Pinsent Masons’ professional services arm Vario has launched Vario Advance, an online training platform intended to provide accessible tools for freelancers working in the burgeoning flexi-lawyering market.
Developed alongside learning management system company Bridge, the platform includes a “suite” of online learning and career development solutions designed to support members of the Vario team. Access to the content will be made available to all freelancers who are working or have worked on Vario assignments in the past year.
According to the firm, the content has been prepared in tandem by Pinsent Masons lawyers as well as “external specialists.” The platform will run in addition to traditional, in person-training already offered by the firm.
Matthew Kay, managing director at Vario, said the partnership with Bridge was designed to offer flexibility to freelancers who “miss out” on training and development due to time and travel commitments.
“This enhanced flexible approach to learning and development is a logical next step following the group’s international expansion in recent years,” he said in a statement. “It’s unrealistic to expect all our professionals to be able to attend in-person training across all of our officers.”
Kay also underscored the challenges to traditional training posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, citing the importance of maintaining “high quality” development despite adverse circumstances.
“Not only will this partnership offer our freelancers all-important flexibility to access training and development courses when they want and in the manner that they wish, but it also demonstrates our ongoing commitment to investing in and developing our freelance community”, he said.
In response to the growing demand for flexible legal services, Pinsent Masons significantly expanded Vario last October by bringing together its existing resourcing services with its diversity and inclusion consultancy group, its technology and consulting group, and its legal project management and managed legal services business. The firm originally established Vario in 2013 and expanded in Germany in late 2019, a few months after setting up shop in Hong Kong, its second location in Asia after launching in Singapore in 2018.
The flexi-lawyering market has been on the uptick in recent years, with Eversheds Sutherland launching its alternative legal services business Konnexo in the US last June after a successful UK launch a year prior. Linklaters also ventured into the space in 2019 with its legal services offering Re:Link, which allows the firm to employ lawyers on an interim basis to work on certain projects.