Globally, the legal industry is experiencing unprecedented change which includes: new entrants to markets from global and start-up players; new legal entities included listed corporations; new business models; new pricing models and Alternative Fee Arrangements; new legal services, many of which are digital in nature; cyber-security threats and digital disruption; and new, often mobile work practices. These changes create challenges for individual firms. Firms fight to gain and maintain clients on the quality of their advice including their ability to win litigation, their responsiveness to client requirements and the value their clients perceive in their services. The rewards of being successful are higher revenue, lower costs, increased profit and better distribution and remuneration.
Whilst the competent management of financial and physical assets is important, firms achieve their business performance and competitive advantage through judiciously and effectively deploying and managing their people and the data, information and knowledge (their Information Assets) they need to do their jobs. The smart and successful firms understand the importance of effectively managing their information to increase revenue, to drive down costs, to manage risk, to improve competitiveness and, ultimately, to maximise profit. To assist a State operation of a national Australian firm, Experience Matters was engaged to:
- Conduct an Information Asset Management Health Check
- Extrapolate the business impact upon with winery of its information management practices
- Build a roadmap for information management improvement
We initially made a mistake. Being sensitive to lawyers’ time we ran a survey. It was a disaster. Lawyers ticked and flicked the survey and the findings did not reflect the problems we knew to exist. So we conducted the process again using a workshop approach. An hour and a half into a 40 minute workshop, someone would look at their watch and say, “Is anyone aware of the time?”
The subsequent engagement by the firm was exemplary and the findings created a deep understanding of the benefits available with improved Information Asset management.
“This now represents our single greatest source of competitive advantage.”
Of the firm’s 150 fee earners, the findings showed that with the right information over 70% can invoice their clients an extra 30 minutes per day and another 20% can bill more than an hour per day. Revenue increases and cost reductions total over $13,300 per person per year. The Managing Partner stated, “You’re all under confidentiality because this now represents our single greatest source of competitive advantage, and if word of our inefficiency gets out into the market, we’re toast.”