Award winning, Top 50, law firm Weightmans has made impressive use of technology which in turn has improved the firm’s internal turnaround times for fee earner requests to support teams. This underpins the firm’s focus of delivering excellent client service (evidenced in an overall client satisfaction rating of 8.3 against a legal industry average of 8.0).
The firm has recently taken its support service for fee earners to the next stage of development, with a revamp of its centralized support team. The newly branded ‘Red Team’ is based out of Liverpool. This is a more cost effective center for the business and is available out-of-hours until 22:00. The changes have resulted in an increase in document production volume whilst simultaneously reducing turnaround times; a benefit which has ultimately improved the firm’s client service output.
A long way forward from the historic one-to-one lawyer to secretary ratios, the firm now boasts a highly agile support service, supported by efficient task delegation using BigHand based on a team mentality. For example, in a 12-month period, one secretary at the firm had completed work for over 230 different fee-earners. Another example is that out of the 116,000 tasks through BigHand in the same time period, the top five fee-earners had work completed by 29 different people on average, with consistent quality throughout. The more non-billable work delegated, the more billable time created for the lawyers.
Lorraine Wells, Head of Facilities at Weightmans comments; “In order to optimize our client service delivery, we want to ensure we have a first-class service available internally for our fee earners which then, in turn, allows them to focus on billable time for the firm. With the new team in place our fee earners know that their work will be picked up and completed in a timely manner, even after hours. With the majority of fee earners choosing to delegate work using their voice for speed, the effectiveness of our support service is underpinned by BigHand.”
The firm have full visibility of current workloads and can easily prioritize urgent work by filtering by due date, as well as having access to real-time updates on the progress of work. The technology is used to delegate non-billable work throughout the business, with the top five users only equating to 6% of the overall voice delegation in the firm.
Stuart Whittle, Business Services and Innovation Director concludes, “With the continued industry shift of clients demanding more for less, we pride ourselves on our ability to remain agile as a firm and adopt internal change to maintain our client service levels. We see technology as an enabler for change, and guaranteeing our staff embrace technology is without doubt at the core of our innovation.”
He continued, “We introduced the changes to our internal support function with a view to enhance the utilization and management of resources available to our fee earners and have been delighted with the results. BigHand is vital for the accurate delegation of work to the support team and provides us with a clear view of how work is progressing at any time. The tool is just as important as using email in our day-to-day work life at Weightmans and is an integral system not only for our client service delivery, but also to the firm as a whole.”