Radiant Law featured in the Legal Futures Report: Innovation in the CityPosted on Nov 13, 2014
The Quiet Revolution
Certainly the innovation that has caught the attention has generally been among smaller firms. For example, Triton Global is one of the first truly multi-disciplinary ABSs, bringing together three previously separate businesses to provide a cradle-to-grave claims resolution service: claims administrator DCS Global, specialist insurance law firm Robin Simon, and loss adjuster Walsh PI+.
The company has 120 staff across five offices in the UK, and a further 25 in five offices overseas, and – now the law firm is allowed to have non-lawyer owners – has just become one of the first legal businesses to introduce employee ownership, giving staff 10% of its issued share capital.
Then there is Radiant Law, which combines high-level legal advice and fixed fees with IT and legal process outsourcing (LPO). It specialises in technology, outsourcing and commercial contracts matters. CEO Alex Hamilton explains that while in high-value matters Radiant’s main contribution is the experience of its seven UK lawyers, for high-volume commercial contract work, “the whole process is where we add the value”.
Radiant operates with clients to automate contract creation – meaning the client can do this and send out the first draft – and it then works from ‘playbooks’ containing standard responses and fall-back positions to speed up negotiations, providing partner-level support if required. The aim is to reduce the length and cost of the contract cycle.
The firm has this year opened a five-lawyer office in Cape Town, South Africa to support this operation, having previously worked with an external legal process outsourcer. Radiant has also obtained an ABS licence to so that retailer Greg Tufnell – a former managing director of Mothercare and Burton – can become non-executive chairman.
Mr Hamilton claims it is “challenging” for so-called ‘BigLaw’ to make the changes necessary to best service clients “because of the way their management structure works and the billable hour model”.
When at previous firm Latham & Watkins, he presented to the executive committee a paper on innovation and how the firm could embrace it. “We had a meeting. I gave them 20 ideas. They took one and it went nowhere in a committee. I left to set up Radiant Law.” He observes: “Everyone from the top to the bottom of the legal industry is incentivised to play dumb because of the billable hour. Radiant is incentivised to innovate because we are an organisation built on fixed pricing.” He says the Radiant way of working is to start with “no time sheets” and apply a combination of judgement calls, technology and process to deliver a bespoke service for the client in the best way.
“We take the process very seriously. It has given us the space to go and figure out what clients really need and build new products around that.” A model build on price certainty, rather than churning hours, allows Radiant to focus on adding value, he argues.
Read the full report here.