BCLP redesigns legal work allocation to improve associate career development and support hybrid working for optimized client delivery


International law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) will redesign how work is allocated across its litigation practice in North America, supported by resource management specialists BigHand. The decision comes after a successful similar project within BCLP’s transaction practice in the UK and Europe

As part of this process, BCLP decided to move away from the traditional partner-led work allocation model, an approach that can create unconscious bias that limits equitable access to opportunities. In addition to meeting BCLP’s inclusion goals, creating an operationally managed process for all work allocation will improve overall use of skills, smoothing out the peaks and troughs in demand throughout the lawyer population.

The project includes the creation of a dedicated resource manager role to act on behalf of partners to identify suitable associates, using data to enhance and support the process. The new role will save significant partner time, while ensuring the career plans of each individual lawyer are considered – from the partners they want to work with to their evolving areas of interest.

The overall approach is underpinned by BigHand’s Resource Management Technology, which allows law firms to identify resources, forecast utilization, manage workloads and add structure to career development for lawyers. The solution delivers real-time visibility of lawyer availability, improved profitability on matters and supports law firm diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) goals for equitable allocation of work.

 “After seeing the successful implementation of our BigHand work allocation project in Europe, we look forward to extending its use to the U.S.,” commented Global Department Leader for Litigation & Investigations, Lee Marshall. 

“BigHand’s approach to resource management, accompanied by its technology, means that we expect to see the same equity of work between our associates as well as helping to drive our DEI efforts.”

Director of Inclusion & Diversity (US) Tommy Shi added

“Our clients don’t want to see lawyers working around the clock; they want to see what we are doing to shift the dial and address equal opportunity throughout the business. The BigHand Resource Management technology will provide a structure and a system that helps us demonstrate how we ensure all associates receive a fair share of work, and we can demonstrate to clients that we have the ability to scale work up and down, ensuring lawyer time is always best used across different matters for optimal delivery.”

About Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

With over 1,400 lawyers in 30 offices across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is a fully integrated global law firm that provides clients with connected legal advice, wherever and whenever they need it. The firm is known for its relationship-driven, collaborative culture, diverse legal experience and industry-shaping innovation and offers clients one of the most active M&A, real estate, financial services, litigation and corporate risk practices in the world.

About BigHand  

Through technology, insight and experience, BigHand delivers success for the future by helping law firms achieve professional productivity and profitability. BigHand is proud to support 82% of the Top 200 firms in the UK and 81% of Am Law 200 firms, and actively listens and responds to client needs, demonstrated in its 2021 customer satisfaction score of 96%, and NPS score of +82.

Following the recent news that BigHand has acquired Iridium Technology, the combined organization has over 3,600 clients and 810,000 users worldwide and can now provide a single platform for law firms financial and operational data.

About BigHand Resource Management

BigHand Resource Management is a legal work allocation tool that allows law firms to identify resources, forecast utilization, 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