Allen & Overy has hired Derek Chia as the new Head of the Advanced Delivery Centre in Australia, which is due to open in the second quarter of 2022 – its second such centre after opening in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 2011. Chia was previously with Herbert Smith Freehills, where he worked for around six years. He is a qualified lawyer.
Chia will ‘lead a team of associates and legal support professionals, providing high quality, cost-efficient support to A&O legal teams around the world’ the firm said.
‘The team will integrate … with the Belfast office, providing increased language and legal skills, increased capacity and broader time-zone coverage for A&O’s network.’
‘The new centre in Perth, Western Australia, will provide technology-enabled support on areas such as due diligence, document review, eDiscovery, regulatory-filings, as well as general transaction support and management,’ they added.
Angela Clist, partner and global head of Advanced Delivery – Legal Services said: ‘It is fantastic to have someone of Derek’s calibre leading our new centre. He brings with him a wealth of experience and will help to align the work in the new Advanced Delivery Centre with our global network of offices.’
And Chia concluded: ‘I am very excited to join A&O, a firm that I’ve admired for their innovative approach to uncovering and solving clients’ needs. I am looking forward to help grow the Perth Advanced Delivery Centre team and to add even further to A&O’s already market-leading capabilities and solutions for our clients.’
Is this a big deal? It shows that one of the world’s largest law firms is expanding its investment in service centres for legal provision to its clients. This shows an increased focus on efficiency, process improvement, and cost awareness. In short, this is welcome news.