Bird & Bird partners put up cash to launch change consulting JV

Partners at Bird & Bird have stumped up capital, along with members at IT change business ASE Consulting, to set up a change management joint venture called Baseline.

Baseline will operate as a separate limited liability entity to both its parents, and will offer clients resolutions to issues encountered in transformation projects.

The project is the brainchild of Bird & Bird commercial group partner Dominic Cook, who will act as the sole full time director from the law firm’s side, teaming up with members of ASE and two to three full time support staff.

Baseline is currently looking to draw on staff resources within the two parent firms, but the plan is to recruit outside these as the business eventually takes on its own dedicated premises and employees.

Speaking to Legal Week, Cook said: “People are excited to do something a bit out of leftfield. Ultimately this is not only about increasing routes to market for the parents, it’s a capital value proposition helping respond to client need.”

Cook added that the joint venture had already completed one mandate and that several more were in the pipeline.

ASE Consulting director Robin O’Connor said: “Major transformational projects have complex challenges and require a combination of legal, financial, commercial, technical and management skills to resolve them.

“Collectively we understand the inherent uncertainties associated with all major projects, and the need to drive behavioural changes as well as deliver technical solutions.”

Baseline will add to Bird & Bird’s existing Virtual General Counsel service launched in 2012, where businesses can have a partner at the firm act as their legal head remotely.

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