We’ve been involved in introducing lean thinking into UK law firms for a couple of years now, so it’s good to see Clifford Chance get recognition for their work in this area. Hopefully it will help other lawyers to follow their lead; to invest in implementing “lean thinking” as – implemented effectively – it will help deliver better value to clients whilst simultaneously improving efficiency and reducing operating costs. This is not just for magic circle firms; smaller legal practices keen to deliver more for less can do this too, provided you are prepared to commit to it.
According to the Lawyer, “Clifford Chance beat off stiff competition to be named Management Team of the Year at the inaugural The Lawyer Management Awards with the magic circle firm recognised for improved client experience. Global head of business transformation Oliver Campbell and his team were rewarded for radically improving efficiencies of legal services delivery. The firm’s continuous improvement team of three process-improvement experts and a lawyer focuses on efficiency, tailoring the techniques of ‘lean’ and ‘six sigma’, which were developed in the manufacturing industry, to analyse each step in a legal process and either simplify or improve it.
So far the team has trained about 500 people, including more than 250 lawyers that have attended a ‘lean matter management’ workshop, challenging them to reflect on the way the firm works and teaching tools to remove inefficiencies on their matters. As a result the firm has seen cumulative savings in the time recorded on relevant matters equivalent to more than £1m over the past year. Clients have also seen transactions complete up to 50 per cent faster and improvements in service quality.”
At Inpractice UK, we promote “Lean Thinking” initiatives to:
- Eliminate wasted time and effort.
- Reduce work in progress, to get cash in faster
- Increase value of services delivered to clients
- Streamline processes, integrate with clients
- Improve teamwork across functional boundaries.
- Develop process thinking.
- Improve the work that lawyers do.
Lean thinking, applied effectively, can reduce operating costs by 50% in commoditised services - e.g. volume conveyancing, insurance claims, PI etc; 25% in ”creative and cognitive” services which applies to most other legal and financial services; and by 30% in manufacturing, where these techniques were originally developed.
Our Lean Team comprises Mark Greenhouse, Dominic Harborne, Paul Deaville, Allan Carton
For more information, contact Allan Carton