12 July 2019

New Boutique firm challenges status quo

Advisory firm Avonhurst draws from capital markets, banking & finance, real estate sectors with new delivery model and no billable hours.

Avonhurst aims to meet the changing needs of sophisticated capital by providing a bespoke service offering comprising legal, legislative & political risk advisory and capital services.

New model

The boutique firm aims to provide an advisory business dedicated to helping funds, capital providers, corporate borrowers and issuers, and secured lenders, navigate the complexities of ever-changing markets. The firm says it is starting with a substantial client portfolio. Former Jones Day partner and capital markets and funds lawyer Jonathan Bloom is a key founder. The new firm’s day-one team includes former head of banking and finance at PwC Legal Laetitia Costa, and Nigel Heilpern, who headed the London real estate and real estate finance department at King & Spalding. Other hires will be announced shortly. Avonhurst says it offers a new model, combining expert advice, smart use of technology and an agile approach to pricing that eschews the “rigid models employed by traditional law firms.” The firm will concentrate on offering core legal services covering banking and finance, restructuring, high yield capital markets, corporate, real estate, financial regulatory and tax. Other legal advice such as IP, litigation and employment will be accessed from best friend firms.

No billable hours

Mr Bloom comments: “Whilst many traditional law firms profess to offer the best people, services, processes and technology to clients in sophisticated capital, none of them co-ordinates its resources in the most enterprising way. Clients are increasingly pushing back against the traditional delivery model of legal services and are tired of paying high rates for inexperienced junior resources and intolerant of inefficient delivery and poor communication. There is a real demand for more strategic commercial support at every stage of engagement. The status quo needs to change and developments in technology and alternative resourcing present the answer.” Wider business advisory services will be supported by a board of advisors comprising senior leaders across the business, funds, investment banks, advisory and real estate communities, while operational support will be handled by Kindleworth, a specialist managed services provider which focuses exclusively on launching and managing top-tier boutique law firms. On pricing, Mr Bloom explains “Our pricing eliminates using the billable hour as the metric for assessing value. Rather, we offer a range of options, from fixed, retained and contingent fees right through to equity share, all geared towards aligning our interests with our clients, now and in the future.”

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