Herbert Smith Freehills Launches Global Digital Legal Delivery Practice

Global law firm, Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), has today formally launched its Digital Legal Delivery Practice, a multidisciplinary group bringing together its ‘most inventive legal and tech minds’ around the world.

The Digital Legal Delivery practice will be led by managing partner Libby Jackson, working with the firm’s new Chief Technology Officer David Turner.

The group has nine main strands, see below, mixing pure tech inputs, with consulting-style work and project management. One could see this as both an internal re-organisation of capabilities that they mostly already had into one practice, while also creating a clear marketing message about all the things beyond regular legal advice that HSF can do for its clients.

The firm added that to do this they have ‘created a team of the best analytical legal minds backed by investments in cutting-edge tools and technologists in our multi-strand group’.

And that ‘delivering a holistic response to clients, our problem solvers support businesses needing invention and fresh thinking from their legal advisers alongside the technical excellence you expect from a leading global law firm’.

The firm has a track record of combining technology with legal expertise, beginning in 2011 with the launch of its ground-breaking Alternative Legal Services (ALT) team, they added.

More recently, it has established legal operations, digital transformation and emerging tech teams, which will join their ALT colleagues in the new practice of over 420 people.

HSF global CEO Justin D’Agostino said: ‘We have long used digital innovation to deliver better services to our clients. With every industry operating in increasingly complex environments, we need to keep pace with new digital solutions as they emerge.

‘Bringing all our brightest legal tech minds into one practice, sharing resources and innovation, will accelerate these services.’

Libby Jackson, Managing Partner

Jackson added: ‘The new practice will enable us to rethink how we deliver all our core services to clients. We were an early adopter of traditional AI in law, often partnering with legal tech startups to transform how we managed and automated matters for clients.

‘The new practice will enable us to scale up faster, redesign our technology stack and make the most of new research and tools as they emerge. We believe all HSF’s leading practices will be hugely enhanced by harnessing technology in this way.’

Congrats to HSF on the move, which makes a lot of sense. The new grouping will be easier to manage and market, and helps get the message out that the global firm is on the same level as other leading law firms that have developed similar combined tech / consulting / ALSP / project management offerings as an integrated practice.