- A subsidiary of the flexible legal talent provider Axiom has been approved to operate as a law firm in Arizona with the aim of serving small, high-growth companies, among other clients.
- Axiom Advice & Counsel’s entrance into the Arizona market comes as its parent company, which is best known for providing lawyers to large in-house legal departments, has been making inroads among small and mid-sized businesses, its global head of legal talent recently told Legal Dive.
- The Arizona Supreme Court formally approved Axiom’s application to operate an alternative business structure last month as part of the state’s opening of its legal marketplace to nontraditional legal services providers.
Axiom highlights on its website that it is not a law firm, though it provides a vast network of attorneys to its clients, which include more than half of the Fortune 100 companies.
In the company's application to launch an alternative business structure in Arizona, Axiom wrote that not operating as a law firm prevents it from providing legal talent to small and mid-size companies without in-house legal counsel.
“Yet those businesses that lack in-house teams are more likely to ignore issues or unintentionally permit them to get out of control before seeking appropriate advice,” its application states.
Axiom said its alternative business structure in Arizona would “fill that gap by offering both new and established businesses a new cost-effective way to proactively control risk through access to affordable legal services.”
It pledged to deliver savings to corporate clients by operating “without the inefficiencies of minimum billable hours, high overhead, partner equity-based bonuses, and pyramid structure, all legacies of the traditional law firm model.”
The corporate legal practice areas Axiom Advice & Counsel pledged to focus on include labor and employment, regulatory and compliance, real estate, intellectual property and privacy.
The Arizona Supreme Court approved Axiom Advice & Counsel’s application on May 19 following a positive recommendation from the state’s Committee on Alternative Business Structures.
Arizona started permitting alternative business structures in its legal industry at the start of 2021 in the aftermath of its Supreme Court voting the previous summer to eliminate the legal ethics rule barring nonlawyers from having an economic interest in a law firm or participating in attorney fee-sharing. The state's primary goal in opening up the legal marketplace to nontraditional service providers was to increase consumers’ access to justice.
LegalZoom and Elevate Services have also been approved to operate alternative business structures in Arizona. In addition to Arizona, Utah permits nontraditional legal services providers to operate in a regulatory sandbox.
In a statement to Legal Dive about its Arizona subsidiary, Axiom said that the company supports innovation in the legal industry and backs the continued evolution of the regulatory processes governing the industry.
“As always, we are continuing to explore how regulatory advancement can shape the future of the legal industry for the better and inform our own business practice,” Axiom said.