LOD launches secondment service following trial with firms including DLA Piper and BLP

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) spin-off LOD (Lawyers on Demand) has launched a programme for law firms that will allow them to use LOD secondees to meet client demands rather than their own staff.

The service, called ‘Secondment Solutions’, has already been trialled with three top 20 UK law firms, including BLP and DLA Piper. It aims to reduce costs and provide more flexibility for firms who otherwise provide their permanent lawyers for free.

Co-founder of legal services provider LOD, Simon Harper (pictured), told Legal Week: “This service is about addressing an issue lots of law firms face. They may be able to satisfy the secondment requests of some clients, but not all of them because the resources are not there. The service can be fast and we have fulfilled some assignments on the same day as the request.”

Harper said the service would not reduce the effectiveness of a firm building a relationship with its client through secondment services, and stressed that a law firm can achieve the same aims from a secondment through the LOD service.

“There are two reasons that this works. One is that the client will still engage with the LOD lawyer through the firm, so they have information transfer in the same way they would with the firm’s own lawyer.”

The service is also flexible, with law firms able to use LOD lawyers both on secondment and to fill any internal gaps, Harper added. “On one occasion, a firm has put one of its own lawyers into the secondment and used an LOD lawyer to fill the space in their own team. We are happy to provide that service.”

LOD announced a 15% increase in turnover in its first full year since merging with Australian firm AdventBalance. The newly formed LOD Global business, formed through the merger, saw turnover grow from about £30.5m to £35m during the 2016-17 financial year.

In July, the firm announced that it was launching in Dubai with an office overseen by managing director for the Middle East, Brett Menadue. The firm was unable to set a date for the opening, but did say it was on track to launch in early autumn, with the exact date subject to regulatory approval.

Since launching in 2007, LOD’s turnover has rocketed, increasing from £200,000 in its first year, to £8.6m in 2012-13 when it spun off from BLP.