Law firms are becoming increasingly aware that they need to look for ways of improving efficiency in all areas of their organisation, including their administrative support functions.
A recent report on the trends and opportunities in law firm outsourcing demonstrates that firms are broadening the approach they take when it comes to solving these issues. Key findings that support this include:
- Back office/administrative functions are being increasingly handled with a mixed approach
- When it comes to costs and savings, 60% of firms see the most opportunity to reduce cost for clients in process improvement
- Firms’ secretary to fee earner top target ratio has moved from 1:4 to 1:5
- 51% of respondents say their firm has plans to increase support staff
(Source: UK Trends and Opportunities in Law Firm Outsourcing)
Intelligent Office has reimagined many law firms’ administrative support for the better—improving the function’s quality of service delivery, refining processes, and creating a more supportive environment for administrative support staff.
How does it work in practice? We detail four questions we are often asked about our services:
Why do we need Intelligent Office to make changes and improve our support functions, when we could do it in-house?
If your firm isn’t effecting real change when it’s most needed, it’s unlikely it ever will.
While many law firms acknowledge efficiency issues, they often don’t know what steps to take in order to address them—especially when it comes to administrative support staff inefficiencies. Alternatively, for law firms that do have the skills in-house, those best placed to plan and implement change in support functions often don’t have the capacity, support, or best practice knowledge to effect change successfully.
This is when law firms turn to us.
The Intelligent Office team are experts in implementing change within law firms’ administrative support functions. We’ve been identifying and solving administrative support process problems for over 17 years and so we are able to provide law firms with successful change and restructure plans and rollout, AND we deliver these improved services once administrative support staff contracts are outsourced to us. Our continued focus on administrative support functions means that fee earners’ time and expertise is released to focus on commercial activity.
Does that mean that the partnership is going to have less authority over processes and decisions that we don’t really agree with?
No—in fact, quite the opposite.
Outsourcing to Intelligent Office increases the control that a law firm has of its support functions because we provide management teams with greater visibility into our team’s performance, giving the firm more authority over processes and the ability to make informed decisions.
More often than not, our clients don’t hold enough data on the work their administrative support staff are doing—who is doing the work, the type, volume, quality etc. When we introduce our account management programme, it gives firms a clearer insight into the key metrics. These reports also highlight knowledge gaps and training requirements which enables us to further develop the team.
As a result, we work with our clients to establish the best-fit process, training, and incentive approaches which we then implement on their behalf—all based on accurate, transparent, and timely data.
Are you going to take our high performers to another site?
While administrative support staff will become Intelligent Office employees, your staff will remain onsite, at your firm. We actively discourage an ‘us and them’ mentality, as we highlight that everyone’s objectives are the same—to produce high-quality work for your clients and ensure your firm’s growth and success.
As well as this, we encourage your administrative support staff to continue integrating with your firm by attending social events (like post-work drinks and Christmas parties), so that they don’t feel separated from the rest of the firm.
Our administrative support staff have been with us for a long time. How do I know Intelligent Office is going to take care of them?
It’s common to worry about how staff, especially those who have been a part of the organisation for years, will be treated by a new employer.
However, our approach to people management and focus on administrative functions is what differentiates us. In fact, we recently achieved the Investors In People (IIP) Platinum accreditation, in recognition of our approach.
The Platinum standard recognises an extremely high level of dedication to the support, development, progression, and happiness of the Intelligent Office team.
Stay in touch
At Intelligent Office, we offer a range of PA, document production and administrative support services which help law firms achieve operational efficiency and increased revenue. These are:
- PA services… for firms looking to free up fee earners’ time for higher value work
- Document Production… for firms that need to improve the consistency, quality and speed of their current document production functions and possibly want to improve their use of real estate by moving this service offsite
- Print and mailroom, front of house and records management services… for firms wanting to improve the quality and output of these functions
You can get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on +44 (0)7984 252 150.
Alternatively, if you’d like to hear more about outsourcing your law firm’s administrative support services to a third party like us (and hear from the people who are currently doing just that), we send emails no more than twice a month to our database.