Making the most of a modern, flexible platform
Technology that can connect colleagues and clients, centralize documents and data, enhance and streamline processes, offer a modern user experience, and deliver custom client solutions that set it apart is vital for international law firm Bird & Bird. With 1,300 lawyers and a total staff of around 2,400 serving clients across Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and North and Central America, Thomson Reuters HighQ — the modern, adaptable legal operations and business management software solution that simplifies legal processes — plays a central role in helping deliver top-quality service and add even more value to its diverse client base.
Over the last ten years, the firm has continuously developed its use of HighQ. Initially, the firm used it to provide secure deal rooms to enable documents and information to be shared easily. Now, it delivers dedicated client portals as a one-stop shop for client needs and creates customized solutions for specific and often complex client requirements. All this saves lawyers’ time and empowers clients to have greater access to and visibility over their matters. It improves communication and eliminates the friction created in manual processes while delivering a modern, tailored, leading-edge user experience.
Adding value in many ways
Eric Sham, LegalTech Solutions Manager at Bird & Bird, says: “Clients are now really interested in how we can leverage technology to keep their costs down or make sure they’re getting the most efficient and streamlined legal service. That’s where technology gives us that value-add as a company. Among the complicated and emerging LegalTech market, we have strategically chosen our LegalTech stack here at Bird & Bird. HighQ is one of the products we have at our disposal, and it plays a crucial part in adding value to the client work we do as a law firm. It’s so flexible we can use it in many different ways depending on the matter and what works best for the client, catering to their needs.”
The firm has made the solution its own by white-labeling it — putting clients and firm branding on each portal and creating a fresh, contemporary look and feel — and by finding innovative ways to deploy it.
For example, they have created trackers that monitor legal proceedings or developments to help lawyers and clients stay current at all times. Multi-jurisdictional comparison tools developed in HighQ provide a dynamic, interactive way to monitor and assess legal requirements across the globe. They take a tailored approach to document automation: clients can fill out dynamic questionnaires in HighQ that automatically generate contracts. Sham explains, “This is very powerful. Whereas before business teams would have to go to the legal department to request, review, and sign off on hundreds of documents, this is a platform that generates that contract every time in the same format. It gives that consistency, and it removes the bottleneck. So, the business is not held back by the legal teams, and the legal teams can focus on more complex legal issues. Ultimately, they’re able to offer their services quicker and better.”
Trackers developed in HighQ also help with workflow and project management, from automated task notifications and deadline alerts to contract oversight and signing. Sham points out that another benefit of HighQ is that it integrates with third-party software like DocuSign, so all processes and tasks are kept in one place to keep what could otherwise be a “messy” process tidy. Sham adds, “We want to make the user journey as simple and smooth as possible to reduce friction and provide a modern user experience. We’ve branded HighQ in our own way and put our own spin on how we lay out the platform. So, although everyone who has HighQ has the same tools to play with, we’ve made it our own, and I think that sets us apart from other law firms.”
Benefits for all
Creating all these use cases pays dividends across both the firm and its client base. “HighQ gives us the ability to scale complex product solutions quickly across our clients and teams because of the powerful functionality, low-code implementation, and templating capabilities — transforming the client experience when working with Bird & Bird,” comments Sham. “So even though we’re a small LegalTech team, we can serve a lot of colleagues and clients globally.’’
According to Sham, everyone benefits. Centralizing everything helps clients by storing content in one user-friendly interface and reducing email traffic that can otherwise be very hard to keep on top of over long periods of time. It also allows legal teams to streamline their operations and smooth out project processes so they can focus on their work. Plus, the IT department can offer more value to the rest of the firm.
With more and more clients asking about legal technology capabilities in RFPs and pitches, demonstrating what Bird & Bird can do with HighQ allows them to be competitive and has a part to play in the firm winning new work. Therefore, the continued investment that Thomson Reuters makes in developing and enhancing HighQ over time to deliver additional advanced functionality is very important.
“There are a lot of bells and whistles with HighQ, and you can use the different building blocks to deliver specific functions,” says Sham. “But it’s not like you just purchase it and it performs the same function for the next ten years. It’s always improving and growing. It’s good to see that, so our lawyers and clients reap the benefits of new features as they’re released, and we can continue to offer the highest standards.”
Bird & Bird
Established in 1846, the firm provides a full suite of legal services across industries, including technology, defense, financial services, healthcare, retail, media, sport, hospitality, aviation, automotive, and energy.
Previously, Bird & Bird was using a content management solution that involved extensive complex coding and was for internal use only. It was essential to be able to roll out deal rooms, client portals, and other complex solutions quickly and easily to serve users across the globe.
HighQ is a low-code platform that is flexible enough to be used in many different ways to suit the unique requirements of individual clients, but it is also easy to use, enabling firms to scale solutions across the business. Leveraging the technology in this way is a value-add for clients.
- Modern, high-quality user experience
- Easy to use with minimal coding required
- Quick to set up deal rooms and client portals
- Plenty of scope to develop innovative use cases
- Extensive features and functionality are continuously being added
For more information about HighQ, contact your HighQ Client Success Manager.