ALSP Talent War Heats Up as Big Four Firm EY Gains + Loses

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has hired Alex Fortescue-Webb and Daniel Marks from Big Four firm EY to co-lead and expand the firm’s legal managed services offering. Meanwhile, Jamie Whalebone has left DWF to join EY as an Associate Partner of its Legal Tech Consulting arm.

Prior to joining EY, Whalebone was publicly listed law firm DWF’s Director of Legal Consultancy & Transformation. Before DWF he worked at Magic Circle firm, Freshfields.

But back to Norton Rose. The firm highlighted that Fortescue-Webb and Marks were Associate Partners at EY and they will now focus on building tech enabled managed services solutions to help in-house legal departments deliver both ongoing work and strategic projects more effectively. They will lead the team in Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA).

The legal managed services team is part of NRF Transform, the firm’s global innovation and service delivery programme.

At EY, Fortescue-Web co-led contract lifecycle management services globally and cross-sector, with an emphasis on the Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) market. Marks ‘played a leading role in EY’s legal managed services team in EMEIA for financial services and has worked closely with numerous technology partners in delivering solutions to clients, including the firm’s IBOR proposition’.

Peter Scott, managing partner, Norton Rose Fulbright, Europe, Middle East and Asia, said: ‘It’s great to welcome Alex and Daniel as we continue to make strategic investments in new capabilities to meet our clients’ evolving needs through NRF Transform. Alex and Daniel have outstanding experience and they will enable us to extend the breadth of our offering to our clients through combined advisory, legal and managed services capabilities.’ 

Fortescue-Webb, added: ‘The firm’s global experience, teams and resources will enable us to design and deliver innovative and scalable solutions for clients. I look forward to working closely with clients to reach their business objectives, while helping to evolve the practice of law.’

Marks concluded: ‘Legal managed services bridge the gap between traditional and ‘new law’ to deliver stronger, more efficient and cost-effective results. This will be our focus whether working on larger scale and more data-intensive projects, as well as enhancing continuing work for clients.’

As highlighted before by Artificial Lawyer, there is a talent war in progress – this time not for transactional associates – but for consulting experts for legal ops and legal tech, and also legal managed services and other related ALSP process-focused capabilities.

It’s noteworthy that Norton Rose spent a large part of their announcement focused on what their two hires had done at EY – i.e. as far as they are concerned this shows a benchmark of quality and to some degree places EY and other Big Four firms as their competition now in the managed services space.