Post by Fraser Mayfield |
Many law firms we speak to these days talk about the importance of Microsoft-based technology for their business and are beginning to recognise the need for a single, connected, scalable business environment that encompasses functions across the spectrum including financial, human resource management, talent management, and time and billing. This is essentially a business management-based approach to law firm operation and one that is likely to become the de facto standard for law firm operation.
Budgetary pressures are likely to continue for the foreseeable future for customers, in turn putting pressure on law firms to better utilise their resources. Law firms need to devise a mechanism that allocates the most appropriate resources to matters without compromising quality or profitability. For instance, where appropriate, leveraging favourable transfer pricing to utilise lawyers located in regions where costs are lower can assist in offering a competitively priced service. Furthermore, insight into how long matters take to complete, how efficiently the work is performed, what level of personnel must be assigned to different types of matter, and so on is crucial to accurately pricing services.
Attracting and retaining talent across the business spectrum is now crucial and firms require the ability to streamline recruitment processes, structure employee appraisals, and undertake skills and career development for the entire organisation on an ongoing basis to satisfy the evolving needs of employees and the organisation itself.
For firms looking to internationalise their business, standardising reporting across jurisdictions will be key to ensuring fair and transparent performance assessment processes, similar to those that mainstream enterprises and corporates use. The need for this will be even more pronounced if external investment is involved. In addition, firms will also need to standardise management reporting structures to ensure that all legislative responsibilities are met with.
Combining best-of-breed, third party and add-on solutions to patch together a technology platform is no longer viable. Law firms really do need to adopt a more holistic and comprehensive approach to operation. Our business management system, codenamed Nimbus (powered by Microsoft Dynamics AX), has been designed to offer all the best practice and functionality needed by law firms to operate profitably.