Corrs partners embrace concept of new Orbit business

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Partners at Corrs Chambers Westgarth are said to be embracing the firm’s new Orbit business, with the early market response ‘overwhelmingly positive’.
Corrs broke ranks with other large local competitors last year by becoming the first to launch a legal resourcing business – Orbit – that will provide temporary project-based legal resourcing for in-house teams from early 2015.
Corrs Chambers Westgarth chief operating officer Jon Kenton told Australasian Lawyer client interest in Orbit had been “even greater than expected”.
“After launching Orbit, our initial focus was on building our pool of talented lawyers,” Kenton said.
“However, since Orbit’s launch we’ve had a large number of clients call us wanting to know about the service and in some cases requesting an Orbit lawyer.”
Kenton said some of the organisations that had already approached Corrs to ask about the new business offering were not existing Corrs clients.
Unexpected early demand from clients has been matched with an “enthusiastic” response from potential candidates, Kenton said.
“We are building the Orbit team faster than we originally planned,” he said.
The firm had initially targeted a headcount of between 30 and 40 lawyers within a period of 6 months, all engaged as independent short-term contractors.
“It’s been especially pleasing to see the high calibre of people who are interested in joining Orbit. Many of the lawyers contacting us have held senior positions at top tier law firms and have 8 years plus experience,” he said.
Corrs partners are also said to be embracing the new business model, despite claims that it may be difficult for partners to recommend the service.
“Our partners have embraced the Orbit concept. Many of our partners are already talking to their clients about Orbit,” Kenton said.
“Whether you are a Corrs partner or an external client, Orbit offers high calibre, temporary legal resources who can instantly add value. Our partners have welcomed the service and we have already made an Orbit placement within Corrs.”
Kenton said embracing change was part of the firm’s culture, and this would continue. “Some people in the market may have a perception that law firms can’t and don’t change. This is not the case at Corrs,” he said.
The initial feedback from clients on the launch is that Orbit is answering their need for flexibility in how they resource their legal teams, Kenton said.
“Orbit provides a no-fuss, quality solution for clients when they need temporary lawyers, whether it’s for resourcing a new project or to cover absences in their permanent team,” he said. “It has been designed specifically for clients as a way of helping them manage their changing workloads.”