Resource: (budget/volume + skill set) = Interim Solution
Over the last 12 months, the legal industry has had to adapt and embrace new ways of working. With the onset of the global pandemic, traditional approaches have evolved, and age-old perceptions have been consigned to history. Here, Head of Legal Resourcing UK, James Lewindon, identifies five reasons why interim legal resourcing is becoming a key component of legal service delivery for many in-house teams.
COVID-19 has stretched already very busy in-house teams to the limit and high work volumes look set to continue through 2021. Recruiting permanent members of staff is a time-consuming process and can simply add to the pressures which the team needs to solve. Instead, many inhouse legal teams are using interim lawyers and paralegals to supplement their team or resource specific projects. We are already seeing high demand for interim lawyers this year in areas such as commercial, employment and banking. There are also additional demands due to the economic fallout of COVID-19: repurposing of real estate assets, disposals, insolvency and disputes all require different skill sets that aren’t necessarily found within existing teams.
2. Remote working
The pandemic has forced everyone to work remotely. Removing geographic barriers has meant that interim legal professionals have been able to work for organizations in different places, both nationally and internationally. For clients, this means unrestricted access to the very best legal talent and far greater choice. And for interim legal consultants, there are now more opportunities to apply for a wider range of interesting roles. We currently have people working on UK projects from France, Hong Kong and Australia. It’s about matching the right talent to the right clients and fostering connectivity. This is revolutionizing how clients and consultants think about allocating work and overall service delivery.
The market for interim lawyers has evolved over recent years. Traditionally, placements tended to be five days a week, on site, for a defined period. While this remains a valuable option, in-house teams often do not need an interim lawyer full-time and value a more flexible approach. For example, a team may need an interim lawyer for 20 hours per month, for a undefined period, working remotely. Our ‘on demand’ service has been designed with this type of request in mind.
4. Ease and speed
Some clients turn to interim resourcing when there is an urgent need to on-board someone quickly. Avoiding the
delays caused by a traditional recruitment process is another reason for the rapid growth in this area. Some clients will say, ‘can you have someone ready to start in four days?’ Others come to us with a full job description and list of competences. With our global network and 1,500+ legal and project management professionals on our books, we can deliver the right people for the task without delay.
The often quoted legal ecosystem has evolved as GCs look to the skills and experience required to meet the demands now being placed on their functions. As teams look to manage change and identify and implement new processes, new roles such as technologists, project managers and legal transformation specialists have increasingly come to the fore. With the abundance of urgent demands and changing business priorities, married to remote working and digital infrastructure requirements, 2020 and 2021 are years of considerable change. The agility required by in-house teams to draw upon interim lawyers, project managers, technologists and others, on a contract, flexible or on-demand basis is a trend that we see continuing at pace, for many years to come.