Recent years have heralded a catalyst for cultural change within law firms, driven by a number of factors external to the industry. The pandemic has had one of the biggest impacts on employment in recent times, causing workers across all industries to reconsider their career ventures and their career values.
There has been a fundamental shift to hybrid working, as well as a global need to improve the picture around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In parallel, law firm clients have become a lot more interested in how work is being completed for them, with the diversity of the teams staffing their matters in focus more than ever before.
If addition to the aforementioned, current economic circumstances are raising the bar higher still. Law firms have needed to optimise every available resource and skill set across geographies and between practice teams – to attract and retain talent and optimise commercial deployment and profitability.
These factors have converged to raise Resource Management (RM) up law firms’ priority lists.
Data-led commercial deployment
As early adopters of legal Resource Management in 2017, Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) recognised the significant business benefits by identifying and deploying the right skilled individual for the right client matter at the right time.
By partnering with legal technology specialist BigHand on the implementation of its Resource Management platform of choice, NRF’s fee earners are able to input their client commitments and indicate both current and desired skills on specific matters. The technology empowers NRF’s Resource Management team to quantify future capacity and predicted activity levels by team and location, search for capacity and capability and ensure the firm can both anticipate, and react quickly to, fluctuations in resourcing requirements on its clients’ matters.
Sam Larkins, Head of Resource Management (EMEA), Norton Rose Fulbright, explains: “There are a number of commercial benefits we’ve gained as a result of using BigHand. On the one hand, we can ensure clients that we will always have people that are skilled and trained and available to work on their matter, irrespective of geographical location. It presents a powerful message that we will be able to support them through what's going on in the wider market with the team and resources we already have in place, rather than increase local hiring or increasing costs.
“Similarly, for staff, we can offer the internal reassurance that there is going to be movement of work and opportunities across our EMEA offices.”
“And finally, we also have the clear evidence to provide both clients and staff alike that all our matters are resourced fairly, equitably and with diversity and inclusion in mind.”Follow the links to review the Norton Rose Fulbright “Delivering value with legal resource management” transformational article and Bighand’s “NRF resource management case study” for further information relating to people development.
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