Peerpoint’s Asia business head, Stephanie Szeto moved to Hong Kong from San Francisco Bay area in 2008. She has over 15 years’ experience in strategic business roles at top-tier international law firms. With ALSP’s becoming a popular legal services provider, especially during these times of Covid19, In-House Community caught up with her to ask…
…What is Peerpoint and what makes it different?
Peerpoint is Allen & Overy’s (A&O’s) global flexible resourcing business. We connect the best consultant lawyers in the market with world-leading organisations.
We’re a ‘lawyer-led’ business, which means we concentrate on the needs and aspirations of lawyers in their professional lives. We listen carefully to what lawyers are seeking, in terms of experiences, skills, working environments, flexibility and support.
Being part of the first magic circle law firm to offer a flexible legal resourcing solution, we bring A&O’s expertise and success in the legal sector to our clients’ interim needs. This means we have years of experience understanding the needs of our clients and the dynamics of successfully matching and integrating consultants into their teams. We value the multi-faceted relationships A&O has with its clients and through Peerpoint we support immediate resourcing needs, as well as the longer term dynamics of evolving and maturing legal functions.
Our clients often feedback that Peerpoint is the most consistent platform for consultants with qualified experience to perform at a high level. That rings true on many levels because our consultants offer more than just legal expertise; they bring sound judgement, business acumen, project management, stakeholder management, and other essential skills and qualities to successfully deliver the support needed, genuinely adding value.
What kind of support do Peerpoint consultants receive?
Each consultant has different needs depending on the stage they’re at in their career so our support is tailored depending on their experience, ambitions and goals, and what they want from a legal consulting career.
Additionally, for consultants the Peerpoint difference means working through a platform that understands what they do, knows the teams they’re working in, and having the backup and support of a world class private practice. They’re also keeping company with hundreds of Peerpoint consultants globally whose ambitions and experience represent the same standard of magic circle and top tier career practice as their own.
As a business, we’re committed to legal consulting as a long term career for ambitious lawyers who want to carve their paths differently and we provide learning, development and coaching support, as well as access to legal training seminars throughout a consultant’s tenure with us. While they’re on placement, our consultants have access to A&O lawyers and know-how, and the support of Peerpoint professionals who ensure the placements are going well throughout, and that they are connected to A&O.
How has the business been received in Asia?
The legal market in Asia is rapidly evolving, driven equally by the needs and priorities of lawyers and businesses. Peerpoint, as well as A&O’s wider Advanced Delivery & Solutions offerings, has been well received by lawyers and organisations looking for more options, flexibility and creative solutions. There are a number of ‘new law’ ventures, but not many who have the depth of legal sector insights combined with the innovative drive which A&O has to continually improve on the way it delivers legal services.
What are your plans in the region?
We’ll continue to offer high quality legal resourcing solutions that are flexible in duration, working pattern and fee structure. We’re growing our panel in line with market needs and ensuring our growth leverages opportunities from the market leading work A&O’s Advanced Delivery & Solutions businesses are doing, such as A&O Consulting, the Legal Technology Group and the Project Management Office.
We’re also working with more clients whose interim resourcing needs are increasingly variable, perhaps more ad hoc or short term. While we have always provided such support within A&O, we haven’t externally promoted past similar arrangements with clients. We have a menu of such arrangements as we expect more and more clients will be interested in using consultants strategically to cover interim needs.
Covid-19 has changed the way many of us work — will it affect demand for interim legal talent?
Covid-19 has amplified the pressure for in-house teams to become leaner and more cost-effective. Some of our clients have had to put in place headcount freezes, despite the fact that their teams were already working at or above capacity.
Managing peaks in workflows, covering vacancies and absences and taking on major projects with limited capacity, and in less than ideal working arrangements has become extremely challenging for many businesses, so interim legal talent remains in demand. However, the level of demand for different skillsets has been affected and this continues to vary from month to month.
Peerpoint has always sourced the best matched talent globally for clients’ needs. With the global requirements to work flexibility, mostly from home, there is now more openness amongst clients to consider consultants based in other countries, so that’s really positive.
To find out more, visit peerpoint.com or contact Stephanie Szeto