Changing the traditional service model
New business models are disrupting the global legal services landscape as companies find different and more cost-effective ways to access services, and lawyers discover the personal and professional benefits of having control over the types of work they do.
Axiom, a leading innovator in the sector and the strongest and most favoured alternative legal services brand in Canada according to a recent Acritas survey, deploys its skilled lawyers and advanced technology to help companies solve urgent needs, add expertise and fill gaps. Axiom lawyers integrate with their clients’ in-house legal teams, allowing them to gain a more fulsome understanding of the clients’ business and legal risks at better value than a traditional law firm.
We sat down with a few of Axiom’s more than 70 Toronto-area lawyers to learn why they joined, and what they enjoy about, Axiom.
“We live in a world where things are changing at such rapid speed, and it was enticing to me to be part of an organization that was challenging the traditional model,” says Axiom lawyer Fazilah Hussain, who worked in-house at a major bank prior to Axiom. “When I joined Axiom, what was most appealing was the idea that this was a different way to practise something that had been done so traditionally for so long.”
She adds that control, flexibility and a bigger say in the way her work life was being managed went hand in hand with Axiom’s innovative approach. It was a way for her to continue being a lawyer while having opportunities that weren’t available to her anywhere else.
Ian Ness had been serving clients’ needs at a traditional law firm for more than 30 years when he began to consider a change.
“I reached the point where I was looking for a different work experience. I was intrigued by the Axiom model,” he says.
As a partner in a law firm, he considered how his earnings may be impacted and whether he would miss the social interactions that were part of his working life for so many years.
“It’s worked out for me on both counts,” he adds. “I still work a five-day week, but I feel like I’m more in control: when I walk out of the office, I’m not on the clock. It’s a different way to practise, and I have more control over what I do and don’t do.”
Natasha Gidaro, who was the legal director at an international food and beverage company before joining Axiom, was looking for a situation that would bring more diversity of work and employment with a transformative company.
“I contemplated going out on my own, but Axiom offers the ability to have congeniality with other lawyers and the sense of being part of a bigger team, as well as the freedom to work independently. It offered the best of both worlds. It’s very forward-thinking and progressive,” she says.
As a member of Axiom’s team, she most enjoys being able to offer clients innovative and efficient legal solutions without being caught up in corporate bureaucracy.
“I can really be on top of my game without the office politics. I can get going, get my work done and serve the client in the best way possible,” she says.
Colette Stewart had a similar outlook. After years of working as in-house counsel for several different companies, she was seeking more fulfilment from her work.
“I was looking for excellence in the level of work, and Axiom provided the opportunity for high-level work with blue chip companies,” she says.
As an Axiom lawyer, she has had the opportunity to provide legal services to several companies, including a pharmaceutical company whose products are making an impact around the world, and an online retailer.
“The flexibility is important, but the model also enables you to expand your portfolio in a way you couldn’t do in a traditional practice,” says Ms. Stewart.
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