as disputes in the natural resources sector.

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