Reuters – Flexible legal talent firm Axiom opened its own Arizona-based law firm on Monday, becoming the latest company to take advantage of relaxed lawyer regulation to launch new legal businesses in the state. became.
Axiom leaders said the company’s Axiom Advice & Counsel will embrace new technology and employ staffing and compensation models that keep costs down for corporate clients. The firm serves a variety of clients, including small businesses that do not have an in-house legal team.
Arizona regulatory changes that began in 2020 removed a rule prohibiting non-lawyers from having financial interests in law firms, paving the way for Axiom to launch a new law firm .
Arizona is at the forefront of US states beginning to adopt similar changes with the goal of expanding access to legal services and enabling innovation. Utah has approved a “sandbox” program that will allow companies to try out new legal business models and services in his 2020.
However, removing barriers to the division of ownership and fees for non-attorney law firms remains controversial, and efforts to change such rules in other states have stalled or been blocked. Critics opposing the change cite professional ethical concerns, including concerns that client protection will be undermined by relaxing traditional rules.
Founded in 2000, Axiom is an on-demand legal staffing firm that employs approximately 7,000 attorneys worldwide in corporate legal departments. The company split his two other business units into separate entities in 2019.
Catherine Kemnitz, Axiom’s chief strategy and development officer, said the company’s expansion into Arizona will ultimately allow Axiom to provide legal advice directly to its clients.
The company has long provided lawyers through its legal staffing business, but until now “has failed to take the final step of being at the forefront of providing legal services,” Chemnitz said.
The Arizona Supreme Court approved the Axiom division in May to operate as an “alternative business structure,” according to a court order. Two leading legal services firms, LegalZoom Inc and Elevate Services Inc, have followed a similar path by obtaining licenses for their subsidiaries or affiliates to practice law. Other smaller authorized entities offer a variety of legal services.
Axiom says its law firm will operate independently, with local attorney Matthew Levine as its managing partner. Levine was most recently a partner and co-founding member of the Scottsdale-based commercial law firm Titus Brueckner & Levine.
The firm will initially advise on corporate law in areas such as real estate, labor and employment, mergers and acquisitions and privacy, the company said.
Chemnitz says the company plans to hire 20 to 40 Arizona-certified partners over the next few years.
Chemnitz said the firm does not require lawyers to have minimum billable hours, which Axiom believes is more cost-effective for its clients, unlike traditional law firms that rely on high-billing junior lawyers. I’m here.
The company was incorporated as an LLC operating as a subsidiary of Axiom Global Inc, a Delaware-registered company, according to Arizona filings. Funding will be provided through Axiom Global.
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