International firm Hogan Lovells has announced plans to farm out ‘less complex aspects of demanding projects’ to a new office in Birmingham to meet clients’ demands for lower charges.
The firm will recruit 20 lawyers initially with a view to opening the extension this autumn.
A spokeswoman for the firm said the move was not an outsourcing operation as the new premises will be continue to be staffed by Hogan Lovells lawyers.
But it will offer cheaper ways of offering advice on corporate, dispute resolution, real estate and finance that do not necessarily require lawyers based in London.
The extension is one of a range of initiatives, including the use of contract/locum lawyers and paralegals, taken by the firm to meet client demands for lower costs.
The firm has also recently announced the opening of a business support centre in Johannesburg to deal with certain administrative issues.
‘We are constantly looking for cost-effective solutions for our clients in relation to fee arrangements and the provision of legal advice,’ said Susan Bright, regional managing partner for the UK and Africa.
The Birmingham team, managed by London partner Alan Greenough, will do work such as such as leasing and licensing of premises, the preparation of formal documentation for the completion of transactions, some intragroup reorganisations and minor contract amendment.
The firm last week posted its ‘best ever’ annual results, with profit per equity partner up 10% in 2013 to $1.208m (£718,564), compared with 2012.
Turnover increased 5.2% to $1.718bn (£1.03bn) in 2013, with revenue per lawyer up 3.7% to $742,613 (£444,661).
Firms at the highest levels are coming under increasing pressure to offer fixed fees, with a survey last week revealing 48% of top-100 finance directors seeing it as a high risk to profits.