Fides Weekly Update – 12th October 2018

Hello and welcome to the Fides Weekly Update. Take a look at this week’s key trends, moves and developments in legal and compliance.

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This week:

1).  Legal Services pricing firm launches new AI-based tool 

Specialist legal consultancy and pricing firm Validatum this week launched a new AI-based pricing platform to help law firms compile more accurate budget and price proposals, as well as comply with incoming SRA transparency regulations.

In collaboration with AI provider Neota Logic, the partnership launched its ‘Virtual Pricing Director’, which offers a set of predesigned and prepopulated templates stored in a secure cloud-based environment that will speed up lawyers drafting process of pricing proposals. Its modules are related to practice areas that include real estate, corporate, commercial, private practice, family and litigation.

The product also has benefits for clients too, explains Neota’s managing director for Europe, Rick Seabrook: “Virtual Pricing Director will give users a complete pricing summary, outlining not only the fee options but also an explanation of how they are calculated, making it easy for the client to select the right option for them.”

The product was the brainchild of Richard Burcher, a legal pricing specialist and former managing partner at New Zealand firm Kaimai Law. It was built using Neota Logic’s ‘drag and drop’ AI engine, which enables legal services professionals to create sophisticated technology applications.

The main value of the platform lies in its ability to incorporate behavioural economics strategies that consider the wider picture of a pricing effort, such as the amount of money involved, the urgency, the importance of the method to the client and the influence of regulatory changes. “What the software does is take all that richness and complexity in a very simple and intuitive interface, with a lot of recommendations and predictions that lawyers can choose to embed all the way through the final proposal drafting,” explains Rick.

The platform also helps law firms meet compliance requirements under the new SRA transparency regulations coming into effect in December. As part of the legislation, firms will be forced to publish price and service information on their websites and details of the professionals involved in this type of work.

2).  Movers & Shakers

Panel Watch

Post Office delivers invitations to tender for new £39m legal panel

Adidas recruits former Bayer in-house leader as new general counsel

Legal & General makes two new additions to panel with core advisers reappointed

Ex-Taylor Wessing lawyer joins trade group as first GC

Five firms dropped from £100m NHS roster

Crown Commercial Service appoints over 40 firms to new panel

Appointments

DLA reappoints Simon Levine as international managing partner

Moves

Ex-Quinn partner Hastings finds new firm amid SRA investigation

Former Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan London partner Mark Hastings, who was dismissed by the firm earlier this year after being accused of inappropriate behaviour, has resurfaced at a Mayfair boutique amid a Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) investigation into the allegations.

Greenberg City partner to reunite with former KWM colleagues at DLA

Greenberg Traurig City tax partner Clive Jones is set to join DLA Piper, in a move that will reunite him with several of his former colleagues at King & Wood Mallesons.

White & Case responds to Latham’s infra push with HSF hire

White & Case’s hiring spree in the City continues, with the US firm picking up Herbert Smith Freehills infrastructure finance partner Simon Caridia.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Knights makes latest post-IPO acquisition with second firm takeover

Office Openings & Closings

Dentons launches in Duesseldorf with Taylor Wessing partner duo

Financials

Weil boosts London profits by 40% as LLPs show £1.2m pay for top earner

Reed Smith’s highest-paid picks up £2.5m in latest accounts

Inclusion & Diversity

Burford creates $50m fund for female-led litigation in effort to help close gender gap

Report into Bakers sexual misconduct claim finds ‘shortcomings’ in firm’s handling of incident

Firms announce new initiatives for World Mental Health Day

Innovation & Technology

Allen & Overy to host Bank of England and FCA tech pilot in innovation hub

New intelligent pricing platform launched by Validatum in collaboration with Neota Logic