Case Study

Legal support to a busy in-house legal department
Unipart Group

Unipart Group is a leading provider  of manufacturing, logistics and consultancy services.  Privately owned and with large domestic and international operations, the corporate in-house legal team advises on a diverse range of matters.  In 2014 Unipart’s senior lawyers were increasingly involved in major projects which were occupying a large amount of their time and they realised they needed interim legal support to assist with day to day advice across the business.  They had a clear requirement for someone who could hit the ground running with a level of experience that meant they could work relatively autonomously so they turned to Ortolan Legal.

Within a week of the initial request Ortolan made available an experienced corporate/commercial lawyer (20+ years PQE) from their team who based himself at Unipart’s offices for three days per week.  We agreed a fixed fee which provided Unipart with budgetary certainty and transparency and the other specialist lawyers in the Ortolan team were available to support in their areas of expertise when required.  The engagement lasted for over one and a half years and as well as dealing with countless contractual matters, we also advised on acquisitions and joint ventures.  These included the formation of The Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, a joint venture between Unipart and Coventry University and the establishment of Metlase Ltd, a joint venture between Unipart and Rolls-Royce Plc.

  • Unipart did not have to spend time bringing our lawyers up to speed with their business.  Our pre-existing relationship with them meant we were already familiar with their operations and knew many of their senior management team.
  • According to Unipart’s Head of Legal, Richard Collins, it was a great benefit to have an experienced lawyer working with their team who didn’t require additional supervision or hand-holding.
  • Where advice was needed in other areas such as employment, property, litigation and insolvency law, Ortolan’s experts in these fields were immediately available to provide support.
  • Our experience of working within businesses allowed Ortolan to deliver commercially focussed advice offering constructive and workable solutions to divisional MDs, FDs and other members of the senior management team.
  • We were able to quickly integrate with both the in-house legal team and the Unipart management avoiding the need for time-consuming and costly handover briefings.
  • Unipart achieved the support they needed at a cost which was far lower than it would have been had they outsourced the work to conventional commercial law firms.
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Ortolan Legal have supported us with some very tricky tribunal issues. They are very commercially focussed and truly understand our business. They give really commercial, practical advice which supports our business.

Sharon Eley, Shared Services Director, National Car Parks Limited
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