“Axiom has an opportunity to disrupt an industry that hasn’t materially changed in a century.”
Bob Kagle, partner
Compelling quote from a compelling article by Drew Combs in The American Lawyer today about Axiom Global’s outsourcing initiative.
If you know Axiom, you’re probably most familiar with them as the virtual firm consisting of 400+ mostly BigLaw expatriates who work from home or on client premises, thus creating cost savings on office space and administrative staffing.
You may not know that over the past two years, Axiom has been rapidly growing what it calls its “managed services” offerings. During that time, Axiom has added 330 staff attorneys at offices in Chicago, Houston, and Belfast. It deploys at large clients such as Hewlett Packard and Vodaphone, where they perform fairly typical legal outsourcing duties, such as drafting and completing simple consulting contracts, as well as slightly more meaty work like software licenses and telecom agreements.
Axiom’s revenues were up 62% in 2011 to $130 million, a total that would place it at #172 on the AmLaw 200 if it were an actual firm (technically, Axiom is a C-corp). The portion of that revenue due to managed services/outsourcing grew during the same period from 10% to 25%. As this model spreads, it promises to pull more and more matter types from traditional attorneys and create additional pricing pressures on existing firms.
Quick coda…When HP initially chartered its outsourcing program, it selected Axiom from a pool of 17 entrants. That pool included several traditional firms, each of whom HP rejected because they did not sufficiently embrace advances in either technology or process. If you were one of those firms, 2012 might be a good time to begin to adopt both.