Legal giant Dentons have announced the formation of an in-house solutions consultancy designed to capitalize upon the demands from in-house counsel.
The new group, called Nextlaw In-House Solutions, is a strategic consultancy service involving more than 50 former general counsel globally, designed to provide a multi-disciplinary service to in-house counsel.
Pressure on legal fees and services from the growth of in-house counsel has been a key factor in pressuring law firms on the fees and services front, so the Nextlaw initiative is an attempt by Dentons, the world’s largest firm by headcount, to continue to innovate as well as to add to its repetoire of services.
The development was trumpeted by Chris Pinnington, CEO of Nextlaw.
“As part of Dentons, the largest, most innovative law firm in the world, we enjoy unique advantages, including the privilege of working with and learning from sophisticated clients across the globe, spanning diverse industry sectors, legal systems and cultures.”
A statement from Dentons commented upon the increasingly important role of in-house counsel, but noted that they often work with limited resources.
“Managing new legal problems, legal technologies, procurement processes, and varying types of legal service providers is more challenging than ever before. A significant gap exists between client expectations of value, innovation and efficiency, and the effectiveness with which law firms are responding.
The Dentons statement continues – Driven by the voice of the client, Nextlaw In-House Solutions answers these challenges by bringing together profound experience in the general counsel role from major organizations around the world, along with legal technology and process management experts and professionals across the spectrum of legal operations disciplines, to provide advisory services, market insights and experienced perspectives.
These services can range from delivering solutions to improve the management of external counsel relationships and legal spend to leveraging innovation and legal technology to enhance the value delivered by legal departments. Our experienced team also provides coaching and mentoring for new general counsel or counseling on risk and compliance issues, as well as experienced interim or permanent in-house support wherever and whenever needed.
Reinventing Legal Profession
Pinnington sees the move as one that involves the firm boldly “reinventing” the legal profession.
“One thing we consistently hear is that our clients are under enormous pressure, not just to resolve legal issues but to deliver business solutions, play a more strategic role in the C-Suite, modernize their legal departments, redefine processes and implement the latest technologies,” Pinnington said.
“Dentons is at the forefront of reinventing the legal profession, and Nextlaw In-House Solutions is a further step in a comprehensive strategy to lead transformation and disruption in the industry,” said Elliott Portnoy, Dentons Global CEO.
“With the launch of Nextlaw Labs in 2015, Nextlaw Global Referral Network in 2016, Nextlaw Public Affairs Network in 2017, and now Nextlaw In-House Solutions, Dentons is demonstrating that we are a catalyst for change in the delivery of solutions to the challenges confronting our clients. Nextlaw In-House Solutions teams will be on the same side of the table as their clients delivering solutions to the real problems facing in-house counsel,” said Dentons Global Chair Joe Andrew.
“Other firms market to clients, while we are focused on their real, day-to-day challenges. In- house counsel have clients as well, the business leaders, and while Dentons and other law firms will provide solid legal advice, the in house-counsel need more. They need someone who understands the pressures they are under, because they have been in the same situations, and can provide guidance on how to manage those pressures,” added Andrew.