RPC makes RBS hire for consultancy business

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RPC has recruited Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) consultant Varun Srikumar for its general counsel (GC) consulting arm, RPC Perform.

Srikumar, who joins today (8 August), worked for RBS as a sourcing group manager in the legal team for just over a year up until August. He specialises in management consulting and helps legal departments with strategy, external legal spend assessments, cost reduction programmes and legal technology.

RPC Perform, which was launched in May this year, provides advice to GCs on areas including the organisation and management of their in-house legal department, management of external legal spend and technology.

The launch was spearheaded by former T-Mobile GC Julia Chain (pictured above), who joined RPC in September as director of GC services. Previously, she worked at Huron Consulting as a managing director of the legal division.

Srikumar also formerly worked for Huron Consulting as a manager in the advisory team between 2013 and 2015.

RPC also set up an insurance consulting business in February last year. RPC Consulting offers actuarial and management consultancy services in the insurance sector. Earlier this year, RPC hired former PwC partner Chris Carson as a partner in the business.

Srikumar is the fifth recruit for RPC’s GC business. The team also includes chartered accountant Pranav Chopra and dual-qualified barrister Jonathan Middleburgh, both of who were previously at Huron Consulting and joined a few months prior to the launch.  The team was also bolstered by the arrival of Andrew Dey in May, previously director of legal change at Barclays.

Chain said: “Varun has a lot of expertise on both the organisational and technology side. I have no doubt we will add more recruits at some stage but we are now complete for the time being.”

Chain has put her own legal management consultancy business JSC Associates, which she set up in 2014, on hold to focus on her role at RPC.

RPC Perform’s current focus is on clients ranging from large global corporate departments to smaller teams in FTSE companies. As Chain commented: “For example, a two- to three-person legal team in a FTSE 250 or 100 company as well as a 500-person in-house team from a bank.”

Chain explained that demand has increased due to rapid change in GCs’ roles. “More and more GCs are coming to us and saying: we want to be part of the leadership team; our job is more about enterprise risk management. Essentially, they want to get away from the low value work and advise on strategy.”

Going forward, she said that RPC Perform could also take advantage of RPC’s Asia presence. “Due to the distance, I haven’t yet looked at this but RPC has offices in Singapore and Hong Kong so it clearly has to be a market at some point.”

Other law firms to have set up GC consultancy arms include Addleshaw Goddard, which launched AG Consulting in September last year; and Eversheds, which launched Eversheds Consulting in 2010.