Running a Client Centre Law Firm: Lessons from a Top UK FIrm
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    Title*Running a Client Centre Law Firm: Lessons from a Top UK FIrm
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    DetailPosted 19 October 2022

    The concept of a client-centric law firm is far from new. However, the rise of alternative legal service providers and increasing client expectations in recent years has pushed law firms to take a more client-centric approach. 

    Modern-day legal clients are efficient, agile, and tech-savvy, and they expect their legal partners to be the same. So, it’s no surprise that today’s legal buyers tend to favour firms that assume the role of proactive partner and leverage technology to deliver an enhanced client experience. In fact, according to the State of the UK Legal Market 2022 report, 28% of legal buyers say that a “deep understanding of their clients’ business” is the top skill they look for in their lawyers. 

    So, what does it take to be a client-centric firm? Running a client-centric firm means putting your clients at the centre of your approach and looking at the experience of working with your firm from the viewpoint of your clients. Essentially, a lawyer’s role is to help clients resolve legal issues quickly, accurately - and hopefully, profitability. Fortunately, new technologies have made it easier than ever for firms to improve efficiency and deliver better client service. From e-signatures and client onboarding to workflow improvements, more firms are adopting legal technologies to streamline processes, deliver high quality services, and create a better client experience. 

    One such firm is Wedlake Bell, a London-based UK Top-100 law firm, which offers a wide range of bespoke legal services to clients of all sizes in the UK. The contemporary law firm recently modernised its supply chain management services to drive operational efficiencies, address technology constraints, and deliver a more streamlined experience for its clients. Here, we offer some real-world lessons on improving client service from one of the UK’s top firms. 

    Delivering Enhanced Client Service with Automated Workflows

    With 70 partners supported by more than 170 lawyers and support staff, Wedlake Bell operates on a four practice group model: private client, business services, real estate, and disputes. As part of its business services practice, Wedlake Bell’s IP & Commercial team partners with major retailers to help them audit the supply chain of specific batches of products sold in nationwide stores - a critical part of mitigating reputational, quality and compliance risk. 

    The firm’s lawyers deliver these audits in the form of an Inspection Report, which includes relevant and time-sensitive due diligence information. Typically, a lawyer is managing multiple reports at a time across various clients, which can be incredibly complex and time-consuming and result slow response times. Previously, Wedlake Bell’s team relied on a legacy system to help them manage, generate, and deliver these reports to clients. However, the outdated system often constrained their ability to improve processes and drive efficiencies.

    So, the firm reached out to Sysero with the idea of modernising its legacy system to achieve operational efficiencies and ultimately deliver a better experience for its clients. After gaining a strong understanding of Wedlake Bell’s internal processes, Sysero helped the firm design and deploy a new no-code workflow application to streamline and automate the process of managing and multiple audits simultaneously. Through the new application, lawyers can now access and manage supplier information via a centralised web-based database and leverage online forms to quickly and easily generate dynamic Inspection Reports. By employing automated technology to simplify and streamline supply chain audits, Wedlake Bell can now deliver Inspection Reports with speed and accuracy, delivering a valuable service to its clients. 

    The client service benefits of the automated system include:

    • Increased Efficiency: The retail world moves quickly, so that means Wedlake Bell’s lawyers must as well to help their clients stay atop of potential pitfalls. With the new automated application, lawyers can easily and quickly build Inspection Reports as they uncover new information. They simply input data into the online form, save, and return at a later point to enter further information. This means that lawyers can quickly build multiple reports as they go, making it much more efficient for them to manage numerous complex reports simultaneously.
    • Better Client Communication: Clear and consistent communication with clients is a core part of an excellent client experience. Using the new application, lawyers can more easily keep their clients abreast of the status of their reports. Additionally, it’s simple for lawyers to make updates to reports and regenerate them to send to clients, delivering a fast response time. 
    • High Quality Deliverables: At the heart of good legal advice is quality. By automating the supply chain audit process, Wedlake Bell removed the complexity of managing multiple reports concurrently, thus reducing risk. Plus, with all of the required evidence and documentation collated into a single case file for each client, it’s easier than ever for lawyers to ensure they have the right information.

    Since realising the benefits of its client-centric approach to supply chain audit management, Wedlake Bell continues to add further stages of automation to its application in an effort to enhance efficiencies even more and provide clients with greater visibility into the status of their deals. 

    While there are many ways to go about running a client-centric firm, Wedlake Bell is a perfect example of how unlocking the power of new technologies can drive process improvements, enhance client communication, and ultimately deliver an exceptional client experience. If your firm is moving towards a more client-centric approach, investing in the right technology, thinking about the right processes, and evolving those processes when opportunities arise will accelerate your path to an improved client experience. 

    Looking to create more client-centric processes? Discover Sysero’s workflow automation tools and get in touch with our team to discuss your project. 

    SummaryThe concept of a client-centric law firm is far from new. However, the rise of alternative legal service providers and increasing client expectations in recent years has pushed law firms to take a more client-centric approach. Here, we offer some real-world lessons on improving client service from one of the UK’s top firms.
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