Law firms have a lot of problems when it comes to pricing, pitching, workflow, efficiency and matter budgeting. That’s not a newsflash to most people. Clients know it; lawyers know it and support staff know it. But did you know that there is one company that has analysed and articulated these problems to a degree that makes it distinct amongst law firm software providers? That company is BigHand.
Big systems don’t automatically solve big problems
Every law firm needs a billing system, a practice management system and a document management system but even the best of these systems don’t automatically solve persistent problems faced by law firms.
At the BigHand community conference held in Sydney recently, we heard from law firms that surely have the best of systems but still turned to BigHand to solve problems, aim for better efficiency outcomes and to lower stress levels for their workforce. Firms sharing their stories included Allens, Pinsent Masons, Carroll & O’Dea and Mullins.
Innovation doesn’t happen magically
One of the things that separated these firms from many other firms is that they each have people in innovation roles. For smaller firms it may not be a dedicated position but it is a function that is taken seriously and allocated resources when justified.
The delegates from these firms made the point that having an innovation person or team is not the beginning and end of solving problems. Innovation people are rarely the ones who are performing the work that is suffering from inefficiencies or other problems. The challenge of their role is to encourage people to safely express their views and to offer suggestions. An innovation role is more like a facilitating role. Innovation people should not be expected to know all the problems and have all the solutions.
The words heard coming out of law firms, sometimes privately, are:
- Our profitability is falling / not growing
- Corporate clients expect me to back prices/rates with data
- We use the wrong resources on our matters
- It is an increasingly competitive market
- Budget overruns are hurting my client relationships
- We’re writing off too much time
- There’s more fixed fee work and it’s harder to turn a profit on it
- Creating pitch/presentation documents takes too much time
- We’re sat on mountains of data we can’t use
- Reports are delivered too late to effectively manage problems
- We want lawyers to own their profitability, lockup – that’s a big challenge
In many firms, a lot of this is unspoken or taboo topics. This is how BigHand makes such a difference. It articulates the problems better than almost anyone and provides technology tools specifically designed for law firms.
Law firm clients are losing their patience
BigHand’s suite of solutions has been strengthened by both internal product development and acquisitions. The company is probably best known for its dictation, workflow and task delegation solutions. Also demonstrated at the conference were its newer solutions that have come about from acquisitions, such as BigHand PitchPoint, BigHand Evaluate and BigHand Quantum.
BigHand has never been in a stronger position to solve more genuine and persistent problems faced by law firms, particularly at a time when clients of law firms are less willing to be at the receiving end of these issues.
BigHand is currently running a global cash flow survey to uncover the latest trends and industry standards around key profitability challenges, such as:
– How do your plans to reduce lock-up compare to other firms?
– How do other firms share profitability data in the firm?
– How do we encourage a culture of profitability?
Click the image below to participate in the survey