Blue Flag, the online legal service of law firm Linklaters, has restructured to become a separate business and has appointed Patrick Haynes as its first ever CEO.

The new restructure of Blue Flag, which was first launched in 1996, prompted the senior appointment. Over the past five years, the company claims there has been significant growth in demand for Blue Flag services, both in the UK and around the world, as people recognise that technology can help to deliver legal solutions more efficiently, quickly and cost effectively.  
 
Blue Flag now offers products covering an array of areas, including investment banking, derivatives, pensions and shareholding disclosure.  Most recently, it launched Blue Flag World Bank, a unique capital markets online documentation and transaction management system, which integrates with the World Bank's own business processes.

Patrick Hynes has a background that incorporates technology with Philips, consulting with Boston Consulting Group and entreprenuership with European start-up BuildOnlie. "The potential scope of change that technology can have on the legal industry is enormous, with significant implications from a business perspective,” he says. “Blue Flag is the recognised market leader in electronic legal services.  However, this market is still embryonic in nature and I am looking forward to helping Linklaters shape and benefit from its growth."

Pauline Ashall, head of Linklaters' Financial Markets Group in Asia, hails the appointment as a significant development, both for Blue Flag and for Linklaters as a firm. “It not only shows the firm's commitment to ecommerce, but also -- in the fact that this is the first ever CEO appointment ever made by the firm -- that Linklaters is committed to structuring Blue Flag as a business rather than solely a legal product," she says.