Hong Kong (Photo: leungchopan/Shutterstock.com) Hong Kong (Photo: leungchopan/Shutterstock.com)

Legal services and technology provider Elevate has acquired year-old flexible lawyering service provider Cognatio Law in Hong Kong, expanding the Los Angeles-based company’s reach in Asia.

Cognatio provides flexible lawyering and legal consulting services in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in Hong Kong, to in-house legal and compliance teams as well as to law firms. The firm was launched in February 2018 by CEO Lesley Hobbs, the former head of client solutions in Hong Kong at flexible lawyering service Lawyers On Demand, and Tim Fawcett, formerly the interim chief operating officer of local family law boutique CRB. Fawcett, who served as Cognatio’s chief operating officer, left the firm last month.

“As the Hong Kong flexible legal services market continues to grow, we believe joining forces with a full-service global provider like Elevate is the best way to reach more in-house legal teams and law firms that need support on legal, compliance and risk matters,” said Hobbs in a statement.

Cognatio’s operations will be integrated into Elevate, which provides consulting, technology, tech-enabled managed services and flexible lawyering support to the legal sector globally, including Delhi, Manila and Sydney in the Asia-Pacific. The acquisition expands Elevate’s reach in Asia to Hong Kong.

“Cognatio is a key element of our strategic growth plan,” said Elevate CEO Lokendra Tomar in a statement, adding that Elevate’s clients want consulting, technology and tech-enabled services from a single provider with a global footprint.

Elevate has been on an acquisition spree in recent months. The company acquired Basel, Switzerland-based consulting, technology and managed services provider Yerra Solutions earlier this week, U.K.-based flexible lawyering service provider Halebury earlier this month, contract management and technology company Sumati Group in December and legal technology and consulting firm LexPredict in November. The company has 1,200 employees across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Other flexible legal and consulting services have been expanding in the Asia-Pacific region in recent years. Pinsent Masons launched its Vario service in Singapore in April last year and in Australia in 2017; LOD merged with Australian contract lawyer business AdventBalance in 2016; Allen & Overy launched its Peerpoint business in Australia in 2016 and in Hong Kong in 2015; and Eversheds extended its Agile service to Hong Kong and Singapore in 2015. Earlier this month, Herbert Smith Freehills announced it will expand its Alternative Legal Services business into Hong Kong.

Flexible Legal Resources, the on-demand lawyering service of Big Four accounting firm PwC, which has been expanding its affiliated law firms in Hong Kong and Singapore in 2018, also said it has Asia on its radar.

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