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Pinsent Masons to launch freelance lawyer service

'Vario' follows similar schemes by BLP and Eversheds  

7 February 2013

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

International law firm Pinsent Masons has become the latest firm to launch a freelance lawyer service.

Launching this spring, the firm’s new business, dubbed ‘Vario’, will provide clients with freelance legal services.

Pinsents’ ‘Vario’ follows a similar approach to Berwin Leighton Paisner’s ‘Lawyers on Demand’ (launched in 2009) and Eversheds’ ‘Agile’ (piloted in 2011).

Vario is intended to be a hub of freelance legal professionals available to undertake a wide variety of client assignments, from fixed-term projects to maternity cover.

It will comprise lawyers from paralegal to partner level, enabling clients to scale up or down resources in line with demand.

“Clients are increasingly asking for access to flexible resources as a prerequisite. However, we wanted to take the idea a step further and launch the next generation of this type of service,” said Alison Bond, the partner leading Vario.

“Our market testing with general counsel indicated that when they are looking to plug a gap, personal attributes are as important as legal skills. They want lawyers who will add value quickly, get on with those around them and work with minimal supervision.

“So we’ve spent a lot of time designing a bespoke selection process which helps candidates understand whether this is right for them, as well as whether they are right for us. We will actively manage assignments, staying close to clients and the lawyers themselves.”

Added Pinsents’ managing partner, David Ryan: “The legal market is changing and we are committed to changing with it. We know that our clients often face periods of high demand and value the ability to ramp-up resource for a specific purpose, often at short notice and for a defined period of time.”

Vario – the Italian word for ‘various’ and which the firm says indicates ‘variety or difference’ – is currently recruiting from across Pinsents’ alumni network and wider legal market for lawyers at all levels of seniority.

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