LOD Invests In + Partners With SYKE Legal Tech Consultancy

LOD and SYKE have formed a strategic partnership, bringing ‘lawyers on demand’ together with a tech consultancy service to provide a combined and ‘holistic’ capability to clients. LOD has also invested in SYKE. They will stay as two separate entities and brands, but will have a joint supervisory board.

Legal teams can now ‘directly access strategic guidance to accelerate new operating models, including through digital transformation, resource optimisation and bespoke managed services. Combined with the strategic partnership, LOD has invested in SYKE to support the further growth and development of the business’ the firms said.

Launched in 2016, SYKE is one of the world’s fastest growing independent legal tech advisory groups. It employs more than 90 lawyers and former lawyers.

Meanwhile, founded in 2007, LOD is the original alternative legal services provider, with over 1,000 legal professionals based in the UK, Europe, Australia, Asia and the Middle East. In 2018 it announced its partnership with Bowmark Capital.

Alistair Maiden (above left), SYKE’s Founder and CEO, said: ‘SYKE and LOD have a shared view of the market for alternative legal services, its potential and direction of travel. The legal industry is grappling simultaneously with how to move to a digital future and how to resource their teams in a smarter way. Both these issues overlap in multiple ways. Our new partnership means that we are uniquely placed to combine our skills in digital technology with legal talent. By doing so, we will offer clients holistic and cost-effective solutions, which will continue to challenge the traditional legal model.’

Simon Harper (above right), LOD’s Co-Founder, added: ‘SYKE’s exceptional team, brand and leading-edge knowledge makes it a strong strategic and cultural fit with LOD. Together, we can develop new client services, which will underpin accelerated growth in new and existing service lines and geographies. The partnership will not only reflect our clients’ increasing interest in digital transformation but will also enhance our managed services by leveraging SYKE’s best in class legal tech experience.’

Tom Shelford, Partner at Bowmark Capital, concluded: ‘The alternative legal services market has continued to grow apace since we became LOD’s principal investor in 2018. We are delighted to have been able to support this exciting new partnership with SYKE, which offers legal teams compelling independent and bespoke solutions to meet the challenges of both growing demand and increased efficiency.’

And….Artificial Lawyer says……good idea! The reality is that tech alone won’t rework the means of legal production. We need tech and new streams of legal specialists. This provides a combined solution.

Also, if you look at groups such as Elevate, and increasingly with some of the larger law firms and also the Big Four, we are seeing more focus on providing a mix of tech/legal ops consulting as well as flexible resourcing and LMS services/legal process provision.

It’s important to note that although LOD is best known for pioneering the field of flexible lawyering, it also these days provides LMS services. I.e. they’ve become a lot more rounded in the work streams they offer clients.

When you add this to tech consulting, which may help with areas such as doc automation, or installing a CLM system, or generally helping an inhouse team to think more about process and efficiency, then you can see the combined benefits of bringing these two together.

And as mentioned, groups such as Elevate have also done this, although in their case they started with process, then moved into flexible lawyering and also tech consulting.

It just goes to show that the focus on really changing how things work with comprehensive solutions involving tech and new approaches to legal process specialisation is gaining more and more traction in the market.