11 September 2017

BLP creates client technology role in litigation dept

A review of litigation operations has seen the firm hire three partners from competing firms and a new focus on client technology.

Law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner has created a new client technology role in the firm's litigation and corporate risk team. Nick Pryor, who is currently heading up knowledge management in the liitgation and corporate risk group, will now become the head of client technology for the department. The introduction of this role as well as the department's appointment of its first chief operations officer, David Keers, result from a strategy review undertaken by the department in May 2017. The report recommended that the group should address clients needs by proactively delivering efficiencies and technology, in addition to improving the litigation group's international capabilities and increasing client secondments. 

New technologies

Mr Pryor will focus on better leveraging existing firm platforms, and identifying, assessing and deploying new technologies for use in the department to the benefit of clients. Working closely with the law firm's head of strategic client technology and knowledge management technology teams, he will contribute to the efforts of the forensic technology team led by Paul Bennett.  The litigation team previously won the first contested challenge using predictive coding in the legal market in 2016 and the firm is looking to further champion  innovative use of technology in the disputes and investigations arena. 

Differentiate

Nick Pryor said of his appointment: 'Our ability to harness technology for the benefit of clients, provides us with a key opportunity to differentiate ourselves. It says a huge amount about the ambitions of the LCR team at BLP that they have appointed someone to lead this charge from the department and I’m eager to get started.'  Commenting on the new position, Oliver Glynn-Jones, partner and head of BLP’s commercial dispute resolution group said: 'During the strategy review, we identified that continually striving for different and better ways of serving our clients is a key ingredient to growing and differentiating LCR’s service to its clients. As a firm BLP has an excellent reputation for innovation, and Nick’s appointment will give additional focus to this key differentiator for LCR.'

New partner hires

Following the strategy review, the LCR department has made three partner hires and one relocation. George Burn is the head of international arbitration, joining from US law firm Vinson & Elkins. Gavin Margetson joins from Herbert Smith Freehills and will be charged with leading the Asian arbitration push from Singapore and Richard Chalk, a litigator with experience in the UK and Asia has also joined the BLP team. He previously worked with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Meanwhile, contentious construction partner James Clarke has relocated from London to Singapore.