Clifford Chance saves legal arm of collapsed construction giant

A month after the collapse of Carillion, a large part of the company’s in-house law firm has been saved by a Magic Circle firm.

Clifford Chance has confirmed that it has acquired Carillion Advice Services (CAS), the managed legal services arm of the facilities management and construction services giant.

Carillion established CAS in 2011 in Newcastle in the UK and became a major support group of the company’s in-house law firm. It was a team inherited from the acquisition of Eaga. Later on, it started providing services to third parties.

The team, which consists of 60 paralegals in Newcastle and 10 in Birmingham, has since provided more than 30,000 hours of support to the in-house team, saving Carillion about 15% of outside legal spend in 2016, the Law Society Gazette said.

Lucy Nixon will continue to lead the CAS team, which is intended to be fully integrated into Clifford Chance. The team, which will still be based in Newcastle, will report to Michael Bates, managing partner, and Oliver Campbell, global head of client services.

Bates said that by working with CAS, the firm enhances its ability to provide “extremely cost-effective, efficient, and high-quality” services on low complexity legal tasks.

“To date, we have delivered this work either through our legal support centre in India, or through working with other third parties including legal outsourcers,” he said. “The addition of the team in Newcastle, with their well-recognised expertise in unbundling, developing processes and applying the latest in legal tech, will enable us to provide clients with another option from within the firm.”