International Top 100 law firm successfully retains talent and safeguards profitability with optimal work allocation underpinned by BigHand Resource Management

Innovative international top 100 firm choose BigHand to accelerate their investment in dedicated, efficient and insight-led resource management to support talent development and ensure effective work allocation across their global office locations.

The Pilot: 

During a four-month period the firm deployed BigHand Resource Management for use by its corporate department, comprising 45 partners and approximately 120 fee earners across six office locations in the UK.  

The success measures for the pilot initiative were based on:

  • Ease of allocation / access to resource
  • Flexibility of resource
  • Career opportunities / development  
  • Fairness and transparency
  • Flattening capacity / utilization levels
  • Engagement

A spokesperson for the firm commented: “There were three overarching reasons for undertaking this pilot with BigHand. The first was to make the way in which resource was allocated easier and more accessible. The second was to make the process fairer, based on quantified measures of utilization and capacity. Ensuring that work is assigned to the individuals and / or teams with the best levels of capacity is ultimately better for staff, the business and our clients. Of equal importance was ensuring that we understood our fee earners’ interests and areas where they wanted to develop their skills, as a key part of ongoing staff satisfaction and retention.” 

Success Measure 1: Ease of Allocation and Access to Resource 

Key success metrics achieved:

  • Over 600 requests for work input and filled through BigHand Resource Management during 4-month pilot.
  • 90% of these had a same-day response rate with 60% responded to within an hour.
  • 60% of these requests were made by Partners, with the response time to confirm a resource request or suggest the right one within a day being 72%.

In addition, while BigHand was deployed within the firm’s UK offices: 

  • 30 resource allocations were made for teams outside of corporate UK, including allocations in Dubai, Dublin, Innovation and Legal Tech, and Banking support.
  • In total, 123 cross-office allocations were made, while 21% of allocations covered resource absences, including holiday cover, sickness and study leave – both of which highlighted the ability of the solution to support sharing of resource where this was the best option to safeguard the timeliness and profitability of client work.

As one Partner commented: “I have found the new process quick and efficient, and it has enabled me to work with individuals who I wouldn't have thought to reach out to before.”

Success Measure 2: Understanding Utilization and Capacity 

Key success metrics achieved:  

  • Every request made through BigHand Resource Management was checked against utilization rates across the team and groups.  
  • Junior associates who were not hitting their utilization levels are all now hitting the targets set for them with the use of BigHand Resource Management. 

“We consciously and actively sought to assign individuals with lower utilization rates more work, as well as reallocating work away from those who were showing as being consistently over capacity,” said the firm’s spokesperson. “Not only did this serve to alleviate potential dissatisfaction and relieve pressure on those individuals, it also meant that we could better manage impending client deadlines.” 

“The work allocation process has not only improved speed with allocating matters, but the process has helped with some pre-existing performance issues, which we struggled to deal with before,” added a Partner. 

Success Measure 3: Career Opportunities & Staff Development 

Key success metrics achieved:  

  • BigHand completed 100% of the skills matrix for the associates involved, with associates who expressed an interest in particular areas having been put forward for opportunities with the right levels of support in place, as well as by challenging the requested level and making it known it is an interest area.  
  • With exceptions due to urgent deadlines, the majority of the time these suggestions were accepted by the requesting Partners.  
  • The firm’s resource managers or allocated supervisors actively undertook one-to-one development conversations, supporting the proactive matching of work with targeted individuals. 

“What I didn't know was that [the associate] has a specific interest in the area of work required. She was delighted to have been asked to do this and was very impressed that we had identified her interest,” added one Partner. 

  • Workload calls in all locations involved in the pilot have helped associates to see how busy they are and to have fair access to outstanding requests. This has also helped increase a sense of teamwork, particularly in moving matters and sharing workloads to make room for new matters.  

For more information on how BigHand Resource Management can benefit your firm, request a demo.

About BigHand Resource Management

BigHand Resource Management is a legal work allocation tool that allows law firms to identify resources, forecast utilisation, manage workloads and add structure to career development for lawyers. The solution delivers real-time visibility of team availability, improved profitability on matters and supports DEI goals and equitable allocation of work.

BigHand Resource Management