Category Archives: Performance

Business Analytics and Reporting to help you run a better law firm – Bi24

C24, Wright Hassall

Improve the performance of your legal practice – fill gaps in the capability of your practice management system.

CASE STUDY:  Wright Hassall, solicitors implemented Bi24, which is C24’s business analytics and reporting solution for law firms, connected to Wright Hassall’s key data feeds across management reporting, practice management systems and marketing applications.

The Outcomes:  Easy access to data and insights has changed the way teams work at Wright Hassall, providing users across the entire organisation from Managing Partners to support staff with the ability to perform ondemand, self-service reporting whenever they need to. Data can now be pooled between different applications to drive greater insights across work in progress cases and ensure better returns on investment for marketing activities.

One of the most important developments is the ability for the firm to create dynamic client facing dashboards that assimilate information into one place; showing the client’s current billing position, work in progress, outstanding payments due, hours worked and activities undertaken. This enables Wright Hassall to keep their clients up to date and provide them with regular reporting so that they are aware of payments due, which is increasingly important in a post-recession era where maintaining healthy cash flow is a business reality.

Additionally, Wright Hassall are now able to extend their reporting capabilities out to customers of their clients, for scenarios where updates on legal matters are required to be reported to a client’s wider customer base. For instance, Wright Hassall can provide reporting via portals to the tenants of their property management clients with updates on tenancy agreements, disputes and queries. This enables Wright Hassall to differentiate itself by becoming a data services provider to its own clients, in a way that suits the business models and growth objectives of its key client base.

IT Director, Martyn Wells, highlighted the change in the business through the introduction of better reporting practices. “Data is now driving behaviours within the firm. When partners are creating their forecasts and business strategies for the year, they are now proactively seeking out data insights from the Bi24 tool to inform their strategies”, commented Wells. “We are also seeing how better reporting through Bi24 can allow us to stay competitive in an age of fixed price fees, enabling us to continually assess costs and margin positions for better business decision making. Data is now supporting us in achieving our ambitious growth targets.”

DOWNLOAD a copy of the full CASE STUDY REPORT here >>

For more information about other proven technology solutions that can improve the operation of your business, contact Allan Carton at Inpractice UK.

Unique online delivery system for ILM & CMI approved management training

Blended LearningeAlliance Education Centre

Our L&D business partner, eAlliance has just launched an innovative learning and education platform that enables law firms to deliver fully accredited ILM and CMI approved training  qualifications to staff using a partial or fully online service to support delivery of programmes that cover essential personal skills needed in any legal practice:

  • Team Leading (Level 2)
  • Leadership & Management (Levels 3 & 5)
  • Coaching & Management (Levels 3, 5 & 7)

Why is the Education Centre different to a normal Learning Management System (LMS)?

The Education Centre delivers a “qualification in a box”.  It has all the standard features you would expect from a modern LMS, but is uniquely configured to intuitively support the learner’s journey through a qualification programme. It contains online curriculum, learning resources and support materials that have been mapped to qualification units in key business subject areas from team leading to senior executive level.  It equips your trainers and L&D team to:

  • Plan and manage every aspect of a qualification delivery process
  • Give access to quality learning and resource materials, pre-mapped to each unit
  • Provide tutor support materials and tools
  • Host virtual classrooms, online tutorials and social media forums
  • Manage assessments, communication and reporting
  • Support blended or fully virtual delivery models

Supporting Tutors, Training Providers and Businesses

The Education Centre is fully customisable, enabling you to create your own qualification programmes from a range of key subject areas. With a virtual classroom, easy-to-manage assessments and simple communication and reporting features, this system has everything you need to deliver professionally recognised development programmes that will make a real impact on both your people and organisational performance.

Which qualifications do Education Centre Support?

Team Leading:

Leadership & Management

Coaching & Management

To contact eAlliance to request more information or to book a demo – go here.

Three Boxes: a Clear Strategy to lead effective innovation in your legal practice.

Well worth watching.  Simple and rational – but I hadn’t looked at this clearly before.

At a time when the most successful lawyers will be those that become more pro-active in developing innovative ways of delivering legal services that give clients and business partners more value from using legal services … here is an interesting way to structure your thinking.  It should help you create more thinking time about new services, while also getting on with running the current business.

With this clarity, there is a better chance of making it happen!

To Innovate, You Have to Manage the Past, Present, and Future

Busy HR teams are recruiting. Next step – Induction. How do you make sure that you get them on board, keep and develop them?

Every law firm I have talked to over the last 6 months has been looking to recruit more people, so there is a challenge to make sure that new people are inducted effectively when they arrive; but not JUST when they arrive!  Induction and ongoing development has been a big challenge for law firms as long as I can remember.  It has improved but could generally be a lot better.

How do people (HR, the new recruits, the experienced people in your practice) find time; how do they make sure the right things happens and that every recruit gets consistently effective input from all the right places?

It takes time for people to settle in and there is a lot to learn that can’t and shouldn’t all be crammed in only during Week 1.  There should be a structured induction programme that spans week 1, the first quarter, the first 6 months … the first year.

How do you make sure this happens in a busy legal office?

One solution comes from our learning and development (L&D) partners, e-Alliance as an integral part of a pro-active blended approach to learning and development.  Their L&D software platform allows you – for each legal and support role across your practice – to manage your induction processes using our Learning Management System enabling you to:

  1. Identify all the components of induction that is needed
  2. Set a timetable for each to  be completed
  3. Make training available from their existing library of content to your people online.
  4. Incorporate your own material in the programme and timetable
  5. Track and report visually to the new employee, their manager and HR on progress
  6. Plan next steps in their development to achieve the appropriate competences they need
  7. For solicitors; map out development in line with SRA competency requirements to ensure compliance.

Discover how eAlliance can help you improve the efficiency and simplify the delivery and management of every of your staff induction process.  Their Staff Induction Programme has been designed to simplify and join up all aspects of your induction process through a series of easily navigated, online modules which can be accessed from a PC, Laptop or any mobile device.

To find out more call John Baxter on 01787 370735 or email e-Alliance at
info@ea-learningtech.com

Share this – Make it easier for your lawyers to rate their performance and get agreement on how to improve it.

Natwest Benchmarks 2015 Snapshot - Profit per Equity Partner, PEPDownload this free series of slides which condenses the key financial benchmarks identified in NatWest’s 2015 survey of law firms.   Then share them with your fee earners to set achievable expectations and develop a better understanding of the potential improvements that lawyers can influence directly to put more money in their pockets.  The challenge then is to explore and agree how best to do that.

The opening slides introduce the key components that you and your people can pro-actively work on within your practice to improve profitability.

The remainder pull out the comparative numbers for firms of different sizes and levels of performance that enable you to compare your performance with others, highlighting medians that can help fix some measures in the minds of your people.

NatWest Law Firm Financial Benchmark report 2015Good information here to work with that includes:

  • Fees per Fee Earner
  • Fees per Equity Partner
  • Profit as a % of Fees
  • Profit per Equity Partner (PEP)
  • Gearing
  • Fee Earners as a % of total headcount
  • Recorded chargeable hours per fee earner
  • Recovered rate per hour
  • Business Model options
  • Lock-up –  Work in Progress, Debtors and combined (days)
  • Partner capital as % of fees
  • Bank Borrowings as a % of real partner capital
  • Client account balances as a % of fees.

There is a good chance that you will find that your lawyers need more help to understand how the way they work and manage client relationships impacts directly on financial performance – and what they should change to make a difference.  This is an area where we provide powerful training and ongoing support to help you improve the financial performance of your practice.


TO FIND OUT MORE about how we and our business partners can help you to engage your people in more effective financial management of their work, call Allan Carton in confidence to explore what might work best in your particular circumstances. Tel: 07779 653105 or email acarton@inpractice.co.uk


Tackle the Problem: Help fee earners get focused effectively on their own financial performance

Unlock CashThis is a big problem for many law firms, but here is one of our  solutions to enable you to address it effectively; capable of producing big returns for your practice.

Focused on results from the initiatives we introduce in law firms that include technology, client relationships, development of people and process improvement, we are very aware of the obstacles to performance improvement that result from fee earners not fully understanding the impact of their own day-to-day financial management of cases and clients.

Very significant benefits can be achieved if all fee earners understand the financial implications of their day-to-day actions.  However, this is an area often overlooked in developing the business and personal skills of lawyers … and support staff in contact with clients.  Appropriate communication with clients is a critical part of any improvements, so it’s not just about the numbers.

Fee earners have the potential to make the greatest impact on the financial performance of any law firm. If they aren’t aware of the financial implications of how they interact with clients and are not comfortable with having financial discussions with clients, how can law firm management teams expect them to demonstrate the right behaviours?

The Solution:  Inpractice UK has partnered with the co-authors of the Law Society toolkit on financial stability in law firms, Armstrong Watson, to help fee earners improve their understanding of financial management.  The key aim is to help them get fully in tune with what and why senior management want them to evaluate their own performance (and that of their teams where appropriate) and introduce very specific steps to help achieve better results; often the beginning of a continuous improvement process.  There will be some quick wins immediately but much more to gain by carrying plans agreed here through, longer term.

As the SRA CPD regime is changing, we are finding that more law firms are getting a better grip on training; being pro-active to identify gaps in competence – then planning a blend of the most cost-effective training to develop people with knowledge and skills better aligned to improve the performance of the practice.

In this area, there are very significant benefits to be achieved by arranging training that is very specific to your practice in small workshop sessions in-house.  Fee earners can then be introduced to very specific opportunities to improve (and the potential direct financial benefits that can be achieved) in the context of your practice and their work.

Armstrong Watson currently provide this in-house training to partner and fee earner teams within law firms to:

  1. Make them more financially aware,
  2. Increase productivity and recovery rates,
  3. Reduce lock up to free up cash.

If you think your people could benefit from these interactive workshops please contact Andy Poole at Armstrong Watson on 07828 857830 to discuss how this could be designed to work most effectively for you – no obligation.  Quote our partner reference: INP10.

If you want to speak to us first for more background, please complete this contact request form or call us on 0161 929 8355.

Is engaging your people high on your agenda for 2016? If it is, now is a good time to explore new options that can help you leapfrog competitors.

Employee EngagementIt should be!  Engaging people in what you want to achieve – when there is a lot of change and re-focusing of priorities needed – is a critical area of management where most law firms should be focusing right now …. but where is the best place to start afresh or re-engage? 

Let us help you explore how you can use some tools to make this happen (to keep the momentum going), with confidence.

Senior management in most law firms struggle to engage and develop people and to implement new business development initiatives on target.  Nobody feels they have enough time, but a lot of precious management time and energy is easily wasted through lack of consistent focus on what everyone is trying to achieve.  

The Challenges and the Opportunities for UK Legal practices – READ MORE HERE >>

It could be so very different, with Simitive to help structure and manage engagement, projects and development of people.

People – from the CEO or Managing partner to the office junior – work more effectively if they are helped to understand what they can do to make the best use of their skills and experience – and fill gaps as they become apparent; not having to wait for the next formal appraisal.

Many senior managers are too busy because they feel only they can do all of the jobs they do; eating up every second of the day. That does not make for a sustainable business. Management need to find a way to develop others around them to share the load, contributing more, with sound support to ensure results now and fill the gaps in skills and experience along the way.

Arrange a FREE Demonstration of Simitive for you and your team.

Simitive – developed and implemented successfully in other professional services sectors – provides a framework to support better and more effective, routine engagement of people in all aspects of the work they do;  fee earning, management, projects, personal and business development, mentoring etc.  Transparency and alignment of objectives and tasks enables managers to constantly review progress and provide input when needed, quickly adapting the plan by agreement as things progress.  Internal communication, collaboration and innovation all benefit too.

The Simitive solution comprises 3 key components to add structure to management of your practice:

  • Simitive ObjectivesSimitive Goals & Projects provide interactive, real-time management and monitoring of organisation, team and individual goals, objectives and projects. The system ensures that all organisational, team and individual goals and projects are clearly defined, agreed, visible and up to date, with a clear line of sight upwards and downwards through the whole organisation. Clients using Simitive Goals & Projects report a 20% saving in administration time, a 20% saving in wasted effort and a significant increase in the level of employee engagement on the desired outcomes of the organisation.Simitive Review
  • Simitive Review creates an on-going ‘living review’ that aligns with an individual’s goals and allows a more sophisticated, ongoing and adaptive way to communicate. Users of Simitive Review typically see completion rates increase to over 90%. At the same time the quality of conversations increases with over 85% or reviewees and reviewers reporting significant improvements in the quality and value of their appraisals.
  • Simitive LearningSimitive Learning Management helps law firms manage the SRA’s new competency requirements (that are replacing CPD), providing a real-time learning management platform that engages every individual directly in identifying, agreeing and completing learning and development activities.  It enables you to work together with your people to define what learning activity is required, when, and by whom.  It also chases your staff pro-actively to advise of training required.  Simitive’s Learning Management System (LMS) supports SRA-style behavioural, competency and skills frameworks, providing the platform for talent management and succession planning.

To arrange a demonstration contact Allan Carton on 0161 929 8355 or at acarton@inpractice.co.uk