find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Corrs enters another dimension

Corrs enters another dimension

Corrs Chambers Westgarth has established an outsourcing arm known as Orbit.

The national firm has launched what it terms a “new legal resourcing business” to meet the temporary legal demands of clients, non-clients and even Corrs partners.

“Increasingly, our clients want access to high-calibre lawyers who can work with their teams on a flexible basis,” said John Tuck (pictured), head of the firm’s employment, workplace relations and safety team.

While Orbit will be a Corrs business unit, its staff will not be employed by Corrs. Rather, Orbit’s ranks will be made up of independent short-term contractors, with each lawyer an incorporated legal practice or sole practitioner.

Only lawyers with three or more years’ experience will be formally engaged by Orbit.

Corrs claims it is the first Australian firm to offer such a model.

International firms that have adopted similar models overseas include Allen & Overy’s ‘Peerpoint’ program, launched in November 2013; Freshfields’ ‘Continuum’ program, which uses alumni lawyers; and Eversheds’ ‘Agile’ program, created in 2011.

The Eversheds program offers lawyers on a temporary basis “for an urgent new project or regulatory change, to cover absence, or to bring in an expert to bolster the team”.

Since the launch of the Agile program, Eversheds has substantially reduced its headcount across the Asia-Pacific region.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly, both Tuck and chief operating officer Jon Kenton said that while they had looked at such overseas programs and spoken to overseas firms, the roll-out of the Orbit program does not signal a desire to make savings measures at the firm or to reduce the size of the full-time workforce.

“Not at all all,” said Kenton, it has been set up to meet existing client needs.”

When asked why Corrs cannot meet those client needs under its existing model and via more traditional methods, Kenton said the firm was responding to increasing demand for short-term and temporary placements in corporate Australia, with these needs best met via “a separate model”.

Kenton added this does not mean that existing secondment programs with client organisations are not successful.

However, he and Tuck said that in six months’ time, they would hope to have around 40 lawyers in placements via Orbit.

Clients who use lawyers from the Orbit program will pay fees on a placement, rather than a retainer, basis.

Tuck  said that while there can be no “cookie cutter approach” regarding what sort of lawyers might be attracted to the Orbit program,  it is expected Orbit will attract senior lawyers in the twilight of their career and lawyers who might be looking to return to the law on a flexible basis.

A handful of firms in Australia, such as AdventBalance, offer lawyers to clients on a secondment or project basis.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Corrs enters another dimension
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...