Fides Weekly Update – 16th November 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. BCLP releases tech-focused consulting services to clients

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) is the latest firm to launch a consultancy arm with the aim to advise clients on a more innovative way to carry out legal services.

Branded Cantilever, the newly merged firm is taking advantage of its transatlantic offering in creating a legal operations consultancy division that supports in-house legal teams in improving their operations and service delivery to their businesses.

The firm plans to draw on existing capabilities which were developed to make technological advancements in its own law practices. Additionally, BCLP has built its own software platform, called CrossLite, a data management and analytics tool that services the wide-ranging needs of a legal team.

Features of BCLP’s consultancy division include:

  • providing legal operations and technology consultancy
  • designing effective and efficient processes and systems for contract, matter and litigation management
  • delivering document and decision-making automation solutions.

Chief Innovation Officer Katie DeBord and Chief of Legal Operations Solutions Chris Emerson both co-founded the consultancy and will head up the team going forward. They will be working alongside Director of Legal Operations Solutions for EMEA Bruce Braude.

Consulting arms continue to prove popular in the legal sector. Whilst a few years ago regulatory consultancies were being launched to clients, law firms are now demonstrating their proficiencies in innovation and technology solutions.

Earlier this month Herbert Smith Freehills also announced a new legal operations function, which will streamline the way legal project management, process improvement and automation is utilised and presented to clients. Meanwhile, The Lawyer recently reported that Eversheds Sutherland’s consulting outfits posted a total of £26m in revenue for 2017. Their early entrance into the in-house consultancy market has proved fruitful for the firm, which has seen ES Consulting extend its operations to the Middle East and Asia.

2. Industry’s First Workflow Automation Solution for Financial Regulatory Change Management introduced by Compliance.ai

This week saw Regtech provider Compliance.ai launch a new workflow solution that takes advantage of artificial intelligence for regulatory compliance.

The new solution, part of its financial regulatory change management platform Team Edition, uses machine learning to automatically parse regulations to figure out their relevancy to a firm.

By automatically highlighting which changes in rules impact specific companies, compliance departments are free to focus on other areas.

“We change the collection and extraction part of compliance and automate it,” says chief executive officer of Compliance.ai Kayvan Alikhani. “The automation lets the group focus on actions that are consequential to the business rather than figuring out if a new regulatory announcement is relevant to them or not.”

The platform also provides chief compliance officers more insight into how regulatory agencies think, whilst delivering insights into regulatory trends.

Workflow Automation filters topic-specific regulatory changes through an algorithm which learns who the specific user is and which agencies they normally follow and documents they normally read. The platform then automatically assigns tasks to users to review or analyse changes.

The solution integrates with risk assessment tools to determine risk probabilities of certain rules, and also provides a clearer calendar of when regulatory changes are implemented or when regulatory requirements start implementation.

The new solution comes as financial services institutions of all sizes are seeking modern, scalable regulatory technologies that are designed for today’s needs.

Fuelled by the exponential increase in regulatory changes over the past decade – from an average of 10 regulatory changes a day to an average of 200 a day – compliance teams are spending on average 20-30 percent of their day reactively chasing regulatory content, much of which is not relevant to them.

Movers & Shakers of the week: 

Panel Watch

Pinsents renews E.ON fixed-fee sole adviser role after competitive tender

Appointments

Travers Smith elects Kathleen Russ as first-ever female senior partner

Clifford Chance senior partner race down to three contenders as two drop out

Moves

Simpson Thacher makes major infrastructure PE play with Clifford Chance hire

Clifford Chance infrastructure M&A star Amy Mahon is joining the City office of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in yet another departure from the magic circle firm’s private equity group.

White & Case recruits Weil City banking head and Orrick Paris private equity team

Weil Gotshal & Manges London banking head Mark Donald joins White & Case, alongside the hire of a Paris private equity team from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Mishcon white collar star switches back to the Bar

Head of white collar crime and investigations Alison Levitt QC is moving out of private practice for a new role in the Bar after founding Mischon’s team in 2014

Freshfields partner moves over to Simmons’ CLO team

Simmons & Simmons has recruited Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner James Grand to lead its practice focused on collateralised loan obligations (CLO).

DWF hires Clydes reinsurance co-head and DLA Piper partner as it aims for IPO in 2019

Clyde & Co’s David Abbott and DLA’s Zelinda Bennett are two of the new joiners at DWF

Reed Smith rebounds from Middle East setback with two hires

Commercial disputes partner Mahmoud Awad will join the firm’s Dubai and Abu Dhabi offices from Hadef & Partners, while Waseem Khokhar will take on a role as senior consultant in the commercial disputes group after leading DWF’s Middle East practice since its opening in 2015.

Watson Farley recruits Ince partners as pre-merger exits continue

Five partners across Ince & Co’s London and Piraeus (GRE) offices are leaving the firm ahead of its reverse takeover by listed outfit Gordon Dadds. These include Antonis Lagadianos and Evangelos Catsambas who will join WFW in Athens, and London partner duo Renaud Barbier-Emery and Jonathan Goldfarb, who have left to join Norwegian firm Wikborg Rein’s UK base.

Partner Promotions  

Three new London partners for BCLP in first post-merger promotions round

Simpson Thacher makes up one City partner in eleven-strong round

De Brauw continues revenue growth and promotes two partners

Baker Botts promotes first London partner in five years

Financials

KWM 2.0 stages fightback with first financials since relaunch