In what is one of the biggest legal sector moves in years, Andrew Ballheimer, the global managing partner of Allen & Overy up until October last year, has joined the board of process-focused legal group Factor. He has also made a small investment in the company.
He told Artificial Lawyer: ‘Old law and ‘NewLaw’ operate in two different worlds and I can play the role of a bridge between these.’
‘I was attracted by the quality of the people at Factor, and I like the culture. It ticks all the boxes.’
The move to the spin-out from Axiom is sure to get the attention of many across the broader legal market, far beyond the world of ALSPs and legal tech, given that such moves are rare for the leaders of global law firms.
It’s also a major sign of support for Factor’s ‘complex work at scale’ approach. In fact, Allen & Overy and Factor have been working together recently on a major IBOR/LIBOR repapering project.
Artificial Lawyer asked if this meant Ballheimer’s former firm would be using Factor more now, and if his stellar address book would be helping with client development?
Ballheimer replied that as he was no longer at the firm he couldn’t say, and as to client winning he noted that as a partner most of his work had been on high level advisory matters, rather than engaging on scaled-up work projects.
That said, it seems likely that Ballheimer’s presence on the board of Factor will open doors to a wide range of businesses, including global banks.
More broadly, Ballheimer said that the move was in tune with what is happening across the market.
‘The needs of clients are changing. There is no [legal] business that meets everyone’s needs,’ he said and added that there was a growing focus on improving legal processes.
CEO of Factor, Varun Mehta, also told Artificial Lawyer: ‘What was missing at Factor was someone who has run strategy at a major law firm. During Andrew’s tenure he was involved with lots of innovation, such as FUSE, Peerpoint, and the base in Belfast, and partnering with others.’
Ballheimer joins fellow board members: Mark Harris – CEO of Knowable; Co-founder and ex-CEO of Axiom Law; Carol Lindstrom – Previously Vice Chair at Deloitte and Special Advisor at Carrick Capital Partners; and Jim Madden – Co-Founder and MD, Carrick Capital.
Ballheimer added that this would not be the only role he would take now that he had left Allen & Overy and that he would be building a portfolio of positions.