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June 27 — Fisher Phillips, a management-side labor and employment law firm, has launched a human resources consulting firm.
The new firm, Foundations Human Resources Consulting, will be a wholly owned subsidiary of the law firm, Fisher Phillips chairman Roger Quillen told Bloomberg BNA June 27.
“We have been concerned for many years that there are non-law firm consultancies” that are able to sell their services directly to corporate departments, “while we as a law firm find ourselves somewhat stymied … because we generally are ushered to the general counsel's office,” Quillen said. “For us to compete head to head with the non-law consultants in our field, we thought we needed our own non-law firm consultancy.”
Carol Sampson and Stephanie Prewitt, former executives at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, will lead Foundations.
Quillen said Fisher Phillips lawyers probably won't have much direct involvement in the HR firm, although he noted Prewitt, who has a law degree, is listed as counsel for the law firm's Louisville, Ky., office.
Prewitt and Sampson specialize in “engineering and executing Toyota's outstanding approach to employee relations in a lean manufacturing environment,” Quillen said.
Foundations will help employers with strategic planning, culture and change management, communications and compliance. In the future, it may add wage and benefit surveys and diversity training, Quillen said.
The new company is located in Lexington, Ky., where Prewitt and Sampson live, but Quillen anticipates it will take on clients and assignments nationwide.
“There are many manufacturing companies that would love to emulate Toyota's employee relations program,” he said, adding the consultancy also could adapt the program to non-manufacturing industries.
There will be three other human resource consulting professionals in the new organization in addition to Prewitt and Sampson.
Other law firms have bought an interest in already existing human resource firms, according to Quillen.
Fisher Phillips has 350 lawyers in 32 offices nationwide.
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