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Greenberg Traurig, Not Practicing Law, Launches Innovation Subsidiary

June 11, 2019, 6:40 PM

Greenberg Traurig is betting that it doesn’t have to practice law to please its clients with the launch of a new international innovation-focused subsidiary.

The roughly 2,000-lawyer firm said the new unit, called Recurve, will break away from the traditional law firm business model by partnering with technology providers, other legal services providers and outside investors to deliver more efficient legal services.

The subsidiary will not engage in what bar regulators consider the practice of law, the firm said, making it more akin to alternative legal service providers such as Axiom or Elevate Services.

Recurve will also take on outside investors who are not lawyers, which traditional law firms are barred from doing in the U.S. and has been seen by some as an inhibiting their competitiveness against newer entrants to the market.

“Recurve is intended to become the first law-firm founded, third-party financed global collaboration platform solely focused on creative innovation in the support of the delivery of legal services,” Richard Rosenbaum, Greenberg Traurig’s executive chairman, said in a statement.

Greenberg Traurig’s new subsidiary, which it called a “shared services platform,” will have headquarters in Warsaw, Tel Aviv and Denver with operations in several other locations. The firm said it would invest in core focus areas including technology solutions, artificial intelligence, project management and alternative staffing.

Greenberg Traurig is the 14th largest firm by revenue in the U.S., bringing in nearly $1.5 billion in revenue in 2018, according to the latest AmLaw rankings.

ALSPs have grown in recent years to serve a market that Thomson Reuters estimates was worth $10.7 billion in 2017. Some law firms, such as Allen & Overy, Reed Smith, Clifford Chance and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, have developed in-house legal process outsourcing divisions that handle process-focused or repetitive legal work. Thomson Reuters estimates those law firm-owned LPOs brought in $300 million in 2017 revenue.

To contact the reporter on this story: Roy Strom in Chicago at rstrom@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at jkamens@bloomberglaw.com; Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com