Hogan Lovells, a worldwide operating law firm, will soon open a new services centre in Birmingham. The service centre will provide legal support services to its more than 40 offices across the globe. The law firm has been advised by Buck Consultants International on its choice of location.
With more than 2,500 lawyers operating out of more than 40 offices in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and the US, Hogan Lovells is one of the leading law firms in the world. The firm was established in 2010, following the merger between US-based Hogan & Hartson and European-based firm Lovells. The firm’s heritage dates back to 1899, when John Spencer Lovell set up Lovells in the UK, and 1904, when Frank Hogan opened his law practice in the US. Hogan Lovells’ annual turnover is estimated at $1,7 billion.
To improve the internal efficiency of its operation and service quality to its fee-earners, Hogan Lovells last year launched an internal programme. A major element of the programme was the bundling of certain supporting services in Shared Service Centres (SSC). Two initiatives have been unveiled: the opening of a Business Services Centre in Johannesburg (South Africa) and the development of a Legal Services Centre in Birmingham.
To support the latter project, Hogan Lovells brought in the help of Buck Consultants International, an expert in the field of location choice advice. Although it was known that the Legal Services Centre would be established in the UK, the law firm had not yet decided on the exact location. The consultants evaluated 12 different locations in the country, assessing among others costs, quality, and availability of legal talent. Other factors that have been assessed were, among others, property, travelling time and costs, investment subsidies, and the ‘quality of life’ of the cities. Following the analysis, Birmingham came out on top, an advice that has been followed by Hogan Lovells. “We looked at several locations but Birmingham won because, first of all, it is quite close to London and it has a strong legal community, so we can find the people we want, as well as good transport links,” says Alan Greenough, who leads the location.
The Birmingham Legal Services Centre, which is expected to open shortly, will provide support services mainly to Hogan Lovells lawyers in the UK (London), but also across the globe, on issues such as the rental and granting licenses for property, the preparation of documentation for the finalisation of transactions, and the altering of contracts. The practice will kick-off with a team of 20 professionals, although plans have already been formed for further expansion in 2015. “We are excited to open our new office in Birmingham known for its strong legal cluster,” says Susan Bright, Regional Managing Partner UK and Africa of Hogan Lovells.
Choice of location for consultancy
Hogan Lovells has made use of the expertise of Buck Consultants International before; the consultants have also supported the law firm with the setup of its global back office project. “Following the excellent work for our previous global back office project, we did not have any doubts about hiring Buck Consultants International again for an analysis of the possible locations for new offices,” says Nick Cray, Chief Operating Officer of Hogan Lovells.