In March this year, Vario, the NewLaw arm of Pinsent Masons opened in Hong Kong after hiring Kirsty Dougan as Asia managing director; Dougan had co-founded the APAC offering of NewLaw firm Axiom, and served as its regional managing director for eight years.
This was just the latest recent development in the fast-growing flexible-lawyer space in Asia. In January, U.S. legal/tech provider Elevate acquired Hong Kong-based NewLaw firm Cognatio Law, which was co-founded in February last year by Lesley Hobbs, previously the head of client solutions in Hong Kong for Lawyers on Demand (LOD). Herbert Smith Freehills will reportedly expand its Alternative Legal Services (ALT) business into Hong Kong soon. Vario opened in Singapore last year.
And that’s adding to the players that are already here. The UK’s LOD, which merged in 2016 with Australia’s AdventBalance, now services the Asia-Pacific region. Eversheds Sutherland and Allen & Overy offer contract-lawyer services in Hong Kong and Singapore. Herbert Smith Freehills’ ALT is available in Shanghai and Beijing. Axiom has been a well-established brand in Asia for years now. [read more]