Gordons advises legal technology firm SYKE on strategic partnership with alternative legal services provider LOD

Tuesday 9th March 2021

Gordons has advised Leeds-based legal technology firm SYKE on its strategic partnership with London-headquartered LOD to drive digital transformation and new operating models in the legal sector.

The ground-breaking partnership brings together two of the UK’s foremost independent alternative legal services providers.

By combining the companies’ market-leading expertise in legal technology and talent, SYKE and LOD will provide clients with holistic solutions to address the twin challenges of growing demand and increasing efficiency.

Legal teams can now directly access strategic guidance to accelerate new operating models, including through digital transformation, resource optimisation and bespoke managed services. Combined with the strategic partnership, LOD has invested in SYKE to support the further growth and development of the business.

Launched in 2016, SYKE is one of the world’s fastest growing independent legal tech firms, helping legal teams choose, buy and implement legal technology. It employs more than 90 lawyers and former lawyers, each one a specialist in legal tech engineering. As well as the UK, SYKE also has teams operating in Europe, APAC and the USA.

Gordons corporate partner, Jonathan Asquez, and corporate solicitors, Lucy Leyland and Andrew Moore, advised SYKE founder and CEO Alistair Maiden and his senior management team on the partnership. Jonathan and Alistair had previously worked together at Gordons when Alistair was a commercial contracts lawyer with the firm.

SYKE’s Alistair Maiden commented: “SYKE and LOD have a shared view of the market for alternative legal services, its potential and direction of travel. The legal industry is grappling simultaneously with how to move to a digital future and how to resource their teams in a smarter way. Both these issues overlap in multiple ways.

“Our new partnership means that we are uniquely placed to combine our skills in digital technology with legal talent. By doing so, we will offer clients holistic and cost-effective solutions, which will continue to challenge the traditional legal model.”

Regarding instructing Gordons to advise on the partnership, Alistair added: “It was great to work with Jonathan and the wider team at Gordons again. I knew from my own experience at the firm that I would get commercially astute, practical advice. It enabled us to move quickly and give SYKE and LOD the ideal strategic partnership structure to jointly realise our ambitions.”

Founded in 2007, LOD is the original alternative legal services provider, with over 1,000 legal professionals based in the UK, Europe, Australia, Asia and the Middle East. In 2018 it announced its partnership with Bowmark Capital, facilitating greater access to finance and fuel the next stage of its growth.

Simon Harper, LOD’s co-founder, commented: “SYKE’s exceptional team, brand and leading-edge knowledge makes it a strong strategic and cultural fit with LOD. Together, we can develop new client services, which will underpin accelerated growth in new and existing service lines and geographies.

“The partnership will not only reflect our clients’ increasing interest in digital transformation but will also enhance our managed services by leveraging SYKE’s best in class legal tech experience.”

Tom Shelford, partner at Bowmark Capital, added: “The alternative legal services market has continued to grow apace since we became LOD’s principal investor in 2018. We are delighted to have been able to support this exciting new partnership with SYKE, which offers legal teams compelling independent and bespoke solutions to meet the challenges of both growing demand and increased efficiency.”

SYKE will remain a separate brand and corporate entity, under the leadership of CEO and founder, Alistair Maiden and COO, Lewis Bretts.

SYKE was provided with corporate finance advice by Leeds-based accountants Murray Harcourt’s Richard Bright, Neil Sengupta and Richard Munoz.

You can find out more about our corporate law and digital and technology sector expertise on the pages below