Trowers' Race to Innovate: gamifying crucial non-billable work
International law firm Trowers & Hamlins is committed to delivering innovative client solutions and developing ways for its lawyers to work smarter and more efficiently with clients. Innovative actions are underpinned by innovative thinking.
Trower's attitude to forward thinking is exemplified by its 'Race to Innovate' initiative which was a huge success. Over 100 Trowers & Hamlins' lawyers participated in teams to pitch their ideas for both client facing technology solutions, including use of data analytics, automation and applications to improve how they work, which helps to ensure Trower's remain at the forefront of providing innovative solutions.
The competition resulted in a number of projects being developed for clients and most recently, Trowers & Hamlins’ Innovation and Legal Technology team has launched their first application, Ad Astra, designed in conjunction with the winning team, Rita Dattani, Professional Support Lawyer; Daniel Fletcher, Senior Business Development Manager; and Adam Berman, Senior Associate, using the BRYTER no-code automation platform.
Incentivising crucial, but non-billable work
Billable hours are often the key metric used by law firms to measure a lawyer's performance, but many activities, while delivering real value to the firm by way of marketing, know-how, and business development, are not billable. For this reason, it can be hard to demonstrate individual contribution and provide recognition and appreciation to the lawyers for this work, and harder still to motivate busy lawyers to consistently complete these actions when there is other billable work to be done.
'Ad Astra' has a simple purpose: automate, gamify and recognise the work done after completing a deal.
The application adds value to the firm by capturing value-enhancing actions in the post-completion process including: (1) marketing value (profile raising, expanding network), (2) client relationship value (repeat business and/or referrals) and (3) know-how value (technical and market knowledge and identification of efficiencies).
The solution gamifies the post-completion process in a way to incentivise lawyers to complete all actions that will benefit their departments' processes and profiles. The gamification approach involves competition elements such as a leaderboard, to showcase the total number of entries made, points accumulated and ranking of each fee-earner, to improve engagement with the lawyers and recognise the efforts of the deal team.
The application includes the following features:
- Post-completion checklist questionnaire.
- Leaderboard with star profiles of lawyers and leading departments
- Document automation to generate the post-completion checklist
- Email workflows for effective, automatic communication
By automating this otherwise manual process, the firm sees the following benefits:
- Better oversight: by collating all post-completion information in a dynamic database, the firm has better documentation and oversight which otherwise would have lived in multiple different places.
- Recognising and incentivising non-billable work: By creating an application with a leaderboard awarding stars for those who do the checklist, Trowers has found an innovative way to recognise the efforts of the team after a deal.
- Delivering value to the firm: capturing valuable business development, marketing, and know-how information to further benefit department and firm profiles.
This application is the first in what Trowers plans to be a growing library of solutions to improve internal efficiency and deliver greater value to clients.
Anna Browne, Head of Innovation and Legal Technology, commented:
"The quality of the ideas in the Race to Innovate competition really were outstanding. This competition is an illustration of Trowers' true innovative nature, ability to work together, and creativity in finding solutions to problems both big and small. It's exciting to be on this journey with our firm, delivering truly innovative and valuable solutions to our clients. Ad Astra will be the first of many applications we develop to improve internal efficiency and bring enhanced value to our services for clients."