VIDEO: (3 min, 31 seconds)

Alex Hutchinson (Consultant / Technology Advisor to SME law firms) discusses the opportunities available for SME law firms with the recent changes to remote working.


Discuss this video: Hello, my name is Alex Hutchinson. I work with SME law firms who want to better utilise software and technology. If you would like to discuss any of the content within this video, or a related challenge you are facing, then please feel free to contact me using the direct contact details within this profile document.

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Hello. My name’s Alex Hutchinson, I’m the founder and director at Chatham Group and this is one of our fortnightly video insights where today I want to talk to you about the hidden gold that’s available with remote working.

It’s May 2020, a lot of law firms have had to furlough part of their staff, they’ve got a limited number of staff in the office, and they’ve got everybody else that’s working, is having to work from home. What’s happening now is it’s creating two scenarios. One of which is– Well, they’re both opportunities but the immediate opportunity, let me touch on that for you first, is, day to day in the office people having to engage in using technology but they’re also working their way, the way they’re used to working. They don’t have the time to stop and think about how they could better engage with the technology that’s in place, how they could reduce the operating costs for the firm, etc, etc. They don’t have time to think of better ways of working. That’s common across all businesses really because the people within the businesses are busy doing the work.

Now, what happens is at the minute when they’re having to work remotely, part of that crutch, which may be a paper file for example, has been removed and they are having to engage with the technology better because it needs to be placed somewhere. The information needs to go into the system. Within that, there’s a lot of opportunities at the minute that are taking place right now across a lot of law firms where their people are actually being forced to come up with better ways of working.

What firms need to do is understand and identify where they are. The way you do that is by speaking to your people. It’s not by going to the technology provider and going, “What can we be doing right now to optimize our work in.” What you need to do is stop that and look internally. The best solutions for these things are often always simple and stable. What I would recommend firms to do is start looking at having conversations with your people and your team and trying to identify exactly where they’ve come up with these opportunities. I never knew that but now doing this, I can do that really easily now I found it. There’ll be loads of opportunities like that.

The other thing is, where are the problems and challenges? The absolute gold in terms of making traction with technology projects is trying to understand what people need from it, how they want it to work, and building technology to meet those requirements. Not looking at what’s available, looking at what your people need. Right now what’s going on within law firms is people are having to engage with technology again, they’re trying to do things a certain way, and they’re hitting the problem, they’re hitting a roadblock, they’re hitting an obstacle and the system’s preventing them from doing it and it’s frustrating them. That’s the absolute gold that you need to know because if you know that, that’s where you focus your effort on fixing and that’s how you make progress.

I think it’s really important to just share that. What I want at this moment in time, is firms to not be bombarded with options and technology and things that are available. They need to just stop and look inwards and dig that gold out that’s already there. If there’s firms that want to do that and they don’t know how I’d be happy to have a conversation with them. I appreciate resource is tight at the minute which is why we do a lot of work with firms anyway because they don’t have the resources, expertise, and skills to do that because they’re busy doing the work.

If there’s someone that you think might find that useful, please feel free to share the video. If there’s any questions that you have or related topic that you’d like me to cover, please send me some information around that, frame the problem or challenge, and I’d be happy to put a video together with some insights for our fortnightly newsletter.

Thanks for watching. Take care and hopefully I’ll speak to you soon.

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