BLP appoints Barry Gross to lead ICSM push. Richard Sawtell is also appointed Head of its Manchester Legal Services Delivery Team

International law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has today (29 January 2015) announced the appointment of Barry Gross to lead its Integrated Client Service Model (ICSM) initiative. An important element of the ICSM , the Manchester Legal Services Delivery Team, has also made a significant appointment with the confirmation that Richard Sawtell is to be Head of Centre.

Barry, who has been at BLP since he joined as a trainee in 1999, is a Commercial Real Estate Partner and more recently has been leading the development of the Manchester service centre which forms an integral part of the ICSM. In this new role, Barry will be responsible for ensuring that the Manchester Legal Services Delivery Team and other resources will be effectively utilised to deliver the most value to the firm’s client work.

The ICSM is designed to offer clients a suite of solutions that increase the efficiency of delivering certain types of work including due diligence and document review work. The ICSM suite comprises four elements; a Legal Process Improvement (LPI) service; virtual transaction teams – a development of the firm’s Lawyers On Demand (LOD) business; the use of third party providers; and the Manchester Legal Services Delivery Team. It is one of a number of initiatives on behalf of clients that has positioned BLP as a top five firm in the UK and Europe for innovation.

Richard Sawtell joined BLP on a consultancy basis in April 2014 and has been both leading the Manchester team and heavily involved in managing workflow from clients into the office. Before joining the firm, he established the UK’s first direct conveyancing firm, Countrywide Property Lawyers, which became the largest national provider within two years of creation. More recently, he was at Addleshaw Goddard where he led process mapping and managed a successful project to introduce paralegal transaction teams.

Barry Gross said: “I’ve been heavily involved in ICSM and our Manchester Legal Services Delivery Team right from the start and as we continue to develop our offering it is evident that our clients are really gaining from the model. I see this as a great opportunity to shape the delivery of legal services to meet the expectations and requirements of our clients at all times.”

Neville Eisenberg, Managing Partner, BLP, added: “Our Integrated Client Service Model is an important initiative for the firm in meeting the changing needs of our clients, integrating a range of innovative solutions that respond efficiently and flexibly to their requirements. With Barry driving ICSM forward and Manchester now under Richard’s leadership our unique integrated offering will continue to grow, develop and offer even greater efficiencies and opportunities to our clients.”

To further support the development of the Manchester Legal Services Delivery Team, BLP is also taking additional space in the current building in King Street to accommodate up to 100 people with support facilities and meeting rooms. BLP’s Manchester office opened in August 2014 with 21 staff making up the Legal Services Delivery Team.

The next imminent increase in team size and capability in Manchester comes with the arrival of five Real Estate associates, starting in March 2015. This move will allow the Legal Services Delivery Team to manage larger portions of routine work.

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