DWF delivers digital transformation at lightspeed

DWF is a leading global provider of integrated legal and business services. With expertise spanning eight key sectors, DWF delivers comprehensive solutions through its three main offerings: Legal Services, Legal Operations, and Business Services.

Industry: Legal
Location: UK
Size: Enterprise (1000+ employees)

DWF chief technology officer Jon Grainger discusses how legal CMS ShareDo is turbocharging the firm’s data journey — powering its ambitions as it enters the race to leverage AI in legal

Introduction

Picture your team substantively increasing the volume of casework they process each day. DWF’s motor recoveries practice was able to do just that, all within a week of going live with legal case management system (CMS) ShareDo. The global law firm is using the platform to replace legacy systems — and to help deliver on its business aspirations as it enters the artificial intelligence (AI) age.

“Our sweet spot is solving complex problems for our clients through our integrated legal and business services,” says Jon Grainger, chief technology officer at DWF. And so, the ability to produce high-quality data was an absolute must-have when choosing a new CMS — essential for generating high-quality client management information (MI), and leveraging machine learning (ML) and AI effectively.”

The problem

Having joined the legal sector seven years ago, John has observed a huge amount of frustration with the quality of MI, as well as the speed and reliability of legal systems — a growing compatibility drift when placed next to more modern capabilities. Compounded by high levels of M&A in the industry, this has spawned “impossibly dysfunctional sets of tech”, he says, and an ever-growing backlog of IT requests.

So, when it came to identifying a platform capable of managing all legal work types while being scalable and API-first, for Grainger the choice was obvious.

Blazing through bottlenecks

DWF went live with a highly automated and complex legal work type in April 2024, 11 months after kicking off the proof-of-concept. Previously, it took two years to get to a similar state with other implementations, and by comparison ShareDo has been an especially ambitious one, Grainger notes — delivered at lightspeed as far as legal business transformation goes.

“Speed is the KPI,” he says. With ShareDo, several of the processes the motor recoveries team spent a few minutes on per task now take mere seconds to complete— and trial bundling, which would take up to three hours per bundle, now takes around 20 minutes. Intuitive workflows are helping supervisors save up to 15 minutes per proceedings.”

ShareDo’s accelerators for different work type configurations, forms and workflows help DWF develop its own processes at speed, achieving a majority of this work out-of-the-box. “We can change the rest as we need quite rapidly. Even more exciting is when we implement the platform in the same practice area but perhaps under a different jurisdiction, using our version of the accelerator will get us even closer to an 80-90% fit right out the gate.”

It’s this ability to swiftly adjust and reconfigure the system that Grainger finds most remarkable. In the early days of testing the platform, he recalls an incident he colloquially refers to as ‘clickgate’: “Someone rang me up to say that the build had five more clicks than the system they were currently on — a disaster! But only an hour later, I got another call telling me it had been fixed.”

It turned out that ShareDo was displaying all the substages of the process to reveal how the system worked end-to-end, but reconfigured it immediately after receiving feedback from the firm. “The ShareDo team know their product inside out, and the speed they work at is incredible. Our group went from saying there were too many clicks to being impressed with how quickly the change was made.”

Results

The implementation of ShareDo brought about significant efficiency gains for HF. The modern enterprise platform reduced the time spent on legal administrative tasks, thereby shortening case lifecycle times. This improvement not only added value for clients and their customers but also enhanced HF’s cash flow by enabling faster billing cycles.

ShareDo also offered substantial improvements in data management. The system ensured accurate data capture and validation through rigorous data quality rules, which safeguarded against incomplete tasks and inaccurate information entry. This enhanced data accuracy facilitated better access to and insights from the firm’s data, enabling more informed decision-making.

HF’s staff found the new system empowering, as it increased their self-sufficiency. Despite the typical challenges associated with adopting a new system, user feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. The firm anticipates that users will soon fully exploit ShareDo’s benefits and share these advantages across their teams.

From a strategic perspective, the implementation of ShareDo aligned seamlessly with HF’s business goals. The firm was able to leverage technology and data not just for operational efficiency, but as tools to enable broader business objectives. By turning data into actionable information, ShareDo empowered HF’s end users, ultimately benefiting the clients they serve.