UniSuper lawyer David Reckenberg has returned to private practice after about 13 years in funds management. He has joined the recently established financial services unit of innovative Melbourne firm Hive Legal where he links with several other former lawyers from Minter Ellison.
Reckenberg said last week that he was strongly attracted to Hive Legal because of the people, including the other financial services specialist John Malon, who joined this year from King & Wood Mallesons, and the firm’s innovative approach.
Hive Legal was started in 2012 by managing partner Jodie Baker and several other senior Melbourne lawyers who also had Minter Ellison as their alma mater. Baker, who has financial services experience with Goldman Sachs, JB Were and Evans & Partners, describes Hive Legal as having a “do more with less mentality”.
The firm looks to use new automation tools to improve the efficiency of its contracts processes and reduce costs. It also offers clients a “value pricing model”, rather than traditional timesheet pricing, which makes client costs more certain.
Baker said that the financial services industry was large but often operated on skinny margins. “There are a lot of legal issues which arise regularly but still can be expensive to resolve,” she says. “We work with clients, as we’re doing in the health and energy sectors too, to develop systems to automate as much as possible. There has been a lot of development in the field in the UK and US with legal technologies but they haven’t really penetrated in Australia as yet.”
Reckenberg will be concentrating on superannuation at the firm, with Malon concentrating on funds management. Reckenberg spent four years at UniSuper in a variety of general counsel and risk management roles. He was most recently acting head of risk and legal services (finance, technology, projects and operations). He was previously senior counsel at Vanguard Australia and before that at AXA Australia.
Hive Legal builds finance practice