Clifford Chance has beaten 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.
The Law Firm Management Individual of the Year gong went to Baker & McKenzie London client and business development (BD) director Julia Hayhoe, who has helped boost revenue in the London office by taking responsibility for identifying new prospects for the firm.
Baker & McKenzie’s client and business development team summed up its contribution to the firm as being: “Revenue. Profitability. Relationships. Brand. These are the four areas where the London business development team makes an impact at B&M.”
The judges agreed, with one highlighting a comment from a Bakers partner on the unusual depth of impact the BD team has on the firm, saying: “The major difference with this BD team compared with previous experiences is the level of insight and strategic advice they provide in advance of new client meetings.”
Mishcon de Reya was crowned Business Development (BD) Team of the Year, with the firm’s focus on intermediaries led by intermediaries BD manager Jenny Stebbing catching the eye of the judges.
The team formulated an intermediaries strategy in October 2012, making Mishcon the first law firm to appoint someone to such a role and underlining the strategic fit of the firm’s BD team with Mishcon’s business. As the judge added: “I cheered the [Mishcon] statement about business and BD strategy, ‘it is not so much a question of alignment: they are one and the same thing’.”
Meanwhile, in the Best Marketing and Communications Team award, a hard-fought battle between eight firms was won by Taylor Wessing’s 24-strong marketing, communications and BD department.
The team won the award for developing and implementing the strategy to help build the firm’s profile and presence in Tech City in Shoreditch, East London. Senior BD executives Kate Barkworth and Catherine Ducie led the project along with partner Simon Walker.
Click here to access the book of the night
The full list of winners and runners-up is below:
Best Business Development Team
Best Knowledge Management Strategy
Best Major Project
Best Marketing and Communications Team
Winner: Taylor Wessing
2nd: Mishcon de Reya
Best Technology Project
Most Innovative Technology Team
Winner: Allen & Overy
2nd: Taylor Wessing
3rd: DLA Piper
Best Trainee Recruitment Campaign
Excellence and/or Innovation in Law Firm Financial Management
Law Firm Management Individual of the Year
Winner: Julia Hayhoe, London client and business development (BD) director, Baker & McKenzie
2nd: Elliot Moss, director of business development, Mishcon de Reya
3rd: Gladys Swaim-Rutter, partner and head of business, Roberts Jackson
Law Firm Management Team of the Year
HR Team of the Year
Winner: Pinsent Masons
2nd: Baker & McKenzie
Excellence in Talent Management and Retention
Winner: Irwin Mitchell
2nd: Hogan Lovells
3rd: Reed Smith
Excellence in Training
Most Effective Diversity Programme