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April 5

How Leigh Day scaled their litigation team using Flex Legal

Case Studies

Louise Anderson

Louise Anderson

Leigh Day Logo (used as a client case study banner)

In November 2022, Flex Legal embarked on a groundbreaking partnership with Leigh Day, a top-100 law firm committed to claimant-only cases; specialising in national and international personal injury, human rights, clinical negligence, employment, and group claims. 

As a law firm which strives to provide access to justice for all and act on behalf of the voiceless, Flex Legal’s Northern team were delighted when they reached out to us with an urgent large-scale request for interim paralegals. But why did they suddenly need so many extra paralegals? And why did they decide to come to Flex?

Cars in a queue - to link to the emissions claims

The problem: quickly source high volume paralegal teams

Leigh Day is committed to claimant-only cases, and ensuring that members of the public have the same access to justice as the UK Government and large corporations. The matters they pursue are done so with this overarching mission in mind.

Leigh Day had undertaken several large multi-party action projects, which would see them investigate various leading vehicle manufacturers who were accused of fitting 'defeat' devices to their vehicles to cheat the EU and UK emissions laws. With these large class action projects underway, Leigh Day needed paralegals who could oversee the precise acquisition of considerable amounts of information and instructions from thousands of clients, whilst meticulously maintaining accurate records throughout the process.

They initially approached Flex Legal with an ambitious plan to drastically scale up their litigation teams across their Manchester and Leeds offices. The responsibilities of the paralegals would be wide ranging, and would encompass document drafting, client liaison through interviews and instruction-taking. This would necessitate a keen eye for detail, as well as proactive adaptability to meet the needs of Leigh Day and their client base. On top of this, Leigh Day expressed an explicit desire for all prospective paralegals to be closely aligned with the core values of the firm.

Obviously, sourcing paralegals at such a scale would be an enormous undertaking, especially given the tight timeframes imposed by multiple class-action projects being run simultaneously. The HR team at Leigh Day found themselves in need of third party support to deliver such a high-volume of paralegals in the required timeframe...

Flex Legal’s on-demand support was the perfect solution.

Flex have been invaluable in enabling the rapid growth of our client-facing hubs. They have been a pleasure to work with, have always been responsive to our needs, and have always looked for ways to evolve their solution as those needs have changed.

Mark Hines, Head of Recruitment at Leigh Day

A paused interview video of a Flex paralegal

The solution: outsource paralegal recruitment to Flex Legal

After consulting with Leigh Day, we proposed a solution: Flex Legal would provide a carefully-curated online shortlist of pre-vetted paralegals, all ready to start work as soon as they were needed. The paralegals would join Leigh Day on temporary assignments before transferring over permanently, following a successful six month placement. By handling the end-to-end recruitment steps such as talent attraction, vetting, selection and onboarding, Flex Legal could free up Leigh Day’s internal team to focus on more strategic work.

Armed with seven years’ experience of placing large numbers of legal professionals within overstretched teams, Flex’s northern team felt confident in our ability to find the perfect pool of candidates. However, recognising the unprecedented scale of the project, we adapted and upscaled our existing processes to meet Leigh Day’s specific requirements. 

Some key modifications were mutually agreed upon. This included all prospective paralegals undergoing Leigh Day's specific internal tests, as well as aligning pay and workplace benefits with comparator paralegals from day one. The Flex team also devised in person ‘Flex-pectation’ visits for the first day of each paralegal tranche’s first day. This was an interactive presentation, whereby each new starter could meet the Flex team and be taken through key payroll details, workplace expectations from both Flex and Leigh Day, and anything else that needed ironing out before placements commenced.

The impact: faster growth, increased diversity and more time back

At the time of writing, Flex Legal has successfully integrated a large pool of our paralegals into Leigh Day’s Manchester and Leeds offices, who have played a crucial role in facilitating the smooth execution of Leigh Day’s multi-party vehicle emissions claim. 

Rapid Firm Growth: During the project’s lifecycle, Leigh Day has experienced huge double digit headcount growth, 50% of which is as a direct result of the integration efforts of Flex Legal’s talent pool. 

Saving Teams’ Time: At Flex, we were responsible for the marking of the pre-onboarding tests, as well as all employment references and conflict checks. Our team collaborated closely with Leigh Day’s HR department throughout this process, ensuring that they were well informed of our progress and were prepared to handle the demands of an increased workforce. In essence, Flex Legal’s northern team functioned as an extension of Leigh Day’s HR function - allowing them to focus their efforts elsewhere.

Increased Diversity: The paralegals provided by Flex Legal were sourced from a huge range of social and academic backgrounds. As of August 2023, the Flex Legal talent pool is 59% female, 52.8% BAME, and 79.4% state school educated. This aligns directly with Leigh Day’s core principles of diversity and inclusion.

Our collaboration with Leigh Day is emblematic of Flex’s ability to successfully navigate large-scale, complicated resourcing projects. Throughout the duration of the project, our commitment to client satisfaction and our capacity for adaptability has remained integral. Leigh Day have been able to meet the increased demands of several simultaneous large litigation projects, and many paralegals in the north west have been granted the chance to experience first-hand work with a leading law firm.

Flex have introduced many, many superb candidates to the firm, and we look forward to working with them for a long time to come!

Mark Hines, Head of Recruitment at Leigh Day

Additional resources:

  • Hire a Flex paralegal - If reading this case study has you scratching your chin, wondering if hiring a Flex paralegal is a good idea, then why not learn more? Click the link to get the ball rolling.
  • How Saad went from Flex Paralegal to Flex Trainee - Paralegals working through Flex don’t stay that way forever. Some of them graduate onto the Flex Trainee scheme, just like Saad did. Read more!
  • Apply to be a Flex paralegal - Are you interested in interim paralegal opportunities? Flex Legal is here for you! Submit your CV today and apply to the platform.