Category Archives: Press Releases

SRA approves Riverview Law to offer technology training seat

SRA approves Riverview Law to offer technology training seat
Applications open for 2018 Training Contracts

Riverview Law, the innovative legal managed services, projects and technology business, is delighted to have secured SRA approval to include a technology services seat of up to 6 months as part of its training contract programme.

This is another first for one of the leading disrupters in the legal market, which won the ‘Innovation in Technology and Data Analytics’ award at The Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Europe Awards and the ‘Most innovative client-facing technology’ at The Lawyer Business Leadership Awards last year.

Karl Chapman, CEO of Riverview Law said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer a technology services training seat as part of our Training Contract Programme. Technology is impacting every sector of the economy and legal is not immune. We are delighted that the SRA has adopted a flexible approach that enables us to educate future lawyers in how technology can assist them, our customers and the law generally.”

Since launching training scheme in 2014 13 team members have successfully completed the training contract programme. This includes those who were awarded the first 7 training contracts in 2014 and 6 from the 2015 cohort.

The training contract scheme at Riverview Law is highly prized as it includes great experience working directly for FTSE 100 customers. Riverview Law was pleased to win four categories in the Lex 100 2016/17 Trainee Survey. The Lex 100 review states ‘Trainees explain that Riverview Law is ‘different from a traditional law firm’ as ‘the culture of the business is that of an In-house environment’.’

Riverview Law has up to 10 more Training Contract places starting on 1 October 2018 and candidates are invited to apply to attend an Assessment and Development Centre on 18th October 2017. For more information about how to apply to attend the Assessment and Development Centre on 18 October 2017 candidates can email joinus@riverviewlaw.com with their CV and contact details.

Steven Zdolyny, Director of Legal Services and COLP at Riverview Law said: “We are incredibly proud to have offered 13 training contracts to Riverview Law team members over the past 4 years. We invest heavily in the training and development of our team to ensure that everyone is able to grow their talent and fulfil their potential within the business. Since launch we have grown rapidly and as we continue to win blue chip customers it’s key for us to continue to recruit, train and develop the Riverview Law team.”

Anyone interested in a career at Riverview Law can find out more via the careers page on their website here.

Riverview Law awarded ISO/IEC 27001:2013 accreditation

Riverview Law has been awarded the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Information Security Management accreditation by BSI. ISO/IEC 27001:2013 is an internationally recognised best practice framework for an information security management system (ISMS). The certification provides independent assurance that robust information security processes are in place to safeguard customer data within a business. The accreditation process considers all business operations, not just technology, providing the business with a complete approach to information security encompassing people, processes and technology. Riverview Law’s Operations Director, Katy Robson, says: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded ISO/IEC 27001:2013 accreditation. By being awarded ISO/IEC 27001:2013 our global customers have an internationally recognised stamp of approval that the security of their confidential data and information is of the highest priority to Riverview Law.” The awarding of the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 accreditation comes at an exciting time for Riverview Law as the company recently won the ‘Innovation in Technology and Data Analytics’ award at The Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Europe Awards 2016, ‘Most innovative client-facing technology’ at The Lawyer Business Leadership Awards 2016 and four of thirteen categories in the Lex 100 2016/17 Trainee Survey. The company continues to recruit heavily in the North West. For further information on joining Riverview Law visit www.riverviewlaw.com/join-us. For more information on ISO/IEC 27001:2013 and what the accreditation means click here.

Robert Farina appointed Chief Executive Officer of Kim Technologies

Kim Technologies, a next generation provider of software that applies artificial intelligence capabilities to knowledge automation and which powers the Riverview Law Virtual Assistants has appointed Robert (Bob) Farina as its Chief Executive Officer. Bob is a highly experienced CEO of Private Equity and Venture Capital backed US technology companies. He has over 30 years’ experience in leading start-ups, turnarounds and high growth enterprises in the software-as-a-service (“SaaS”), business process outsourcing, professional services, payment processing and packaged software business segments. His previous CEO and VP roles include JK Group Inc (2012-2016), Cybershift Inc (2002-2011) and USInternetworking (2000-2002). The appointment of Bob marks the next step in the development of Kim Technologies as the team and technology grow and evolve at a rapid pace. Bob will be based in the New Jersey office. Karl Chapman, Chairman of Kim’s Board and CEO of Riverview Law the company that is the lead investor in Kim Technologies, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to appoint Bob as CEO of Kim Technologies. We have had many conversations and visits with Bob over the last few months. Bob had various other CEO opportunities following the sale of his last company, so it is a strong endorsement of the prospects for Kim Technologies that he joins as CEO.’ ‘This comes at a key stage in the development of Kim Technologies as we move onto the next phase in its evolution. This phase includes refining the Kim business model, market positioning and to-market strategy, continuing to evolve the Kim platform/products further and winning more customers and building a global sales pipeline.’ Bob Farina said ‘Kim has a unique capability to transform how work gets done by knowledge workers around the world which, in turn, adds substantial value to their organizations.  I am excited to be working with a very talented team to build Kim into a global brand with a core value being to have strong, long-term partnerships with our clients.’ The Kim technology is applicable across all sectors and functions, in any country. To learn more about Kim Technologies please visit the website www.ask.kim.

New Manchester office as Riverview Law eyes major recruitment drive and awards additional training contracts

Following new contract wins and the expansion of work with existing customers, Riverview Law is relocating to larger premises in Manchester on 1 September to accommodate its growing team. The move to Delta House in Wythenshawe comes 17 months after the business first opened in Manchester. This larger space, combined with the Wirral Service Delivery Centre, will enable Riverview to recruit up to 60 more team members, including solicitors, paralegals, client managers and data analysts, over the next year, and provide an option to take additional space in line with future business growth. Previously, 20 staff worked from the Manchester office with each working between the city and the business’s headquarters in the Wirral. The new state-of-the-art office provides Riverview Law with enhanced multi-site disaster recovery and IT resilience, meaning that it can provide client services in an ever more secure business environment. Riverview Law has recently awarded two training contracts to existing members of the team to join its two-year solicitor training programme, which it first launched in September 2014. Susannah Brumby and Harriet Clayton will commence their training contracts this October. The first cohort of seven trainees finishes in September, with the second group of six trainees now almost a year into their training. Riverview Law’s Operations Director, Katy Robson, says: “Our continued growth is due to increasing customer demand and Manchester provides an excellent talent pool to meet it. Increasingly, our corporate customers demand a higher standard of IT and data security and we must be able to meet and exceed this expectation to grow existing contracts and win new business. Our new office enables us to provide this important reassurance. “We are also thrilled to have offered two more training contracts this year and to have our first trainee solicitors qualifying in September. Since we launched our trainee programme in 2014 we have awarded 15 trainee contracts and are committed to continuing the development and progression of all Riverview Law team members.” Riverview Law has three UK locations – London, Manchester and Wirral – and two US locations – New Jersey and New York. Further details about existing vacancies can be found on the Riverview Law website Join Us.

Riverview Law launch first Spanish Virtual Assistants powered by Kim

Following the successful launch of its first Virtual Assistants in April this year Riverview Law has today rolled out its first Spanish Virtual Assistants (http://rv-l.com/2aqmmrs) powered by the Kim technology platform (www.ask.kim). All the Riverview Law Virtual Assistants are aimed at helping in-house legal teams, globally, make quicker and better decisions. These Assistants are quick and easy to launch and cost-effective. Karl Chapman, Chief Executive of Riverview Law, says: “We’re thrilled to be launching our first two Spanish process Assistants built on the Kim platform. Since our UK launch we have had a huge amount of interest from all over the world and the natural next step was to launch other language versions. Over the coming months we will continue to launch new Virtual Assistants in various different languages.” For full pricing of all the Riverview Law Virtual Assistants and their upgrade options please visit http://rv-l.com/2aqmmrs.

Global launch of first Virtual Assistants powered by Kim

Riverview Law has today rolled out the first two of its Virtual Assistants powered by the Kim technology platform (www.ask.kim). Aimed at in-house legal teams globally of any size, these Virtual Assistants aid the delivery of legal services across the business. First they provide business users with an easy-to-use gateway to legal support, ensuring that consistent and full instructions are received and that data capture is automated. For the in-house team, they then provide case management, document storage and dashboards that provide actionable business insight (www.riverviewlaw.com/virtual-assistants/). The Assistants feature comprehensive reporting. For example, at the click of a button in the In-house Assistant, a user can see how many live cases the legal team is working on, of what work types, which business units the matters have come from, the risk profile of all the cases, which legal team members are working on the matters and how long cases are taking by user and work type. It allows legal leaders to ask the right questions and improve operational efficiency. The pricing model is designed to make it easy for in-house teams to buy and deploy these Virtual Assistants. The Virtual Assistants help general counsel, heads of legal and legal COOs ensure that the right work is done by the right people, in the right place and at the right price, whether undertaken internally or externally. Instruction and Triage Assistant The Instruction and Triage Assistant manages, triages and tracks the progress of instructions. It is pre-configured, cloud-based and, depending upon the number of users, can be live within one day (www.riverviewlaw.com/virtual-assistants/). In-house Assistant The Foundation level In-house Assistant adds case management and more comprehensive reporting to the Instruction and Triage Assistant. It too is pre-configured, cloud-based and, depending upon the number of users, can go live within one day (www.riverviewlaw.com/virtual-assistants/). The Professional level In-house Assistant has six modular options that enable organisations to tailor it to their business. This Assistant is cloud-based and typically live in one week. The upgrade options include additional users, company branding, tailored workflows and enhanced reporting. The Enterprise level In-house Assistant can be a cloud or on-premises deployment and is designed for global organisations which not only wish to tailor the system but also require extended implementation and roll-out support, plus ‘Super User’ access rights (to configure the platform in future themselves). Pricing for the Enterprise level Assistant is bespoke. Karl Chapman, Chief Executive of Riverview Law, says: “We are delighted to launch these process assistants built on the Kim platform. Our market testing in the UK, US and Canada has proved fascinating and has shown us how big the global market is for these types of cost-effective and easy-to-deploy Virtual Assistants. More will be launched in the coming months, including Advisory and Smart Assistants, as well as different language versions. “Effectively we are productising the Riverview Law operating model and helping in-house teams deliver better and quicker advice. We know from our use of these tools both internally and with customers that they can add huge value. That’s why we’ve deliberately positioned them so that price and technology are not barriers to adoption. This is one of the ways in which we are seeking to scale Riverview Law globally.” For full pricing of all the Riverview Law Virtual Assistants and their upgrade options please visit http://www.riverviewlaw.com/virtual-assistants/.

Meet Kim – the power behind Riverview Law’s Legal Virtual Assistant plans

Riverview Law has today gone live with Kim, technology that will from Q1 2016 power a ground breaking series of legal Virtual Assistants which complement existing Riverview Law managed service and technology solutions.

Kim is the new name for the technology that combines the CliXLEX platform, which Riverview Law acquired in August 2015, with the output from its R&D unit plus the other technologies that Riverview Law has invested in. Riverview Law worked with CliXLEX for a year before acquiring the company. These latest developments build on Riverview Law’s partnership with the University of Liverpool to leverage its artificial intelligence and related expertise.

The Kim technology is applicable to all sectors and is already being used outside the legal market. In addition to licensing its technology to third parties Kim will, in certain areas, launch its own products.

The Riverview Law Virtual Assistants are designed to help legal teams make quicker and better decisions. They will be able to take on many tasks for lawyers, combining Riverview Law’s legal domain expertise with automation, expert systems, reporting, visualisations and artificial intelligence.

Following extensive R&D, beta-testing and planning, the first Virtual Assistants will be launched at a London press conference in Q1 2016, with more released throughout 2016. They are aimed at all businesses that have an in-house function and will be available globally, including to other law firms.

When these Virtual Assistants are launched Riverview Law will have a comprehensive suite of technology solutions that range from tailored applications for global organisations on an enterprise-wide basis through to off-the-shelf, quick to launch, pre-configured tools for in-house teams.

Karl Chapman, Chief Executive of Riverview Law, says: “Because the Kim technology is applicable to all sectors, we are running this subsidiary as if it is a stand-alone business. In this context Riverview Law licenses the Kim technology on an arms-length basis and exploits it in the legal market, which is our domain expertise. During 2016 we will review the best way in which we can ensure that Kim fulfils its potential, globally, while ensuring that the Riverview Law board remains focused on delivering solutions for the fast changing legal market.”

“Most businesses are, or are becoming, technology-led. Riverview Law is no exception. We handle thousands of legal matters every year for global corporations, mid-sized and fast-growing businesses. This expertise allows us to productise our knowledge in ways that help in-house functions of all sizes, in all sectors, globally. As a board we are very focused on scaling our business internationally using technology as the entry point into new geographies.”

Kim stands for Knowledge, Intelligence, Meaning. Knowledge is pervasive, intelligence requires meaning and context to be effective and www.ask.kim provides all three.

 

Riverview Law launches prototyping consultancy for in-house legal

Riverview Law has today launched a prototyping consultancy to help in-house counsel evolve their legal operating model and develop their own scalable automated processes for legal work. Aimed at large global corporations and mid-sized companies, the consultancy enables customers to build an end-to-end technology-led solution to address their legal needs. Crucially, it will take just four weeks to create a live ‘proof of concept’. The consultancy uses Riverview Law’s proven technology, legal expertise and implementation model to create a solution that encompasses instruction management, triage, case management and document creation, along with activity, quality and risk reporting. The end result is an operating model that ensures legal work is undertaken by the right people, in the right place, in the right way, at the right time and at the right price, whether that work is undertaken in-house or by external providers. It also enables in-house legal functions to establish a clearer understanding as to how technology, workflow automation, reporting and data visualisations can help make their function more effective and efficient on a sustainable basis. This latest development follows Riverview Law’s recent acquisition of CliXLEX, which allowed it to expand its R&D and Client Management Centre in Bridgewater, New Jersey and its partnership with the University of Liverpool to leverage the university’s Artificial Intelligence expertise. Karl Chapman, Chief Executive of Riverview Law, says: “Most businesses are, or are becoming, technology-led. Riverview Law is no exception to this. However, on its own being a technology-led business, from automation and visualisations through to Artificial Intelligence, is of limited value without legal domain expertise. “Riverview Law handles thousands of matters every year for global corporations, mid-sized and fast-growing businesses. We are excited by this addition to our service offering, which we are launching following demand from customers and after running a number of these prototyping sessions with global corporations. The results delivered in four weeks always exceed expectations.”

Riverview Law acquires US tech business to advance use of AI in legal market

Riverview Law has acquired New Jersey-based knowledge automation business CliXLEX for an undisclosed sum, as its plans to develop the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the legal market gather pace. The deal is a major step towards the creation of ‘virtual assistants’ that will improve the quality and speed of lawyers’ and paralegal work while freeing them to focus on key tactical and strategic matters. It follows the partnership Riverview Law entered into earlier this year with the University of Liverpool to leverage the university’s Artificial Intelligence expertise. CliXLEX owns and licenses a Knowledge Automation Platform that enables knowledge workers, such as lawyers, with basic Microsoft Office skills to create, automate, maintain and evolve complex end-to-end workflows and processes for all areas of legal, compliance, risk and related activity. The platform manages all activity from instruction, triage, case management, document creation and storage to alert triggers, workflow creation and forensic audit. The CliXLEX technology combines advanced data collection and management, configuration and machine-to-machine learning techniques with a growing level of Artificial Intelligence. The technology integrates seamlessly with third party solutions and is cloud-based although it can also be deployed on premise if required. Critically it has a powerful legacy integration layer toolkit. Riverview Law has worked with CliXLEX for over a year to test the relevance of the platform to the legal market via its managed service and licensed technology offerings to global customers. These tests have proved highly successful showing great potential to deliver significant operational, quality and cost benefits for customers. Combined with Riverview Law’s visualisation and analytics capabilities CliXLEX enhances the existing services Riverview Law provides to customers and accelerates its move into the use of expert systems and Artificial Intelligence. CLiXLEX becomes part of Riverview Law’s group structure and will be based out of the Riverview Law Technology R&D and Client Management Centre in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Richard Yawn, the founder and principal shareholder of CliXLEX becomes a director and Chief Technology Officer of this Riverview Law technology subsidiary. He assumes responsibility for spearheading the further development of the Knowledge Automation Platform and Riverview Law’s investments in Artificial Intelligence, automation and expert systems. Richard has a long track-record in the IT industry, having previously worked with IBM’s Microsoft Practice and as an Enterprise Architect at Aflac. Richard spent the first 13 years of his career developing manufacturing systems using Neural Net and Expert System technologies. Andy Daws, VP North America at Riverview Law, joins this new technology subsidiary as a director and its Chief Customer Officer. Karl Chapman, Chief Executive of Riverview Law, says: “The race is on to provide virtual assistants to knowledge workers, powerful tools that help people and organisations make quicker and better decisions and allow knowledge workers to focus on the key tactical and strategic matters. The legal market is not immune from this trend which will impact all sectors of the economy. “We intend to lead the legal market in providing tools that enable legal and related work to be completed quicker, better and more cost-effectively, whether conducted by lawyers, paralegals, contract managers, risk and compliance officers, or business people.” “This acquisition builds on our significant investments in visualisation and analytics tools, computational argumentation and our Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University of Liverpool. We expect to make further investments in this area as we evolve and future-proof our business model and at the same time help our customers do the same.” In the UK Riverview Law was advised by the Birmingham office of Gateley plc, and in the US it was advised by the New York office of Gibbons.  

Riverview Law doubles investment in learning and development and awards six training contracts

Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, is doubling investment in its staff learning and development programme in the next financial year and has awarded six new solicitor training contracts starting in October 2015. Riverview’s new solicitor training programme awarded seven members of staff with a two-year training contract when it launched in September 2014. The latest cohort takes the total number of trainee solicitors at the business to thirteen. Unique to Riverview, the scheme is only open to existing staff and specifically to individuals who have been employed by the business for at least six months and have completed a successful probation period. The new trainees are: Suzanne Betts, Lydia Preece, Mark Rand, Chloe Smith, Sophia Suleman and Ruth Warburton. Riverview Law’s Operations Director, Katy Robson, says: “We are thrilled to be able to build on the success of our inaugural solicitor training scheme and delighted that we are able to offer six more trainee contracts this year. Our strong commitment to staff training and development enables us to cultivate existing talent within our business. We wish our new trainees the best of luck as they start their first year.” Director of Legal Services at Riverview Law, Steven Zdolyny, explains how the business is committed to the ethos of ‘growing our own’: “Recruiting from our existing talent pool means that candidates already fit our business and our values. We have been very open in saying that we believe that the future leaders of Riverview Law are among those in our business today. “As we continue to win blue chip customers and grow existing contracts, we will continue to recruit, train and progress talented people within our business. For this reason, we have doubled the amount that we will invest in our learning and development programme in the next financial year.” Further details about careers at Riverview Law can be found here.

Riverview Law to expand its Wirral Centre and open a second US office following contract wins with global businesses

Following new contract wins and the expansion of its work with its existing FTSE100 and global customers Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, is expanding its Wirral Centre which already has nearly 100 team members. It has commenced a new recruitment drive to attract lawyers, and other professionals, from the Chester, Liverpool, Wirral and North-Wales areas.

Riverview Law has also announced that it is opening a second US office to support the significant growth it is experiencing. Opening on 1 August 2015, the New Jersey office will be close to its existing hub in Manhattan, as well as to the technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem surrounding Princeton University.

These developments follow a period of rapid growth which has seen the launch of Riverview Law In-House Solutions which enables customers to license Riverview Law technology, the creation of a separate technology business, and an Artificial Intelligence Partnership with the University of Liverpool.

Katy Robson, Operations Director, says: “Having built solid foundations over the last three years we are expanding rapidly with our sales growing at c100% pa. We can provide our team and new joiners with a long-term, secure career in a rapidly growing business that is helping to change the legal market. Anyone who is looking to work in a positive, innovative, professional and fun environment, whilst working on engaging and challenging work, should call us.”

Andy Daws, Vice President, North America at Riverview Law, says: “Our US expansion, focused on business development for customers wanting access to the English courts, client management and technology, is a testament to our customer-centric business model. Working with our IT and legal colleagues in the UK, we’re transitioning from a tech-enabled to a tech-led business. We’re using existing and emerging technologies to develop easy to use solutions with unrivalled analytics capabilities, all designed to help our own teams and our customers make better and quicker decisions.”

If you are interested in a career at Riverview Law you can learn more about the roles available and what it’s like to work at Riverview Law Join Us.

Riverview Law opens Manchester office

Wirral-based Riverview Law has today opened its first Manchester office. The office located at The Hive in the City’s Northern Quarter, will initially be occupied by up to 20 Riverview Law staff. The business plans to double the number of staff in Manchester over the next twelve months. The new opening comes at a time of significant expansion, which has seen revenue growth of over 100% pa in the last few years fuelled by contract wins with large global organisations.  Kate Thomsett, Head of HR at Riverview Law, says: “This is an exciting day for Riverview Law. Manchester has a thriving legal community and like Wirral, will be a great catchment area for us to expand our team and keep ahead of market demand for our services.” Tim Newns, Chief Executive of MIDAS said “Riverview Law’s decision to open a Manchester office is a testament to the city’s highly evolved financial and professional services sector. The firm joins a large number of legal companies that have chosen to set up an office in Manchester, attracted by the talent, expertise and market opportunity that the city offers. We welcome them to the city, and look forward to continuing to support them as they build their presence” Riverview Law currently has a range of vacancies in its Manchester and Wirral offices for commercial solicitors, business law executives, client managers and IT professionals.  Further information can be found at the Riverview Law Join Us pages.

Riverview Law plans Manchester office opening following 100% revenue growth

Following revenue growth of over 100% and a host of new contract wins, Wirral-based Riverview Law is to open a Manchester office. Kate Thomsett, Head of HR at Riverview Law says: “Our main office is in Bromborough, Wirral, and with further significant growth anticipated in 2015, we will continue to grow this office rapidly. However, we’ve chosen to also open a new Manchester office as part of our expansion strategy. Like Wirral, Manchester is a great catchment area for the skills we’re looking for – solicitors, paralegals, client managers, IT professionals.” The business is currently sourcing a suitable location and expects to open in the City during Q1 2015. Alongside the opening, the business expects to recruit an additional 30 people across both offices. Kate Thomsett adds: “Customers are quickly adopting our approach to legal service delivery. They buy-in to our culture and our fixed-priced technology and data-led model. We’re looking for talented professionals who like spending time with customers and who also know how to have fun and work as part of one team.” The opening of the Manchester office follows on from the recent launch of ‘Riverview Law In-house’, which includes a range of software modules that help in-house legal teams in large organisations manage matters, evolve their operating model and improve their effectiveness and efficiency. Earlier this month Riverview Law also announced a partnership with the University of Liverpool to exploit its Artificial Intelligence expertise. Kate Thomsett says: “We invest heavily in our team so that they can become the future leaders of our business. We only offer training contracts to existing team members and we have up to 10 training contracts beginning in September 2015. Budding solicitors should join us before March 2015 to be able to apply for one of these places.” Steven Zdolyny, Director of Legal Services at Riverview Law, says: “We offer great quality work with FTSE100 companies, flexible working hours and without the pressure of time recording and billing targets. One of our recent private practice recruits described our culture as ‘liberating’. We’d encourage anyone to get in touch if they’re looking to develop their career within a positive, energetic and innovative environment.” For more information on current vacancies and joining Riverview Law visit the Join Us page.

Riverview Law and University of Liverpool announce Artificial Intelligence partnership

Riverview Law, the fixed priced legal services business, has entered into a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the University of Liverpool designed to leverage the University’s Artificial Intelligence expertise in the legal market. Alongside recently announced initiatives, the KTP enables Riverview Law to apply a range of leading-edge computer science expertise in areas as diverse as Artificial Intelligence (AI), text processing, network analysis, computational argumentation and data mining. A primary objective of this project is to automate some of the cognitive abilities of knowledge workers to provide organisations with intelligent decision support tools. This announcement follows on from the recent launch of ‘Riverview Law In-house’, which includes a range of software modules that help In-house legal teams in large organisations manage matters, evolve their operating model and improve their effectiveness and efficiency. It also follows confirmation that Riverview Law is setting-up a separate technology business to exploit the software that it has built and the IP that it has and is creating. Dr Katie Atkinson, Reader in the Agent Applications, Research, and Technology (Agent ART) Group of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Liverpool, says: “We are delighted to be working with such an innovative company as Riverview Law. From our first meeting we were struck by the commitment its team has to the application of technology, not only in its own business but also in the way it delivers services to its global customers. Meetings with those customers and the wider Riverview Law team simply confirmed our desire to work with them and show how we can commercialise our research.” Katie is also Program Chair for the 2015 ICAIL conference of the International Association for Artificial Intelligence and Law. Karl Chapman, Chief Executive of Riverview Law said: “Over the last 18 months, as we developed our thinking in the AI and expert systems field, we were delighted to find such relevant world-class expertise on our doorstep – North-West England really is becoming the centre of the legal universe! This is another big step in the evolution and growth of Riverview Law. We are very focused on providing expert systems and tools that support knowledge work and the way AI and such systems can help our teams and our customers make quicker and better decisions.”

Creation of Technology Business and launch of Software as a Service solutions for In-house teams

Riverview Law, the fixed priced legal services business, has launched ‘Riverview Law In-house’, a range of software modules that help In-house legal teams in large organisations manage matters, evolve their operating model and improve their effectiveness and efficiency. The Riverview Law In-house software modules complement the existing range of services that Riverview Law offers to large businesses, all of which are experiencing rapid growth. Riverview Law also announces that it is setting-up a separate technology business to exploit the software that it has built and the IP that it has and is creating. The Riverview Law ‘In-house’ modules announced today are just the first of a range of solutions that will be brought to market that have been built using the Riverview Law technology and IP. Riverview Law In-house Riverview Law In-house packages the Riverview Law service delivery and operating model into software modules that can be tailored to any organisation. These modules can be purchased by in-house legal functions individually or in any combination. The In-house modules complement Riverview Law’s existing offerings but are stand-alone and do not require a customer to use Riverview Law’s managed services or other solutions. The initial modules include Instruction Manager which helps manage the flow and the triage of matters into and out of the in-house function and Contract Manager which manages new contract creation from start to finish via multi-language and multi-channels (desktop, tablet, mobile).  The Analytics module provides detailed management information and business insight. Implementation Manager supports and drives the set-up and go-live process and Configuration Manager enables in-house control and management of the workflows, processes and reporting. More modules will be launched in 2015. Riverview Law Technology Business This new business, which will be set-up as a separate entity, will focus on exploiting Riverview Law IP and will be free to license it to any third party including competitors to Riverview Law. Over the last few years it has become clear to the Board of Riverview Law that its technology, built from the user-up not the developer down, has much wider application. The new business will seek to exploit these opportunities. Karl Chapman, Chief Executive of Riverview Law said: “In launching these modules we are following customer demand. Over the last two years many GCs and legal teams have asked if they can license our technology for their internal use. Now they can. The great thing is that our technology is proven and low risk because our teams use the same model to deliver our managed service solutions successfully to existing customers globally. We have always understood the need to combine people, processes and technology effectively. Our service delivery model is built on this approach and so are these modules.” “Creating a technology business that is separate from Riverview Law is a big and natural step for us. We use technology widely in our business. It is a core part of our operating model and mind-set. However, creating a global technology business requires both a different business model and different skills. By establishing this as a separate business the Board now has maximum flexibility for how it develops, manages and grows this area while retaining our focus on growing Riverview Law.”

Riverview Law awards seven training contracts. Ten training contracts to be offered in 2015.

Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, has launched its first solicitor training scheme, awarding seven training contracts to current members of staff. Hannah Capstick, Sam Cooper, Sam Crich, Rosanna Hughes, Adam Kelly, Steven Malyj and Chris Rea have all studied in the Liverpool, Chester and Manchester areas and will start a two-year training contract today (29th September 2014). Director of Legal Services at Riverview Law, Steven Zdolyny, says the training provided will help the trainees develop into first class lawyers: “We have an exceptional legal team at Riverview Law and our business-wide training and development programme ensures that we continue to develop and grow the talent we and our customers need.  I am confident all seven of our new trainees will thrive within our business and I join my colleagues in congratulating them on their success.” In the summer of 2015 Riverview Law will commence the application process for up to a further 10 training contract opportunities to existing employees at Riverview Law – training contracts at Riverview Law are only available to team members who have been with Riverview Law for at least six months. Kate Thomsett, Head of HR, explains that this is one of the many ways Riverview Law is developing and attracting new talent: “As Riverview Law continues to win FTSE 100 clients we are and will continue to, recruit, train and progress talented people within our business.  That’s why we appointed our first legal apprentice last year and why we continue to expand and evolve the training programmes we offer internally – from legal and IT skills through to finance and client management professionals. We made the decision to open training contracts up to Riverview Law employees who have been with us for 6 months or more to ensure that candidates are the right fit for our business and embody the Riverview Law values.  Anyone who wishes to be considered for the 2015 training contracts should apply to join Riverview Law now. ” Anyone interested in a career at Riverview Law can find out more via the careers page on their website here.

Riverview Law responds to further FTSE 100 client wins with latest lawyer recruitment drive after 100% growth in revenues

Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, is launching its latest recruitment drive in response to further FTSE 100 long-term customer wins. The Wirral-based legal services business, announced plans in August 2013 to ‘double in size’ by recruiting a variety of roles including lawyers, business law executives, client managers, IT developers and data analysts, the majority of whom are based in their Bromborough offices. Since then, Riverview Law has won further FTSE 100 clients and is now looking to recruit up to 30 commercial lawyers and Business Law Executives to support the requirements of these new client wins. Since launching in February 2012, Riverview Law has been at the forefront of driving innovation and change in the legal services market. As well as winning a host of FTSE 100 clients, the business has won a number of prestigious international awards and has recently been the subject of a Harvard Business School case study. Kate Thomsett, Head of HR at Riverview Law, says: “Our continued growth reflects the success of our business model and our different and customer centric culture.  We know how important it is to build a culture that works. Our latest recruitment drive will allow us to meet increased client demand and give new joiners a long-term career in a business that is helping to change the legal market. Karl Chapman, CEO of Riverview Law added, “In the last year our revenues have grown by over 100% and we expect the same again this year. Customers are responding to the power of our model and we can provide great, long-term and rewarding careers for all the people who join our team.” Riverview Law recently launched a new video based website focused on attracting legal talent by showcasing what it’s like to work at the firm. You can see these videos here.

LawVest awarded ABS licence

LawVest Limited, trading as Riverview Law, has been awarded an ABS licence, effective 1 June 2014. Karl Chapman, Chief Executive of Riverview Law, says “We are delighted to be becoming a regulated entity and look forward to continuing our rapid growth.”

Riverview Law partners with US tech pioneer Legal OnRamp to deliver ground-breaking services to global banks

Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, has teamed up with US legal technology leader Legal OnRamp to enable banks to comply cost-effectively with complex regulatory requirements such as Recovery and Resolution Plans (RRP). Major banks in the UK, US and Europe are now required to put in place RRPs – called ‘living wills’ – to ensure safe re-organisation in the event of financial trouble. The living will must include a wide range of information, including contractual obligations across the entire organisation. In addition, a number of banks will face similar requirements in relation to ‘ring-fencing’ areas of their activities. This Riverview Law/Legal OnRamp combined service and technology platform is already being used by one global financial institution as it prepares its living will. This project, which started in June 2013, covers thousands of contracts and millions of data points and is probably unique in terms of scale and complexity. The Riverview Law/Legal OnRamp service combines people, processes and technology to:

  • identify all of a customer’s contracts and supporting documents, including a gap analysis and escalation process for recovering incomplete contracts/documents;
  • upload completed contracts and documents onto the OnRamp collaboration platform;
  • review and map each contract/document against a customer-tailored checklist of up to 200
  • legal and related questions;
  • quality assure the review process and organise the information into appropriate contract
  • families and systems maps;
  • help resolve any operational and/or regulatory issues with any contracts and/or documents;
  • and
  • if required, provide on-going tactical and strategic management of existing and new
  • contracts.

Karl Chapman, the CEO of Riverview Law, says: “The RRP is a huge challenge for any bank. Combining our Legal Advisory Outsourcing expertise – implementation and project management, dedicated client teams and expertise in data management and reporting – with the excellent OnRamp platform means that we have built a robust process and scalable model that can cope with the huge volumes involved. Of course, this model also has applications beyond banks to any global organisation that needs to manage its contract and data infrastructure more effectively.” Paul Lippe, CEO of Legal OnRamp, says: “This is the next stage in the development of ‘Legal-By- Design’, helping legal departments improve quality and efficiency while also reducing the cost of legal work. Riverview Law is a perfect partner, combining low-cost, process savvy quality and ability to scale. We’re seeing legal departments and cross-functional teams look to innovative partnerships like ours to address major ‘event-driven’ projects like RRP and simultaneously kick-start ongoing operational improvements.”

Riverview Law adds four commercial barristers

Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, has responded to the growing demand from customers for a broad spread of commercial law advice by adding four new barristers to its team. Sarah Clarke from Serjeants’ Inn Chambers, Gabriel Fadipe from Wilberforce Chambers and 11 South Square duo Jacqueline Reid and Christopher Hall all join Riverview Chambers to boost its expertise in financial services, commercial/chancery and IP work. Sarah Clarke is a specialist adviser and advocate in the field of financial services regulation, with extensive experience of market abuse and regulatory actions. Gabriel Fadipe has a wide-ranging practice encompassing most aspects of commercial, property, and ‘modern chancery’ litigation. He has a growing portfolio of fraud-related cases, and his work often has an international flavour. Jacqueline Reid is an established specialist in all areas of intellectual property and information technology law, with particular expertise in design law, confidential information and data protection. She chairs the Bar Council’s IT panel, which advises on the impact of IT developments on the legal profession and wider community. Christopher Hall’s practice covers the full spread of intellectual property. Benefiting from a scientific background, he has considerable expertise in the re-styled Intellectual Property Enterprise Court. In line with the Riverview Chambers model, each barrister will also continue to practise at their existing chambers. Adam Shutkever, the COO of Riverview Law, says: “The appointment of these four exceptional barristers demonstrates the range of commercial law advice our clients are demanding. We recognise the increasingly complex and varied environment facing businesses of all sizes and are able to bring the best legal minds to bear in guiding them through it.” Since launching in February 2012, Riverview Chambers has attracted some of the leading names from the Bar. It now has 64 members practising across all areas of business law.

Riverview Law adds five commercial lawyers to expanding team

Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, has recruited five additional solicitors to its legal team, amid plans to double in size over the next year. All five will be assigned to large corporate accounts, as a result of recent contract wins with a number of FTSE 100 businesses, and bring with them a wealth of experience:

  • Sarah East: Qualified in 2003 and has extensive in-house experience having most recently worked with Virgin Media as an Associate Counsel for business & technology.
  • Ed Chan: Joins from DLA Piper with over ten years’ experience. He specialises in corporate and business law, advising on start-ups and small businesses, through to high profile private equity transactions and international mergers and acquisitions.
  • Emma Walmsley: Joins from DWF where she qualified as a solicitor in 2010 and has experience in both commercial and finance litigation.
  • David Stalker: Qualified with Nabarro in 2006 before joining Hill Dickinson’s banking team in 2010. David has extensive advisory and transactional experience in commercial contracts, corporate and banking law often involving multiple jurisdictions.
  • Heather O’Donnell: Also joins from Hill Dickinson where she was an assistant solicitor in the commercial litigation team.

Steven Zdolyny, Head of Legal at Riverview Solicitors, says: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the calibre of candidates applying for roles with us. We offer an exciting alternative for legal professionals, particularly for those who want to focus on delivering high quality legal work for major customers and not having to worry about billable hours or being relied upon to win new work. One of our new starters summed it up perfectly by saying: “This role is everything I wanted and more. It is fresh, friendly and fun.” Riverview Law announced in August that it planned to double in size by recruiting 100 new employees including lawyers, business law executives, client managers, IT developers and data analysts. Those interested in a career with Riverview Law, can find out more about the opportunities available by emailing: recruitment@riverviewlaw.com

Riverview Law instructed to act for Julien Grout in connection with US and UK investigations into trading activities at JP Morgan

Julien Grout, the ex-JP Morgan trader, has instructed Richard Lissack QC of Riverview Law to lead the London team in connection with investigations into trading activities being carried out in the US and UK, working alongside a US team led by Edward Little of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, New York.

Riverview Law wins international award for its innovative law firm model

The achievement of Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, in successfully “creating a new model law firm” has been recognised by a coveted international award that recognises outstanding innovation in the delivery of legal services. Now in their ninth year, the InnovAction Awards, presented by the not-for-profit College of Law Practice Management in the US, seek to demonstrate to the legal community what can happen when passionate professionals, with big ideas and strong convictions, resolve to create effective change. The news comes just days after Riverview Law announced plans to double in size by creating up to 100 new posts as a result of a series of FTSE 100 client contract wins. Timothy Corcoran, chair of the awards committee, said: “The winning entries exemplify not only innovation, but the practical necessity for bold ideas to benefit multiple stakeholders. This year’s winners reflect an admirable clients-first approach.” Riverview Law was one of just three winners, and the only one from outside the US. This latest win represents the third major award for Riverview Law in the last ten months and follows the Managing Partners’ Forum Best Emerging Firm award 2013 and recognition as a Standout Legal Industry Pioneer at the FT Innovative Lawyer Awards 2012. Adam Shutkever, the COO of Riverview Law, says: “We are very proud to receive this prestigious international award and for recognition of our clients-first approach. We have always maintained that the real winners from the changes occurring in the legal market are customers. For too long the law has been delivered for the benefit of the lawyers – we are putting the customers first and the benefits for all are clear to see.” Praising Riverview Law for “creating a new model law firm” from the ground up, the judges acknowledged that Riverview Law’s model draws on principles more typically taught in business schools than in law schools, providing a “streamlined fixed-fee business model” based on processes designed around their customers’ needs. Thomas Clay, one of the awards judges, added: “Future survival of a vital and contributing legal profession now depends on the innovative, unstuffy thinking of a few individuals and organizations around the world. It is the mission of the College of Law Practice Management to shine a spotlight on extraordinary thinking and impressive implementation to illustrate what can be accomplished when firms dare to take a risk.” Former Clifford Chance managing partner Tony Williams, now head of UK- based consultants Jomati, was also on the judging panel. The awards will be presented on 4 October at the 2013 Futures Conference, held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the College of Law Practice Management in Chicago.

Riverview Law to recruit 100 staff

Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, is to double in size by creating up to 100 new posts over the next year, primarily in the North-West. The appointments are a result of recent contract wins with a number of FTSE 100 businesses. The majority of the new roles in Riverview Law and Riverview Solicitors, which include lawyers, business law executives, client managers, IT developers and data analysts, will be based in their Bromborough offices. A number of recruitment days in Wirral are planned during September and October and it is hoped that at least 25 new recruits will be appointed by the end of this year. Riverview Law burst onto the legal services market in February 2012 when it launched its fixed price legal services to organisations of all sizes. These services range from multi-year outsourced contracts for large organisations, through to barrister-led litigation for businesses of all sizes and annual contracts for SMEs. Karl Chapman, CEO of Riverview Law, says: “For far too long law firms have been protected by myth and regulation. Customers are no longer prepared to put up with an outdated hourly charging model and, rightly, are demanding more value from their lawyers. “Our exponential growth rates show that customers are voting with their wallets. The direction of travel for the legal market, and Riverview Law, is very clear and is the reason we’re keen to recruit so many people. “At one of our recent team briefing sessions I asked our team to shout out the words they’d use to describe Riverview to a potential recruit. Their suggestions included ‘customer first’, ‘different’, ‘equality’, ‘fun’, ‘friendly’, ‘honest’, ‘liberating’, ‘professional’ and ‘responsible’. To these I would add ‘mad’ … it helps to be just a little bit mad!” Those interested in a career with Riverview Law, can find out more about the opportunities available by emailing: recruitment@riverviewlaw.com

Riverview Law adds international commercial duo

Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, has added a further two international commercial barristers to its team. William Godwin of 3 Hare Court and Dirk van Heck of 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square both join Riverview Chambers. Dirk van Heck has a broad business law practice, encompassing commercial, chancery, property and employment with specific international experience in offshore asset-tracing, fraud, insolvency and shareholder disputes. He has previously worked in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) for leading offshore law firm Maples & Calder as both a solicitor and barrister. As a result he brings considerable experience in BVI company and insolvency law. He says: “Riverview Law has a sound and progressive business model that appeals to clients and so gives me a strong platform to expand further the business’s international aspirations, particularly in offshore work, given my BVI experience.” William Godwin is a highly experienced commercial litigator, specialising in multi-party international litigation and arbitration, with particular experience of the Middle East and South-East Asia. He has also worked with major US practice Debevoise & Plimpton as international counsel in the firm’s London office. William’s practice covers general commercial, construction, banking, insurance, professional indemnity and other business disputes. He says: “I’ve been very impressed with the forward-looking approach to legal services adopted by Riverview Law and by what they have achieved in a short period of time. I think my commercial international and cross-border experience will complement the existing team well.” In line with the Riverview Chambers model, the two will also continue to practise at 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square and 3 Hare Court respectively. Adam Shutkever, the COO of Riverview Law, says: “We’re delighted to welcome another two high- quality barristers to Riverview Chambers. Their international experience will be particularly useful given the increasing amount of international and cross-border instructions Riverview Law is receiving.”

Riverview Law warns businesses not to follow Apple’s lead with Terms and Conditions

Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, has issued a warning to businesses about making sure they read and understand the terms and conditions of contracts they are signing. The warning comes after it emerged that even multi-national companies like Apple don’t read the small print. They recently admitted not even picking up the 25 page terms and conditions given to them by FBI-NSA agents working on the Prism surveillance programme. Natasha Maddock, a solicitor with Riverview Solicitors, says reading every part of a contract can save a lot of problems later on: “Standard terms and conditions are often one-sided and by signing them you could commit to something that you’re not able to deliver. Reading through and understanding what is expected of you, before you sign a contract, can help you not only negotiate some of the points but it could also allow you to add some terms and conditions of your own.” Natasha has put together five top tips for dealing with terms and conditions: Get it in writing: Business agreements can often be made informally. If this does happen then it’s difficult to know when the contract was formed and what the terms of the contract are. Get the deal clearly set out in writing as soon as possible. Read and understand: Read the terms and conditions fully, including any supporting documents, and understand what it is they mean. It is important that you understand what is expected of you and the other party. Be mindful too that you don’t also commit to something that your sub-contractors cannot deliver. If you’re unsure ask for legal advice to ensure your best interests are also considered. Negotiate: If there is anything in the small print you’re not happy with, say so. It might be that the ‘standard’ terms and conditions given to you are not fit for purpose so highlight this and discuss how you can come to some agreement. If negotiating is not possible, but the contract is too important to pass up, then carry out a risk assessment to identify areas of concern and make sure you prepare for any knock on effects that might occur. Keep it confidential: If while negotiating you need to disclose confidential business information or ideas, then get both parties to sign a confidentiality (non-disclosure) agreement to ensure your confidential information remains secure.

Small businesses ‘let down’ by legal industry should fight back

New research shows failure to deal with legal issues costs in excess of £100bn every year Authoritative new research published this week shows that small businesses are being let down by legal services providers and need to fight back, according to Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business. The benchmarking survey of nearly 10,000 small businesses by the Legal Services Board (LSB) – the largest study of legal need ever conducted among this group – finds that:

  • Over the previous year, 38% of small business experienced a ‘significant’ legal problem; nearly half of these problems resulted in a negative financial impact on the business, with the average cost of each problem put at £6,700. Scaled up across the UK, this means a cost to business of £100bn.
  • Many businesses handled legal problems alone and only 13% agreed that lawyers provide a cost effective means to resolve legal issues.
  • Legal problems caused health issues for one or more people working in a fifth of small businesses.
  • Having a legal retainer was strongly linked with dealing with everyday problems.

The LSB says it plans to use the research to challenge legal regulators to help small businesses and Riverview Law has vowed to support the LSB in its efforts. Katy Robson, product manager for the SME services offered by Riverview Law, says: “Small businesses know they’re running a risk by doing it themselves but don’t pick up the phone to a lawyer because they’re worried about the cost. Yet the LSB research shows that this can often be a more costly way for them to operate. “What does this say about the way legal advice is currently provided? It simply isn’t good enough. I would encourage small businesses to demand more from their legal services providers. For too long solicitors’ firms have done business the way that suits them, rather than their customers. In the 21st century, that cannot continue.” Riverview Law has issued its own guidance to small businesses about how to approach their future legal requirements. It advises them to:

  • Get as much as you can for free: The ‘ticking clock’ is one of the biggest gripes businesses have with lawyers, having to pay for every piece of contact. You should be paying for bespoke legal advice, not a document a lawyer just pulls out of a drawer. Fortunately, there
  • is a lot of free information out there, look for lawyers that provide free library access to a range of documents and will talk to you for free.
  • Negotiate hard: Start your conversation with any firm by saying you require price certainty. If they won’t agree, walk away, there are plenty of lawyers out there who will.
  • Prevent not cure. Don’t wait for the worst to happen; take a pro-active approach to your legal affairs by reviewing the areas of your business affected by legislation and getting a legal health check or document review which can reduce/remove future issues. The LSB research found that having a legal retainer was strongly linked with problems occurring more frequently but having a lower financial impact and indicated the value of legal services provided in this way.

Riverview Law works with thousands of SMEs providing free advice via its online legal library and a free call with one of its lawyers so that SMEs can test the service. Additionally it provides fixed price annual contracts covering all legal requirements SMEs typically have. It also offers fixed price quotes for ad-hoc legal requirements if businesses do not want an annual contract. Customer case studies can be reviewed here.

Riverview Law launches licensing practice with eight leading lawyers

Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, has launched a licensing practice with eight of the UK’s leading licensing barristers. Gerald Gouriet QC, Kevin de Haan QC, David Matthias QC, James Rankin, Jeremy Phillips, Gary Grant, Juan Lopez and Leo Charalambides all of Francis Taylor Building, will team up with Riverview Chambers in a move that will significantly boost Riverview Law’s offering to large corporates in the retail, hospitality and entertainment sectors. In line with the Riverview Chambers model, all eight will also continue to practise at Francis Taylor Building. The Riverview Law licensing team offers barristers with expertise at all levels of call. Their experience ranges from routine matters such as alcohol licensing, online and offline gaming and entertainment venue licensing through to major contested hearings for the UK’s leading venues. Gerald Gouriet QC says: “We’ve all been impressed with the way in which Riverview Law has successfully created a structure to take advantage of the changes taking place in the legal services market. We are excited about the prospect of being part of the Riverview team.” Adam Shutkever, the COO of Riverview Law, says: “The arrival of eight barristers of such prominence in this specialist field is a significant development for our large corporate customers. “The combination of their market-leading expertise and Riverview Law’s structure, technology platform and efficient workflow management means we can offer a highly efficient and cost- effective proposition across the spectrum of licensing work, from complex contentious work through to regular recurring legal activity. “Our customer-focused approach to legal services has struck a chord not only with large organisations but also with senior members of the profession, who have chosen to join Riverview Chambers.” Since launching a year ago, Riverview Law has attracted some of the leading names from the Bar. It now has 57 members practising across all areas of business law.

Riverview Law welcomes Mark Rainsford QC

Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, has added internationally renowned corporate crime barrister Mark Rainsford QC of 33 Chancery Lane to its team.   A former head of litigation at niche City firm Bivonas, Mark brings a wide range of experience in corporate crime, civil and criminal fraud, proceeds of crime and international asset recovery work. He is regularly instructed by multi-national businesses, large international law firms, business advisory firms, regulators and high net-worth individuals. He took silk in 2006. In line with the Riverview Chambers model, Mark Rainsford will also continue to practise at 33 Chancery Lane. Mark Rainsford QC says: “Riverview Law has demonstrated an innovative approach to the provision of legal services that has struck a chord with senior general counsel. The team it has assembled and the range of work it is already attracting shows what a serious player Riverview has already become. I look forward to working with a range of clients across the full spectrum of corporate regulatory and compliance issues.” Adam Shutkever, the COO of Riverview Law, says: “We’re delighted that another QC of the highest calibre is joining Riverview Chambers. Mark’s forward-thinking and commercial approach perfectly mirrors that of our own and further enhances our services to large corporates in regulatory and compliance work.” Since launching just over a year ago, Riverview Chambers has attracted some of the leading names from the Bar. It now has 58 members practising across all areas of business law.

Riverview Law scoops award for best emerging firm

Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, has won the 2013 Managing Partners’ Forum award for best emerging firm. The award recognises “…the organisation whose willingness to blaze their own trail is bringing about disruptive innovation and market change.” The impressive shortlist of firms were: Gunnercooke, Irwin Mitchell, Law:Public, L&E Global, Obelisk, Premier Property Lawyers, Quindell, Slater & Gordon, Stobart Barristers and The Co-operative Legal Services. It is just over a year since Riverview Law launched, committed to changing the way businesses use, measure and buy legal services by bringing transparency and certainty through fixed price annual and multi-year contracts. This award follows earlier recognition from the Financial Times when it was selected as ‘Standout’ by the judging panel at the Innovative Lawyers Awards 2012 in the Legal Industry Pioneers category. Riverview Law Chief Executive, Karl Chapman, says: “It is immensely satisfying to receive another award in recognition of our work. However, we have always maintained that the real winners from the changes occurring in the legal market are customers. Our focus remains on ensuring that businesses of all sizes have access to cost-effective, fixed fee, legal advice.”

New Year, new legislation: what businesses need to know in 2013

At least thirteen pieces of new legislation, or changes to existing legislation, will impact British businesses in 2013, but there is an increased focus on simplicity and cost-savings, says Riverview Law, the fixed-price legal services business. To help businesses prepare for the upcoming changes, Riverview Law have provided a brief overview of what the planned changes will mean: January 2013: ‘One-in, Two-out’ rule

  • Every new regulation that imposes a financial burden on firms must be offset by reductions in red tape that will save double those costs. The new ‘One-in, Two-out’ rule will be imposed across every Whitehall department, and will apply to all domestic regulation affecting businesses and voluntary organisations. It will replace the ‘One-in, One-out’ rule, which required the costs of every new regulation to be matched by savings of an equivalent amount.

February 2013: Amount of a week’s pay and statutory guarantee pay increased

  • The maximum amount of a week’s pay to be used when calculating statutory redundancy payments and basic awards of compensation for unfair dismissal will be increased to £450 per week. The limit on the amount of statutory guarantee pay payable to an employee in respect of any day will increase to £24.20. Employers, who are planning for redundancies in 2013, will need to take account of the new figure when calculating statutory redundancy payments for any employee whose termination date is on or after 1 February.
  • March 2013: Increase in parental leave
  • Unpaid parental leave will be increased from 13 weeks to 18 weeks.

March 2013: DBS launches online update service

  • The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) will launch an online update service for checks on an applicant’s criminal record and suitability to work in regulated activity with vulnerable groups, including children. There will be a small fee for this service but it does mean that it will no longer be necessary to apply for a new check each time an individual starts a new job or activity. DBS checks will also now be portable (transferable) between jobs and activities, streamlining the recruitment process.
  • Date to be decided (needs to be implemented by 16 March 2013): Changes to the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (interest) Act 1998
  • Aimed at combating late payment in commercial transactions, this Directive will require public authorities to pay invoices for goods and services within 30 days as a general rule, which may be extended to 60 days in some cases. Businesses generally will be required to pay invoices within 30 days, although they may agree to extend the payment period to 60 days. Any attempt to extend the payment period beyond 60 days will only be valid if it isn’t considered “grossly unfair” to the supplier. Defaulting purchasers will be required to pay interest at a rate of at least 8% above the Bank of England base rate, and compensation costs of not less than EUR40.

April 2013: Changes to registration regime for company changes

  • The legislation will implement a single UK-wide scheme that applies to all companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs), and will therefore be of relevance to all company directors, company secretaries, and partners of LLPs. It is intended that the new regime will become law on 6 April 2013 and will streamline the registration process.

April 2013: Changes to statutory maternity, adoption and paternity pay

  • Effective from 7 April 2013, the standard rate of Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay and Statutory Paternity Pay will rise from £135.45 to £136.78 per week.

April 2013: Changes to the safety inspection process

  • The government intends to introduce binding new rules on both the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and on local authorities that will exempt hundreds of thousands of businesses from burdensome, regular health and safety inspections. In future, businesses will only face health and safety inspections if they are operating in higher risk areas such as construction, or if they have an incident or a track record of poor performance.

April 2013: Changes to the current Reporting of Injuries, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR ’95) process

  • The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently consulted on proposals to simplify and clarify how businesses comply with the requirements under the RIDDOR ’95, to make it easier to understand and comply with. These changes will make it easier for businesses and other users to understand what they need to do to comply with health and safety law.

April 2013: Employee-shareholder contract introduced

  • Employers will be able to offer a new type of employment contract, under which an employee will give up some of their employment rights in exchange for between £2,000 and £50,000 shares in their employer’s company that are exempt from capital gains tax. The new contract, referred to as an “employee-shareholder” contract, will be optional for existing employees, but employers will be able to offer this type of contract to new starters.

Summer 2013: Fees for bringing employment tribunal claims introduced

  • Employees who bring a claim before an employment tribunal will be required to pay a fee. For a level 1 claim (such as unlawful deductions from wages, failure to pay statutory redundancy pay or statutory holiday pay) there will be a £160 issue fee and a £230 hearing fee. For a level 2 claim (such as unfair dismissal or discrimination), there will be a £250 issue fee and a £950 hearing fee. Currently, there is no charge for bringing an employment tribunal claim. The Government’s stated aim for introducing a fee scale is to reduce the cost to the taxpayer of running the tribunal system.

Summer 2013: Young people required to continue in education or training

  • From summer 2013, young people will be required to continue in education or training until at least the end of the academic year in which they turn 17.

Date to be decided (likely to be by end of 2013): Consumer Rights Directive

  • The EU Council has approved the Consumer Rights Directive, which aims to simplify the existing rules on consumer protection for distance contracts and contracts negotiated away from business premises, and to promote a more competitive and consumer-friendly internal market. The Directive has to be implemented into UK law by the end of 2013.

Allan Archer at Riverview Law says: “Taking a pre-emptive approach to dealing with legal matters always delivers the best results. Businesses would be wise to start thinking about how these impending changes will impact on them now and prepare to take whatever action is needed. It is much better to be prepared than deal with something when it is too late.” More detailed information about the legislative changes can be found by registering for free on the Riverview Law website: www.riverviewlaw.com.

Matthew Banks joins Riverview Law

Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, has appointed Matthew Banks as its Director of Legal Advisory Outsourcing. Matthew will lead Riverview’s fast-growing legal advisory outsourcing business. Matthew has an unrivalled pedigree in innovative legal outsourcing. Having spent 11 years as a commercial property lawyer with Linklaters and Eversheds, he moved to Mumbai in 2005 to create one of the very first legal outsourcing businesses. He then joined Integreon Managed Solutions to set up its legal outsourcing business. Over five years he led the growth of Integreon’s legal outsourcing business to 600 lawyers across eight locations in the US, UK, India and the Philippines serving many of the world’s leading corporations. Having worked in the UK, Mumbai and latterly New York, Matthew will be based in London. He will work with and report to Riverview Law’s Chief Executive Officer, Karl Chapman. The Riverview Law Legal Advisory Outsourcing model enables large organisations to outsource appropriate parts of their in-house legal function at a fixed price. Operationally and financially it provides a compelling alternative to current panel arrangements, as well as the current trend towards increasing the size of the in-house function. Matthew says: “My experience has been that General Counsel are crying out for innovation from their legal services providers to handle both day to day and more complex matters. There are lots of players in the market who make noise about driving beneficial change in legal services but very few are actually delivering it. That’s why I am excited to join Riverview Law. Their service delivery model – combining people, technology, and process with comprehensive management reporting and effective customer experiences – demonstrates they are serious about changing the way businesses use, measure and buy a wide range of legal services.” Karl Chapman says: “We’re thrilled that Matthew is joining us. He is a true pioneer in delivering innovative legal services for large corporations across the globe, and is the ideal person to lead our efforts in this area. We believe that Legal Advisory Outsourcing is the next evolution in the legal services market and will eventually diminish the role and use of panels. It offers the certainty of price, service standards and high quality, allied to a single strong relationship, that general counsel now need more than ever.”

Riverview Law appoints Paul Bird as Finance Director

Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, has appointed Paul Bird as Finance Director (FD). Paul joins from Pearson Education. Previously he was FD and company secretary at Education Development International (EDI) and led the sale of EDI to Pearson in June 2011. During his 23-year career, Paul has developed a strong track record in high growth, organic and acquisition-led businesses. Prior to EDI, Paul held similar roles for an international AIM-quoted software business and also spent six years at Echo Managed Services – part of FTSE 250 South Staffs plc – as Finance and Commercial Director. Paul, who takes up his post on 6th August, will report into Riverview Law’s COO Adam Shutkever and divide his time between Riverview’s London and Wirral bases. Adam Shutkever, the COO of Riverview Law, says: “Paul has exactly the kind of profile we need as we look to accelerate our growth. From the very first meeting Paul understood our fixed-price business model and the significant legal services market opportunity that exists. His experience in tendering for and handling large contracts will be extremely valuable.” Paul Bird says: “You can’t fail to have noticed Riverview Law since its launch in February. I have no doubt that it will change the way businesses use, buy and measure legal services – it has a very real and compelling proposition. Riverview Law has got the right approach and infrastructure and has attracted the right people so it was definitely something I wanted to be part of.”

Riverview Law to host Mitch Kowalski on England visit

Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services businesses, is hosting Mitch Kowalski, lawyer, speaker, innovative thinker and author of the provocative, American Bar Association best seller: Avoiding Extinction: Reimagining Legal Services for the 21st Century, on a visit to England in October. The visit will commence on Tuesday 9th October in London and last all of that week. His schedule will be announced in August and will include the UK launch of his critically acclaimed book, a public lecture and a series of invitation-only private events. Mitch Kowalski says: ““The innovations occurring in the UK are fascinating and it won’t be long before they find their way to other jurisdictions; I’m most grateful to Riverview Law for this opportunity. I’m also really looking forward to meeting other market commentators and players, so I can gain an even greater understanding of the UK legal scene – while also sharing and exploring ideas.” Karl Chapman, Chief Executive of Riverview Law, says: “Mitch has some key messages about trends in the market generally and, specifically, for organisations about how they select legal partners, conduct Requests for Proposals, and drive the behaviours they want from legal businesses. We were keen to bring Mitch to the UK so he could share his thinking with a wider audience.”

Riverview Law adds to divorce team

Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, has added five more members, including two QCs, to its divorce and family team. Christopher Pocock QC of 1 King’s Bench Walk joins Riverview Chambers. He is joined by Jonathan Walker-Kane of Broadway House Chambers in Leeds, Byron James of 14 Gray’s Inn Square and Zoe Lane-Smith of Guildford Chambers. Leslie Samuels QC, already a member of the employment team at Riverview Chambers, also joins the divorce and family team. Christopher Pocock specialises in divorce, matrimonial finance and property, financial disputes between unmarried couples, and inheritance and family provision. He achieved silk in 2009. Leeds-based Jonathan Walker-Kane was called to the Bar in 1994 and practises across all areas of family law. Byron James is direct access trained and brings a wealth of experience in matrimonial finance, financial claims in respect of children and international and domestic children issues, amongst other matters. Zoe Lane-Smith is highly experienced in matrimonial finance, co-habitation disputes, residence/contract disputes, and in representing parents, guardians and local authorities in care proceedings. Chris Baylis, CEO of Riverview Chambers and head of the divorce and family team, says: “These appointments undoubtedly demonstrate our credentials in divorce and family law. I expect us to quickly establish ourselves as one of the leading sets in this area. The divorce and family team at Riverview Law already has some of the UK’s leading divorce and family lawyers, including Deborah Bangay QC, Katharine Davidson QC and Nicola Saxton. The team recently launched a groundbreaking divorce service for high net-worth couples that combines fixed- price packages with direct access to the country’s leading divorce lawyers. Adam Shutkever, Chief Operating Officer at Riverview Law, says: “We’ve already seen an incredible interest in our services, particularly since we launched our fixed-priced divorce packages. It’s clear that our transparent approach to legal services has struck a chord with the profession and customers alike. We’re very proud to welcome lawyers of such calibre to our expanding Riverview Law team.”

Riverview Law opens US office

Riverview Law, the fixed priced legal services business, has opened its first international office in New York, paving the way for international businesses and law firms to have better access to the English legal system. The US office will offer the same transparent, fixed price service to international clients across all areas of English business law that Riverview Law has pioneered in the UK. Adam Shutkever, Chief Operating Officer at Riverview Law, says: “The volume of cross-border activity, along with the impact of extraterritorial legislation such as the Bribery Act and Enterprise Act, means that many international corporations and professionals have a regular need for advice and representation in the English system, yet are often frustrated by the inefficiency of having to appoint, separately, both solicitors and barristers. “At Riverview Law we have removed these inefficiencies. Our teams are led by world-class barristers, with full support from experienced solicitors. At the heart of our offer is making sure that the client receives the right support, from the right team, at the right time and all with complete price certainty.” Legal advice to Riverview Law clients is delivered by Riverview Solicitors and Riverview Chambers and has some of the UK’s leading lawyers, including 14 QCs. Many of the Riverview Law team have long-standing relationships with US clients: Richard Lissack QC, Head of the Riverview Law International Team, is admitted to the Bar of New York as an FLC, and as Counsel is currently instructed as the first ever US/UK jointly appointed monitor in respect of Innospec. While Andrew Spink QC, who is also Chairman of the North American Committee of the Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR), recently acted in two seminal cases arising out of the developing UK Pensions Regulator Financial Support Direction (FSD) “long arm” jurisdiction, including for the American holding company of Lehman Brothers (LBHI) and a number of its subsidiaries. The office will be headed by Andy Daws, who as Vice-President North America for Riverview Law, will be a key point of contact for US clients and be responsible for developing and managing relationships with US-based law firms and corporations. Andy joined Riverview Law from AdviserPlus Business Solutions, where he spent five years as Client Director. Previously he worked in the Legal and Regulatory division of Thomson Reuters. He says: “The interest we have received since arriving in America has been incredible. There is a real appetite to eliminate the duplication of effort and open-ended nature of costs often associated with the English legal system, which is something we’re able to do without compromising on quality. In the current economic climate, our proposition represents a rare win-win for General Counsel and law firms here who are seeking assurance on both cost and quality.”

Steve Jones joins Riverview Law

Riverview Law, the fixed priced legal services business, has appointed Steve Jones from Argent Chambers as Business Development Manager. Steve will report into Riverview Law Operations Director, Jeremy Hopkins. During his career, Steve has clerked at 2 Paper Buildings and 8 King’s Bench Walk, before joining Argent Chambers in 2010 where he was instrumental in pioneering its direct access model. Steve says: “As soon as I heard about Riverview Law I was interested – they champion all the things I believe in. I completely disagree with the notion that litigation can’t be carried out on a fixed fee basis. I’ve always believed in finding new ways to deliver legal services.” Richard Lissack QC, Head of the Business Team at Riverview Chambers, says: “Following on from Jeremy Hopkins’ recent appointment, this is another strong sign of Riverview’s intention to attract the very best talent throughout the entire business. I’m sure Steve will be a great asset to the Riverview business as it continues to grow.” Adam Shutkever, Chief Operating Officer at Riverview Law says: “Having top quality operational and commercial skills is just as important to us as having first class lawyers and at Riverview we’re attracting both. We’ve been overwhelmed by the interest shown in Riverview Law, both from the profession and from business and we’re delighted to have someone with Steve’s relevant experience on board.” Riverview Law recently launched a groundbreaking divorce service for high net-worth couples that combines fixed-price packages with direct access to the country’s leading divorce barristers and will shortly be launching a range of fixed priced packages for businesses.

Fixed-fee packages slash the cost of divorce for wealthy couples

UK’s leading divorce lawyers guarantee their fees for divorcing couples with assets in excess of £500,000 Riverview Law, the fixed-price legal services business, has today launched a groundbreaking divorce service for high net-worth couples that combines fixed-price packages with direct access to the country’s leading divorce barristers. It is the first time a UK legal business has published and guaranteed the cost of divorce for couples with assets worth in excess of £500,000. The approach gives much-needed certainty and peace of mind for divorcing couples. It ensures that both sides can afford access to the best lawyers so that the costs of divorce do not eat up a couple’s assets. By appointing a barrister-led team to conduct the case from the outset, clients reduce any duplication of effort and cost involved with the traditional model and have direct access to barristers who operate at the sharp end of divorce disputes. Riverview Law provides access to some of the most well-known divorce lawyers in the country, including Deborah Bangay QC, who has previously acted for Elena Golubovich in her high-profile divorce from a Russian financier, and Karen Parlour, ex-wife of former footballer Ray Parlour; Katharine Davidson QC, who acted for city broker Richard Grey in successfully challenging his alimony payments because his ex-wife was co-habiting with another man; and Nicola Saxton, who acted as the junior barrister for millionaire businessman Eric Keith Richardson in taking his son to court to win new terms for a multi-million pound divorce settlement with his by then deceased wife. To minimise costs as a divorce progresses and to provide certainty and transparency to clients, the service is offered in four stages, with prices depending on whether a QC or junior barrister is instructed. The fixed fee for the initial conference – where the merits of the case are examined and a strategy developed – starts at £1,000 for a junior barrister. The first court appointment to decide how the case will proceed starts at £5,000. The financial dispute resolution hearing starts at £17,500. A bespoke fixed fee will then be quoted if the case goes to a full-blown trial. Pre-divorce advice is also offered, such as a pre-nuptial or mid-nuptial agreement, and starts at £2,500. Adam Shutkever, COO of Riverview Law, says: “We recognise that divorce is as much an emotional process as a financial one, and we want to bring reasonableness and fairness to all parties. “Lawyers tell clients that it is impossible to know the cost of divorce, but we believe it can be done with complete transparency and predictability. Fixed fees are at the core of the Riverview Law ethos and by building our model from the client’s perspective, rather than the lawyer’s, we can deliver a quality service at an upfront price.” Chris Baylis, CEO of Riverview Chambers and head of the divorce team, adds: “By forming teams led by top divorce barristers, Riverview Law allows clients to go straight to the source. We adopt a pragmatic and commercial approach to each case and form the best team, including solicitors where appropriate, to match our clients’ requirements. “We’ve already received an incredible response for this service and expect to bring more of the UK’s top divorce barristers into our team over the coming weeks.”

Jeremy Hopkins joins Riverview Law

Riverview Law, the fixed priced legal services business, has appointed Jeremy Hopkins of 3 Verulam Buildings as Director of Operations. Currently practice manager at 3 Verulam Buildings, the Chambers of Ali Malek QC, Jeremy has been working in the legal sector for over 20 years in senior practice management roles for a number of sets, including XXIV Old Buildings, St John’s Chambers and 12 King’s Bench Walk. During this time Jeremy has also established a reputation as an expert legal commentator through Twitter and his acclaimed Clerkingwell blog. Jeremy says: “Riverview Law is unashamedly forward thinking, which struck a chord with me. We share the same passions about the law and customer service and I believe I can play a big part in the strategy Riverview Law is pursuing. I’ve been impressed by their professionalism and their detailed plans.” Jeremy will be responsible for the smooth day-to-day running of Riverview Chambers, including workflow and quality control processes, plus pricing strategies. He will use his considerable contacts within both the profession and the corporate world to help drive the development of the business. Richard Lissack QC, Head of the Business Team at Riverview Chambers, says: “This is a first-rate appointment. Jeremy is highly capable and very well regarded in the profession and this is a strong sign of Riverview’s intention to attract the very best talent throughout the entire business. I’m looking forward immensely to working with him.” This is the first in a series of appointments Riverview Law will make over the coming months. Adam Shutkever, Chief Operating Officer at Riverview Law says: “We’ve already recruited a first class team of lawyers and with Jeremy we are adding top quality operational and commercial skills. We’re delighted Jeremy is on board and we look forward to strengthening our team further.” Riverview Law provides fixed priced access to a high-quality team of lawyers, including some of the UK’s leading QCs.

Riverview Law launch targets businesses with fixed price access to legal advice as legal services revolution accelerates

  • Supported by business leaders, Riverview Law will change the way businesses buy and use legal services
  • Fixed fees, annual contracts, flexible monthly payments and a money-back guarantee

Supported by some of the UK’s leading lawyers Riverview Law, which is a trading name of LawVest Limited, blows the cobwebs off the traditional client/lawyer relationship by banishing the traditional ‘ticking clock’ hourly charging model typically favoured by law firms. Riverview Law offers businesses an unprecedented mix of fixed fees, unlimited access to legal advice, annual contracts, flexible monthly payments and is backed by a no quibble refund policy. The launch has received high-profile support from business leaders. Ajaz Ahmed, founder of Freeserve, says: “Lawyers talk about fixed priced law but they only ever deliver expensive fixed prices. They don’t understand that businesses want affordable law and affordable fixed pricing is the way the market is heading. Finally, Riverview Law is bringing some good news for British businesses.” Professor Stephen Mayson, Director of think tank the Legal Services Institute, adds: “For too long law firms have had their heads in the sand about the changes being driven by the Legal Services Act. With the arrival of Co-operative Legal Services into the consumer market, many firms falsely believe that their work with businesses isn’t under threat, but they’re wrong. Businesses should soon start to benefit from the revolution taking place in the legal services market.” To introduce companies to the service, Riverview Law also provides organisations with free unlimited access to its online Legal Library containing hundreds of documents, forms, records, contracts and other templates, plus plain English information and guides. Additionally, businesses can test the quality of the legal team by making a complimentary advice call to one of the Riverview lawyers. Adam Shutkever, Chief Operating Officer of Riverview Law, says: “Businesses know they’re running a risk by doing it themselves but don’t pick up the phone to a lawyer because they’re worried about the cost. What does this say about the way legal advice is currently provided? That’s why we, with our focus on what the customer wants, set up Riverview Law and why all our services are fixed price, quoted in advance. When businesses call or see our lawyers they don’t have to worry about the cost, it’s all in the fixed price.