Simon Harper (left) and Alistair Maiden
Bowmark Capital-Backed LOD will also invest in a new partner
UK alternative legal service providers LOD and SYKE have announced a strategic partnership that will allow them to combine their expertise in delivering flexible legal services and legal technology to help clients overhaul their operating models and drive digital transformation.
As part of the alliance, LOD, which is supported by private equity firm Bowmark Capital, will invest in SYKE to further expand and grow its legal technology business. SYKE, which was founded in 2016 and is based in Leeds, remains a standalone company and brand, led by founder and CEO Alistair Maiden, former head of contracts, privacy and data protection at supermarket giant Asda. The size of the investment was not disclosed.
Maiden said, “SYKE and LOD share a common vision of the alternative legal services market, its potential and its direction of travel. At the same time, the legal industry is grappling with the question of how it can advance into a digital future and deploy its teams more intelligently. Both problems overlap in different ways. “
He added, “Our new partnership means that we are uniquely able to combine our digital technology skills with legal talent. In this way, we offer our customers holistic and cost-effective solutions that continue to question the traditional legal model. “
Last year, LOD launched the challenger firm LOD Law and took advantage of the new regulations that went into effect in 2019 to provide legal advice to internal teams and expand their existing managed services and flexible resourcing model. According to LOD, partnering with SYKE means legal teams can access strategic guidance to accelerate new operating models through digital transformation and resource optimization.
Simon Harper, Co-Founder of LOD, said, “SYKE’s exceptional team, brand and cutting-edge knowledge makes it a strong strategic and cultural correspondence with LOD.”
Harper said the partnership will also allow him to develop new customer services to support the growth of new and existing service lines and regions.
He added, “The partnership will not only reflect our customers’ increasing interest in digital transformation, it will also enhance our managed services by leveraging SYKE’s world-class legal technology expertise.”
Bowmark Capital acquired all of its stake in LOD from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner in 2018 for an undisclosed price. LOD now has more than 1,000 legal professionals in the UK, Europe, Australia and the Middle East with annual sales of £ 56.7 million. SYKE has nearly 100 lawyers and former attorneys specializing in Legal Tech Engineering, with teams in the UK, US and Asia Pacific. Projected annual sales based on current performance is £ 10m.
Earlier this week, Ashurst expanded its Australian advisory business with the arrival of five new partners from Deloitte and PwC. This is just one example of the many steps that law firms, ASLPs and the four major accountants have taken over the past few months to step up their advice to in-house legal departments on digitization.
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