Help with implementing hybrid or paperless working
The gradual move towards paperless (or paper light) working has been progressing for about at decade, with hybrid working slowly pacing alongside. The COVID pandemic has prompted and even necessitated, a sudden, sharp acceleration in both.
The question for many firms is, "How to make this work?"
Cloud-based and tech platforms are numerous and varied, and they have a significant role to play. But, anyone who has tried to implement either paperless or hybrid working knows only too well that this is a 'people issue' as well.
We help legal practices with their risk management and people management, as they progress into hybrid and paperless working.
The very first step to take is to realise that no two firms work in the same way, not ever. And so, any off-the-shelf product, service or template will inevitably fall short of expectations if left unchecked.
In outline, what are some of the talking points (ie. risks) in the cocktail of factors to be considered?
- Number One: Internal culture shock. Some people/teams find this transition easier than others.
- The GDPR plays a part. Law firms process huge amounts of personal data. A significant change in working practices and the flow of information will almost without exception entail risks to the rights and freedoms of Data Subjects. Conducting a Data Protection Impact Assessment will need to be considered.
- Cybersecurity has to be considered. And, again, data protection steps into this frame too.
- Essential regulatory processes, such as identifying the client and AML monitoring requires a rethink if you are less likely to meet the client in person.
- How will supervision work?
- What about training, development and staff wellbeing?
- How will your clients react to the change? Or, are they perhaps one of the groups that are eager for it to happen?
- Most lawyers and law firms wold be the first to recognise they aren't experts in all of the related controls for facilitating the changes.
Here's what we we do...
We map the intended activity against the above factors and other considerations. We build a picture of the situation and the steps, resources and milestones required to make the changes happen and to make them stick.
Typically, this entails taking stock of at least the following aspects:
- The strategic or business requirement of the firm.
- Your associated policies and procedures which will include; data protection, matter file management and progression, file closing, supervision, training, data protection, cybersecurity, client care, staff management, AML and other regulatory concerns and business continuity.
- The timetable for implementation.
- The impact or benefit to clients and staff.
- Staff appetite for the changes and staff update/approach.
- Any mergers, acquisitions or revisions to premises or teams that might coincide with the changes.
- The software or applications/providers involved.
Having mapped your hybrid or paperless project, we can provide guidance and support on the implementation. This might involve some or all of the following:
- Developing an implementation plan
- Conducting a Data Protection Impact Assessment
- Updating or revising your policies and procedures
- Mapping the personal data processed by the firm
- Providing training to staff on data protection, cybersecurity, AML and other risk areas that will be impacted by the changes
- 'Phone a friend' support when you need it as the project is implemented
- Training and other support to promote staff compliance with the changes and associated controls
Our fees reflect the volume and complexity of each project. We are pleased to provide an individual detailed proposal in each case.
As with other other services, wherever possible, the work is conducted on a fixed fee basis.