at Clifford Chance

The Challenge

In order to meet their clients’ commercial and operational needs and to enhance the way their own professionals work, the worldwide operating law firm had the vision of creating an Innovation and Best Delivery Hub in Germany.

The firm engaged AK Legal Design to help shape the strategic focus of the Hub to ensure that the collaboration between lawyers, business professionals, and the Hub team maximizes the benefits to clients, lawyers, legal services, and products.

The Approach

Step 1: Interdisciplinary Workshop

In an initial workshop on legal design, we analyzed the ecosystem and the stakeholders. In the process, we discovered a rich diversity of interest groups with a multitude of different perspectives. As a goal, we established already here to focus the strategy on how we can become even more agile, flexible, and quicker to innovate. From our very beginning, we saw a possible solution in the right multidisciplinary composition of the teams.

Step 2: Interviews with Stakeholders

To understand the challenges and expectations of the various stakeholders, we conducted a total of 45 interviews with representatives of all relevant interest groups from HR, IT, business development, know-how management, personal assistants and our legal experts.

Step 3: Feedback Evaluation

After the research phase was completed, we conducted a second legal design workshop in which we analysed the insights we got from the interviews and discussed the weak spots we discovered throughout the interviews. We visualized a typical client journey on the basis of which we categorised the identified problems and developed first ideas and solutions.

Step 4: Opening the Hub

During the interview and evaluation period Clifford Chance prepared the physical opening of the Hub in Frankfurt – an open space where innovation and interdisciplinary cooperation between lawyers, project managers, the best delivery team, other professionals and clients is fostered.

The Outcome

  1. The Hub Vision Statement

Inspired by the input we got from the interviews and the global Innovation and Best Delivery Slogan of the of the firm “Create.Disrupt.Deliver.” we developed the positioning of the Hub.

As a common design vision we defined three main elements for initiatives of the Hub.
„Together we

– DEVELOP …develop innovative, creative solutions and products.
…expand and deepen the knowledge of tools and enable their application.
…identify inefficiencies and improve existing processes.
in doing so, we continue expand our leading legal practice.

  1. The Hub Work Program: How do we provide our services?

The legal design process made clear that all disciplines have to be represented within the Hub Team. We want to communicate in a purposeful and target-oriented way and have implemented tangible concepts:

  • Interdisciplinary monthly Hub-Meetings in a relaxed atmosphere
  • Practice group specific innovation update breakfasts
  • Continuous interviews by (virtual) floor-walking to get legal professionals on board of new projects and update them about new developments and projects

Beyond that, we intensified the collaboration with the business development team, redesigned workflows and hosted workshops for clients.

  1. Innovation projects and quick wins

During the interviews we collected a multitude of creative ideas for new offers or improvement approaches for existing services of which a large number has already been implemented.

Clifford Chance still observes that clients, legal experts and businesspeople are increasingly interested in the firm’s services, which approves the firm’s innovation, best delivery and legal tech strategy.

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