International law firm Pinsent Masons has acquired a minority stake in 'New Law' start-up business Yuzu.
Yuzu is the brainchild of Robin Saphra, who until last year was General Counsel of Colt Group SA, together with his co-founder Reinhard Schu. Colt was a FTSE 250 listed technology business up to 2015, and is now wholly-owned by Fidelity.
Yuzu is creating an innovative legal services proposition for business that lies between in-house, traditional private practice and managed legal service models. It will offer its clients the opportunity to transfer parts of their legal function out of the business yet retain the best features of an in-house service. Yuzu’s clients will benefit from:
- Moving elements of the legal function 'off balance sheet', thus reducing fixed costs
- Leveraging the knowledge and expertise of an existing team
- Improvements in operational efficiency arising from Yuzu’s investments in people, process and technology
- The budget predictability and cost savings that come from service transformation and sharing resources
Alastair Morrison, Head of Client Strategy at Pinsent Masons, said:
"I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Robin and Reinhard, both of whom enjoy stellar reputations as innovators in the field of legal services. We think deeply, expansively and radically about responding to the challenges our clients face so see a role for us in helping to bring solutions like Yuzu to market."
Robin Saphra, CEO of Yuzu, said:
"Pinsent Masons has a longstanding reputation for innovation and the courage to do things differently, so their investment feels like a very good fit for us as we bring our in-house experience to the legal services market. Yuzu embraces the opportunity to deliver efficiencies and transformation in a way which traditional private practice or other outsourcers cannot. We are a solution for GCs, designed and delivered by GCs.”
Pinsent Masons is incubating Yuzu by providing seed funding and strategic support during Yuzu’s start-up phase in return for a minority shareholding. Pinsent Masons has been a prominent investor in New Law models, founding flexible resourcing business Vario – which last week announced plans to open in Australia – and backing online compliance solutions business Cerico.