A CHALLENGER law firm launched last year with the backing of high-profile investors has changed its name and parted company with its chief executive.
Jag Mundi, chairman of Leeds-based Genus Law, formerly known as Brilliant Law, confirmed that Matthew Briggs has left the business.
Genus is backed by Andrew ‘Bert’ Black, the gambling entrepreneur who founded Betfair, Jeremy Fenn, the former head of Sports Internet Group, which was sold to BSkyB for £301m, and Mr Mundi, a City lawyer turned high-flying investment banker.
They have invested millions of pounds in developing the firm’s technology platforms and have hired between 20-30 people.
Mr Mundi said the backers decided to switch the focus from consumer law to the corporate and SME market, and wanted a more sophisticated and less brash brand.
He added that Genus needed a different type of leadership as it withdrew from the low-cost, high-volume market of claims processing.
Mr Mundi is predicting big upheaval in the legal sector after the Government paved the way for non-lawyers to own law firms through the introduction of alternative business structures.
He said: “The biggest opportunity by far, in our view, is in the corporate marketplace which is worth around £20bn a year in the UK.
He believes Genus with its fixed-fee and transparent structure will prove an attractive alternative to the established legal players with their billable hours.
The legal market in Yorkshire is intensely competitive and has seen waves of consolidation.
Mr Briggs was formerly CEO at Minster Law, said he raised funding from high-net worth individuals and boutique private equity investors to launch the world’s first law firm to be founded by a non-lawyer, targeting SMEs and owner-managed businesses with high-quality fixed-price legal services from specialist solicitors.
“I’ve taken the business to a point where the shareholders are able to consider their strategic options.
“I am reviewing my personal options both in the legal sector and outside,” he added.