An Australasian NewLaw firm has brought in four new senior lawyers as it takes on traditional law firms.
Daniel Gleeson, Sarah Galbally, Ken Pang, and Louise Unger have joined lexvoco, where they’ve been tasked to lead their own teams.
“All come with deep industry and technical expertise but unlike most traditional law firm lawyers, they bring with them commercial acumen from first-hand experience working in-house in the sectors they specialise in,” lexvoco said.
Gleeson, who has more than 18 years’ experience as a technology and commercial lawyer, has been named principal and lexvoco’s head of ICT. He most recently operated his own legal consulting business in London. He was also previously with Middletons, DLA Piper, Woolworths, Eversheds, and Google.
Galbally has been named managing counsel and head of commercial after moving from KHQ Legal. She is a specialist in consumer, media, sport, IP, and celebrity law. She brings to the firm in-house experience from St Kilda Football Club, Toyota, and Southern Cross Austereo.
Pang, lexvoco’s new asset finance head, moved to the firm from Rabobank’s De Lage Landen. The senior legal counsel – who has experience in Sydney, London, and Shanghai – also previously worked at Herbert Smith Freehills, Sullivan & Cromwell, and Baker McKenzie.
Unger has been named lexvoco’s head of legal services in New Zealand. She was most recently head of operational risk and compliance at Bank of New Zealand, where she spent more than 12 years in various senior roles. She was also previously at MinterEllisonRuddWatts, Chapman Tripp, and Simpson Grierson.
lexvoco says it is the only law firm in Australia and New Zealand that exclusively hires lawyers with in-house experience because of its experience working with traditional lawyers.
“Traditional law firms remain incapable of providing pragmatic commercial advice tailored to the client’s risk appetite as opposed to their own. As a result, such advice often remains underwhelming and impractical,” said Nat Parbhu, lexvoco principal and head of legal services.
“Matters still pass through long chains of supervision with multiple lawyers often advising on the same documents. It’s just too slow and costs too much. In-house teams are frustrated – I know this from my own experience and we hear it constantly. I encourage them to seek out another way,” he said.
The approach’s value is being recognised by lexvoco clients, which are made up of major ASX, privately owned, and Fortune 500 companies.
“Briefing lawyers with in-house legal experience has tangible benefits that begin with the brief and continue through to responsiveness, quality and commercial understanding of risk relative to the total cost,” said Nick Galloway, general counsel for ANZ and Southeast Asia at PPG Industries.