Four law firms who are digitally transforming legal service delivery have been selected as finalists in the 2015 ALPMA/InfoTrack Thought Leadership Awards. The four finalists are RMB Lawyers, LegalVision, Lawlab and The Conveyancing Shop.
The winner will be announced at the 2015 ALPMA Summit Gala Dinner at the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre on Thursday 10 September.
“Law firms exist in a digital world - we are seeing many firms taking advantage of the enormous opportunities offered by working digitally.” Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA), President and CFO, Lantern Legal Group, Mr Andrew Barnes said.
“It is really inspiring to see firms successfully transforming the traditional law firm business model by enabling the remote and virtual delivery of high quality legal services. Clients are demanding it. Law firms who are delivering it are seeing ROIs in terms of improved productivity and workplace flexibility and, in time, profitability,” he said.
“As a digital disruptor ourselves, we are delighted to see the impact digital technology is having across the whole legal sector and how companies are embracing innovation to help them focus on their clients and their employees and answer the needs of both groups more effectively and efficiently than ever before,” Mr Stephen Wood, CEO, InfoTrack said. “Despite what some commentators may say, the digital revolution is alive and kicking in Australian law,” he added.
RMB Lawyers, Illawarra’s largest law firm, created Unison Outsourcing to provide capital city based law firms and corporate in-house legal teams with high-quality, Australian based alternative to using overseas based providers. Costs are kept low due to its physical location in regional NSW, and services are provided on a fixed fee basis. Unison works in conjunction with customers to decompose legal processes into constituent parts and manage them back into their customer’s work flow in an efficient and cost-effective way.
“Importantly, Unison supports regional Australia and is held to the same high standards as an Australian law firm,” Mr Craig Osborne, CEO at Unison Outsourcing said. “Keeping legal roles in Australia means law students and young lawyers have a greater chance of breaking into a competitive market. As legal process outsourcing involves outsourcing more complex legal work, RMB and Unison are uniquely placed to cope with increasing legal/intellectual demands,” he said.
LegalVision, an online legal services provider with a particular focus on SME law, was recognised for their inbound content program, which transformed legalvision.com.au into Australia’s most visited legal services website and successfully generates approximately 20 new customer leads each day (out of a total of 60 leads generated from all channels).
“Our inbound content program really has had a huge impact on our growth. When we launched the campaign we had eight employees and were getting 2 to 3 leads from organic search a day. We’ve now got 39 employees, and are generating over 20 leads from organic search a day”, Chief Executive Officer, Lachlan McKnight said. “We’ve hired two to three lawyers each month in the first six months of this year. Over 90% of our senior lawyers work on a part-time or casual basis, flexibly and remotely.”
“Our inbound content strategy is to a large degree responsible for this rapid hiring, and for our ability to bring back talented lawyers into the profession who are looking for a more flexible lifestyle,” he said.
lawlab, a property law firm specialising in conveyancing, was recognised for their ‘Project Rundl’ which redesigned the way conveyancing services are delivered by bringing together all the parties involved in a conveyancing transaction together into one secure, digital workspace to deliver an efficient, streamlined, customer-centric, e-conveyancing service.
“Lawlab’s e-conveyancing service is fulfilling strong consumer desire for digital service delivery,” Mr Ian Perkins, Managing Director at lawlab said.
“Rather than repeatedly meeting face to face, talking over the phone or sending numerous emails, consumers can engage online at their convenience in a secure environment. This means their personal business matters do not have to fit into or around their workday or consume large portions of their leisure time.”
“Project Rundl has also driven significant growth, with our conveyancing business growing 400% last year, and enabled higher productivity and profitability and importantly very happy customers,” he said.
New Zealand property lawyers and award finalist, The Conveyancing Shop Lawyers, introduced George the Robot, as a means of personalising the remote delivery of legal advice to clients by their specialist lawyers - while reducing their travel time and increasing capacity.
George is a tele-presence Robot from Double Robotics that includes a tablet screen as a ‘head’ and Segway like ‘feet’ to get around. George can move, back, up, and turn. This is all directed by his controller – one of the Conveyancing Shop’s specialist lawyers, a client, or a management team member.
“George the Robot lets clients meet with a lawyer even if they’re on the other side of the city - or even the world”, Conveyancing Shop Lawyers’ General Manager, Ms Sirpa Gunn, said.
“He travels to Conveyancing Shop branches and clients’ homes with a mobile legal executive, saving clients and lawyers travel time and expense, and because the lawyer using him can use him to address anyone in the room. George makes digital communication more personal – especially when multiple people are involved in a meeting.”
There were 18 nominations for the 2015 ALPMA/InfoTrack Thought Leadership Awards. Last year’s Award winner was Hive Legal, a start-up virtual law firm.
The Awards were judged by an industry panel including: Shelley Dunstone, Principal Legal Circles and ALPMA Life Member; Dr Peter Lynch, Managing Director, dci lycon; Shirley Hamel, Principal Hamel Consulting and ALPMA Life Member; Stephen Wood, CEO, InfoTrack and Brendan Smart, General Manager – Sales, InfoTrack.
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