Osborne Clarke Switch to Shared Services Centre

February 8, 2009

Osborne Clarke announced on 2 February that, in response to client demands for greater efficiency from the legal industry, they have agreed with a £50 million deal with Integreon to create an onshore shared services centre.  The seven-year deal will see approximately 75 of Osborne Clarke’s business services employees transferred to Integreon.
Over the last 12 months, the firm has put its own working practices under the microscope as well as those of competitors. It concluded that the legal industry would move to focus on core legal services in future. Support services would be provided by a new generation of businesses focused on high end multiple service provision to the professional services community. Having invested time in defining its requirements and actively searching for a suitable provider to deliver it, Osborne Clarke has over the last six months worked with Integreon to develop a business model.
The Integreon UK onshore centre will be based in Bristol and will provide a full suite of business support services to law firms. Integreon will provide the majority of Osborne Clarke’s business services ranging from IT to business intelligence.
Simon Beswick, managing partner at Osborne Clarke, commented:
‘Having access to a full suite of specialised business support services designed for the legal industry is a critical part of Osborne Clarke’s vision of the modern law firm. The aim is to ensure the delivery of a competitive, high quality and flexible service for clients. For Osborne Clarke, sourcing non-legal expertise from one expert supplier enables a clear focus on our legal activities, with the security of flexible business service support and cost stability. Our clients exist in a tough commercial environment and expect their lawyers to be as focused and cost efficient as they are.’
The functions transferring to Integreon are the so-called ‘Middle Office’ services, including:
• Business intelligence
• Knowledge management
• IT
• Document services
• Training
• Network support
• Shared secretarial services and reception

The deal assumes a consultation period in February and March and a March launch.
Integreon currently works for nine of the top UK law firms and 18 of the top US law firms. It describes itself as providing a range of knowledge support services to professionals, such as research and analytics, legal and financial document services, legal and discovery services, and finance and accounting services, which transform the Middle Office and allow professionals to focus their time and energy on their ‘highest and best use’.