Under the new system, HFW can allocate client matters more flexibly across the firm, based on individual lawyers' expertise and current workloads, rather than the traditional law firm approach of associates being tied to specific partners.
To facilitate the change in approach, HFW has adopted a new software platform that monitors lawyer utilisation in real time. This allows the firm to efficiently allocate matters to lawyers with spare capacity, ensuring better and more balanced utilisation across the business.
The resource management system was initially piloted by the firm's global Aerospace group, which saw increased utilisation of 7.5% worldwide and 20% in London over a three-month period.
Sid Welham, COO, HFW: "We're always striving for ways to improve the service we offer to our clients. Our new resource management system enables us to make best use of the incredible expertise we have across our global industry groups, legal services and international network. It also means that our lawyers get a chance to broaden their skills by working on a variety of matters.
"The pilot was an overwhelming success, and the system is already proving invaluable during the Covid-19 crisis. Despite much of the firm switching to remote working as a result of lockdowns, we have been able to quickly and effectively respond to urgent client enquiries and help them through this challenging period."
HFW instructed legal resource management consultancy Mason & Cook, now part of BigHand, to help devise and implement the new system, including the company's Resource Management software. BigHand consultant Alex Trodd has been embedded within HFW throughout the process.