FTSE 100 company Entain plc is one of the world's largest sports betting and gaming groups operating in the online and retail sector. It owns brands such as Ladbrokes, Coral, BetMGM, bwin, Sportingbet, Eurobet, partypoker, Gala and Foxy Bingo. The Group holds licences in over 20 jurisdictions and employs a workforce of more than 24,000, in 20 offices across five continents. Each year, the busy UK HR team deals with large volumes of operational employee relations (ER) issues through a focused Group ER advisory team. It also has a number of highly specialist employment matters which require significant complex legal advisory support.
To mitigate the uncertainty of fluctuating legal advisory spend from one year to the next, we created a guaranteed annual subscription-based service programme offering Entain all the benefits of specialist city law firm quality legal advice, without the associated traditional law firm costs.
This was supported with access to esphr’s online HR resources portal (offering hundreds of document precedents, policies, technical updates plus a suite of HR compliance E-Learning modules and lots more). As well as access to esphr's market-leading ER case management system – giving Entain control and real-time visibility over the progress of cases, cost and time spent by the esphr lawyers on every matter.
Significant savings have been diverted to allow:
In addition, there have been other significant budget saving benefits, not immediately foreseen at launch:
We were using some pretty expensive city lawyers before — but we wanted to get one consistent supplier, whilst being conscious of the cost. We chose esphr after careful consideration of all our options. There is a real in-house feel to the relationship, in that they know our business and the issues we face.
The wider HR team can avoid the cautious approach you can naturally adopt when costs are on the clock every time you pick up the phone to a lawyer which can, in turn, lead to the ER team not making certain calls solely down to cost implications. The esphr model means they can sense check cases daily and are less inclined to take a risk when specialist advice is readily accessible. I think the sense checking or sounding board part of the esphr model is very valuable.
Head of Employee Relations, Entain PLC