Leading insurance risk and commercial law firm BLM has launched a new and flexible subscription-based legal support service: BLM Clarity.
Aimed at making legal support more accessible to businesses with unmet or fluctuating legal needs, from large corporates to SMEs, subscribers to the new service will be able to choose from four subscription packages: light, essential, executive and bespoke. They can therefore purchase ‘blocks’ of discounted time to be spent on legal issues. The service differs from existing models of legal support, which is typically sought in anticipation of a deal or after a litigation matter has arisen.
The service has been developed in response to the evolving needs of commercial clients throughout the UK and follows research from the Competition and Markets Authority stating that 83 per cent of small businesses see legal services as out of their reach. A 2021 report from IRN Research also found that 48 per cent of all SMEs expect their need for legal advice to increase in the next 18 months, due to employment and financial changes brought on by the pandemic.
Clients will be able to access the full spectrum of BLM’s legal expertise in the commercial space, which will be account-managed at Partner level. Services include employment law, data protection & privacy, intellectual property, advertising & marketing, insolvency & restructuring, corporate & commercial, and property, amongst others.
Designed with flexibility and evolving client needs at the fore, subscribers can request support for several issues at the same time, drawing down time from subsequent months during busy periods, and purchase more where necessary. Equally, if a month’s hours are not fully utilised, the accrued time is rolled over and can be spent later in the calendar year.
Steve Kuncewicz, Partner and Head of BLM’s Creative, Digital & Marketing sector group, celebrated the step forward for the firm: “Hourly fee-based models are still the most common for law firms, which can often prevent businesses from seeking legal support for fear of the clock running faster than they anticipate or not reaching out for help until the last minute. The events of last year created some pressing legal challenges that businesses are still contending with, but it also underlined the need for flexibility in how we work – and this should apply to how we work with our clients.
“We know there is genuine unmet legal need, particularly within SMEs, which we’re aiming to address through the launch of BLM Clarity. It’s been created to ensure we can provide ongoing support, so that businesses can access advice whenever it’s needed. There are more commercial advantages for those businesses, including having complete control over a defined budget.”
James Harvey, Partner and Executive Board member at BLM, explained: “Clarity introduces a more flexible approach to the way businesses use lawyers. This is about working in partnership with businesses and introducing legal services as a business enabler, not just something considered as a distress purchase.
“BLM has never shied away from doing things differently to grow and adapt, and BLM Clarity is another way we can help to modernise the legal services market. It’s an especially exciting move forward for the firm, and one that will ultimately benefit businesses by providing legal support which uniquely suits their needs, teams and budgets.”