Global law firm HFW launches consulting arm with focus on Asia

05 October 2018 Consultancy.asia

The UK-based global law firm HFW has launched a multidisciplinary consulting business with an initial focus of the Middle Eastern, Australian and Asian markets. 

Following the establishment of a compliance, risk and regulatory consulting arm by leading Singapore law firm Allen & Gledhill last month, the UK-based specialist global law firm HFW (Holman Fennik Willan) has gone one step further with the launch of a stand-alone consulting arm with offerings in organisational development, assessment process design, cybersecurity, legal strategies, talent management and public relations among other provisions.

With offices currently stretching three continents, including its 20th worldwide launched in Abu Dhabi this month and Asian locations in Hong Kong (established in 1978), Jakarta, Singapore (1991) and Shanghai (1999), HFW has stated that its new consulting venture will initially target clients in the Asia, Australia and the Middle East markets. Currently, HFW maintains a specialist focus on the aerospace, commodities, construction, energy, insurance and shipping sectors.

“HFW Consulting was launched in response to increasing demand from clients to help them develop their businesses, enhance their people and protect them against risk. We have been providing ad hoc consulting services to several clients for more than a year, so thought it was time to formalise our offering,” Chris O'Callaghan, current HFW director of learning and development and the new head of HFW Consulting said.Global specialist law firm HFW launches consulting arm with a focus on AsiaO'Callaghan, a former Manager with Accenture in the UK for over four years prior to joining HFW, expanded on the rationale of a targeted regional focus; “We will always help clients wherever and in whatever way they require, but we recognise that the consulting market in Europe and North America is already very mature and competitive. We see greater opportunity in the Middle East, Asia and Australia, where we think adding consulting services to our strong legal practices in those markets gives us a unique proposition.”

In terms of management consulting, the Asia Pacific market has now grown to a worth of more than $50 billion (with Australia contributing upwards of $5 billion for one of the highest consultancy spends per capita of anywhere in the world), and is one of the hottest growth markets globally, with PwC’s recent record $41.3 billion revenue announcement for example underpinned by the firm’s 15 percent growth in Asia last year.

Perhaps not incidentally, an emerging major front in the ever-broadening landscape of integrated cross-sector consulting is in the legal services domain, with Asia and particularly Singapore at the epicentre. In just recent months alone, all of the Big Four accounting and consulting giants, including PwC, have escalated their efforts to stake a market claim while in the process poaching seasoned legal practitioners from established traditional local firms.

Richard Crump, a global senior partner with HFW based in Singapore – one of the firm’s 180 partners among nearly 600 fee earners worldwide – believes the firm’s specialist expertise will provide HFW Consulting with a point of difference. “As a true sector-focused law firm… clients know that we understand their business and their sector, and trust us to provide commercial as well as legal advice. Broadening those relationships to include consulting services is a natural next step, and means that we are even better able to provide clients with the best and most commercially effective advice possible.”

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Infosys finalises joint venture in Japan with Hitachi and Panasonic

02 April 2019 Consultancy.asia

Infosys has stepped up its presence in Japan through a joint venture with local firms Hitachi, Panasonic and Pasona, with the new company to focus of procurement solutions.

Originally announced in December, Indian IT services and consulting giant Infosys has finalised the formation of a joint venture in Japan with local multinational names Hitachi, Pansonsic and human capital firm Pasona, with Shinichiro Nagagata appointed as chief executive. The new entity – named HiPUS – will provide end-to-end digital procurement solutions for Japanese corporations.

The venture comes as a result of Infosys picking up an 81 percent stake in Hitachi Procurement Service, a fully owned Hitachi subsidiary formed in 2002 which handles indirect materials purchasing functions for the Hitachi Group, with Panasonic and Pasona brought on board for 2 percent each. HiPUS will remain headquartered in Tokyo, and kick off with an initial headcount of 200-plus people.

Described as a coming together of complementary, iconic companies, the move is a strategic effort on behalf of Infosys to enhance its presence in Japan, and follows a similar agreement with state investment firm Temasek made in Singapore last year – where it is focusing on cloud computing, data analytics, AI and automation. The Japanese market, however, has shaped the firm’s latest country push.Infosys finalises joint venture in Japan with Hitachi and Panasonic“Procurement is a big focus area for manufacturing & hi-tech clients which Japan is known for,” said Infosys president Ravi Kumar. “All large corporations in Japan will go through significant procurement spend, and we believe this joint venture will deliver to the promise of transforming their procurement processes using next-generation digital platforms, as we bring together the combined power of deep procurement expertise, technology, global expertise and local skills.”

According to the firms, the complementary mix includes Infosys’ global expertise in procurement processes, consulting, analytics and digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence and robotic process automation, with Hitachi and Panasonic’s knowledge of their procurement functions and local teams and Pasona’s human capital and local business process management (BPM) networks.

In addition to BPM, HiPUS will introduce BPO (business process outsourcing) services to customers in areas such as procurement and purchasing operations, as well as provide training services in procurement and a broad range of further lines in consulting, reverse auctions and other purchasing schemes – with the aim of generating revenues upwards of $3.5 billion in 2021.

“We are delighted to build this new partnership, combining strengths and unlocking potential of Infosys, Panasonic, and Pasona,” said Masashi Murayama, Hitachi’s Chief Procurement Officer. “The procurement functions role is critical to Hitachi’s success, and this partnership will strengthen Hitachi Procurement’s global competitiveness with new operating models, and high quality delivery at speed enabled by digital technologies.”

Related: Infosys appoints heavyweight Mark Livingston as new head of consulting