EY buys legal services disruptor

EY has declared its intention to shake up the legal services market with the acquisition of technology specialist Riverview Law, with plans to use its software and outsourcing concept to expand the firm’s legal managed services globally

Riverview Law, which was set up in 2012 with backing from global law firm DLA Piper among others, uses a technology platform and artificial intelligence capability to offer legal services outsourcing to companies, handling routine work via fixed price service arrangements. The aim is to cut costs, increase efficiencies and leave in-house legal teams free to concentrate on key tactical and strategic legal work.

Cornelius Grossmann, EY global law leader, said: ‘Legal managed services is one of the fastest growing segments of the legal market. This acquisition underlines the position of EY as a leading disruptor of legal services; it will provide a springboard for current EY legal managed services offerings and bolster the capabilities that we can help deliver for EY clients.’

No financial details for the deal have been released. It has been led by Chris Price, EY global head of alliances - tax, who will become CEO of EY Riverview Law once the acquisition is completed.

EY Law now comprises more than 2,200 law practitioners in member firms across 81 jurisdictions. The firm says the addition of the Riverview Law platform will help organisations to manage legal instructions coming into the function, re-direct work that does not require legal input, triage work that does require legal support to the right team and manage all stages from case opening to case closing, including document creation.

Price said: ‘I have yet to meet a general counsel function that is under employed; so providing a simple mechanism to assess tasks, assess the requisite skills to achieve those tasks and allocating internal and external advisor skillsets appropriately while helping the legal function to drive the maximum value and service quality is what we will seek to do.’

Karl Chapman, CEO of Riverview Law, said: ‘The legal profession is going through a period of significant global upheaval. Changes in regulation, technology and most importantly customer expectation create an opportunity for a more flexible and customer-centric approach to the provision of legal services.

‘Becoming part of EY is a real strategic fit for our team and is in line with our commitment to deliver world-class service and counsel to Riverview Law clients who are at the core of everything we do.’

The acquisition is expected to complete on 31 August 2018. Riverview Law will be known as EY Riverview Law.

Report by Pat Sweet

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