Part of the DWF process

The news yesterday that DWF has hired Andrew Chamberlain, the mastermind behind Addleshaw Goddard’s process-mapping, low-cost initiative and Manchester-based Transactional Services Team (TST), draws attention again to DWF as one of the pioneers of process.

DWF’s managing partner Andrew Leaitherland is driving efficiencies throughout the business from greater billing discipline to flexible working, even in the new Walkie Talkie building.

Addleshaws was early to explore the benefits of an in-house paralegal support team and launched TST as a pilot in November 2010. Six months later it had grown almost eight-fold under the watchful eye of Chamberlain and as it reached its third birthday last year the firm released some impressive stats on the impact it made.

As head of client delivery Chamberlain also led the project to process map 46 of the most common types of contentious and non-contentious legal work to provide cheaper and more efficient services.

That said, it’s hard to reconcile the ethos these products represent with the high-end, magic-circle alternative that Addleshaws insists it is. Are Russian oligarchs looking for process or prestige?

DWF is a very different offering. It makes no lofty claims of grandeur. Instead, it promises transparency, quality and value to its primarily plc client base.

Is it just a matter of time before TLT follows Chamberlain to the spiritual home of lean legal efficiency?

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