Lesley Hobbs, previously the head of client solutions in Hong Kong for Lawyers on Demand, has launched her own NewLaw firm in Hong Kong called Cognatio Law, together with Tim Fawcett, formerly the interim COO of boutique family law firm CRB.
Cognatio assists in-house legal teams who are facing downward pressure to reduce their legal project costs, headcount and fixed expenses by seconding experts at short notice onto any given project and without the risk of incurring additional permanent employee costs, the firm said.
“Hong Kong is the leading Asia legal centre and it has definitely been undergoing a quiet revolution to challenge the Big Law establishment and traditions that have dictated the way legal solutions were offered in the last century,” said Hobbs, who has more than 10 years of experience in legal recruitment. “In a very short period, general counsels, heads of legal and in-house legal teams have changed the way they structure various projects to include flexible resourcing to achieve their goals.”
In November last year, three senior lawyers left Baker Botts and Addleshaw Goddard in Hong Kong to launch a boutique firm called GPS Legal that also offers a flexible lawyer service.
According to Cognatio, there are now six NewLaw providers compared to just one in 2010. “With ongoing structural changes to the financial services sector since the global financial crisis – and downward pressure by transnational and local legislation/regulators (including HKMA and SFC), legal teams are continually being asked to deliver more for less,” the NewLaw firm said.