A&O set to expand flexible lawyer service across Europe and the US following Amsterdam pilot

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Allen & Overy (A&O) is planning further expansion of its flexible lawyer scheme Peerpoint following a successful pilot in the Netherlands, with continental Europe and the US pinpointed as key targets.

The Amsterdam pilot, which began in September last year with nine lawyers, has now grown to a headcount of 20, and the firm is considering whether to make it permanent.

The move into the Netherlands marked A&O’s first use of Peerpoint in continental Europe.

Senior partner Wim Dejonghe (pictured above right) said: “We will look at where else we can expand Peerpoint in continental Europe, as well as the US, and continue to push its use in Asia-Pacific.”

The service, which was launched in London in 2013, draws on a bank of contract lawyers – referred to as consultants – to assist on projects during periods of high demand. A&O alumni make up around 45% of the lawyers on Peerpoint’s books.

The service, which was launched in Hong Kong and Australia in 2015 and 2016 respectively, now has a total of around 190 consultants around the world.

Chief executive Richard Punt, who was recruited from Deloitte in 2014 to lead the business, last year credited its rapid growth to the employment model allowing lawyers more control over their workload.

The news comes after Pinsent Masons recently announced that it will launch its flexible lawyering service Vario in Australia, in its first move outside the UK. DLA Piper also expanded its flexi-working collaboration with contract lawyering pioneer LOD to Australia last year.