Eversheds has launched its consultancy service ‘Agile’ into the Asian market. Initially launched in 2011, Agile is a consultancy based scheme that provides lawyers on a temporary basis to in-house legal teams. It is set to be rolled out in Singapore and Hong Kong over the summer and plans to use around 20 to 30 lawyers in the beginning phases. Agile has already been implemented in Dubai and Europe with clients such as the Abu Dhabi Airports Company and Qatar Foundation in the former and Volvo and Lloyds Banking Group in the latter. Eversheds describe it as meeting the “demands for interim, high quality legal professionals, providing peace of mind with legal expertise and the support of an international law firm”. The 20-30 flexible lawyers will assist teams in the Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore offices, creating a firm presence writhing the Asian market.
Eversheds describes Agile as “challenging the industry norms”, yet it is not the first to launch such a scheme. Berwin Leighton Paisner has a similar service, named ‘Lawyers in Demand’, as does Allen & Overy with ‘Peerpoint’, which was launched in late 2013. These firms intend to create business models which are still have a high standard of professionalism and expertise within its lawyers but at more cost-effective prices. It also aims to achieve flexibility within the legal profession and oppose the often rigid process that is the law. It may be more appealing to individual lawyers who want to balance out the work/life scales. Working on a temporary and contract basis means all the benefits and challenges of a lawyer can be experienced, without the anchor of having to do it every single day.