DWF, Manchester law giant, unveils new global structure

Manchester-headquartered international law firm DWF Group plc on Thursday announced a new internal operating structure, effective from May 1, 2021.

It will see the group move from its existing four divisions — commercial services, insurance services, international, and connected services into three global divisions of legal advisory, Mindcrest and connected services.

DWF said changes it is making to its executive board will further improve gender diversity, with 40% of executive roles held by women from May 1. 

“Legal Advisory brings together all of the group’s existing commercial, insurance and international divisions …” said DWF.

“Mindcrest is an established and well-known brand that provides outsourced and process-led legal services through which the group can standardise, systematise, scale, and optimise legal work.

“This division brings together DWF’s managed services team in the UK and the Mindcrest business based in India and the US, which DWF acquired in March 2020.

“Connected services is DWF’s collection of products and business services that enhance the group’s legal offerings.

“The division complements the legal advisory and Mindcrest teams through the provision of non-legal services such as claims management, costs and regulatory consulting. It also houses DWF Ventures, the group’s technology R&D arm.”

DWF CEO Nigel Knowles said: “This is the next natural step in the development of our modern, global business and it is a cornerstone of the three-year business plan we have developed since my appointment.

“We are increasingly working as a single global team with people working closely together on many cross-jurisdictional projects. 

“This structure will ensure even greater integration and alignment of our people and our services, all for the benefit of our clients.

“We are seeing strong client demand for our Mindcrest and connected services capabilities.

“We expect these services to account for a greater proportion of our revenue in the years ahead and this structure allows greater focus on and investment in their growth.

“Most importantly, this structure better supports our strategy of offering clients an integrated legal management approach.

“There is a growing desire from clients to receive legal and business services in an easier and more efficient way, and so we have listened to them and built our business structure and services around this principle.

“We believe this gives us a truly differentiated proposition in the legal services market, and that it positions us for the next phase of our development as we strive to become the leading global provider of integrated legal and business services.”

Legal advisory will be led by Paul Rimmer, currently the regional managing partner for the UK & Ireland. Mindcrest and connected services will continue to be led by Mark Qualter and Jason Ford respectively.

The new business structure will also see a number of regional leadership positions created, and these members will join the group’s executive board.

Allison Page will join the executive board as regional managing partner for the UK & Ireland.

Ignasi Costas, one of the co-managing partners of DWF-RCD in Spain, will assume the same position for Europe, Middle East & Latin America, with Damien van Brunschot taking on the role for Australasia.

Hilary Ross, formerly managing partner of the London office, joins the executive board as Head of Clients & Markets.  

Kirsty Rogers, managing partner of DWF’s Manchester office, has been appointed as group head of ESG.  

DWF chief operating officer Matthew Doughty said: “The legal market has changed profoundly in the past decade and the speed of change continues to increase.

“With our differentiated offering, DWF has long been a pacesetter and we will continue to be at the forefront of change.

“In particular, our integrated legal management approach has the potential to be a game-changer in the delivery of legal services.

“Through our combination of premium legal advice, outsourced and process-led legal services and associated business services, we can deliver global legal and business services in a way that few others are able.

“This approach is gaining traction with our larger institutional clients and we are confident this will gather pace in the months and years to come.”