Corrs Chambers Westgarth is an independent, client driven legal partnership with a strong history spanning more than 175 years. With more than 600 lawyers, including 120 partners, the firm is focused on creating opportunities for clients in the rapidly changing business landscape of today and tomorrow.
Corrs works with clients as true partners in their business. They bring insight, innovation and agility to create success for their clients on a global stage. Corrs are the most globally connected law firm based in Australia. Their pioneering partnering networks in Asia–Pacific and globally, ensure they support clients everywhere.
Berys Amor, IT Director and Jason Jones, Client Technology Solutions Manager at the firm explain how the firm uses HighQ Collaborate to enhance business processes and collaboration with clients and to win more business.
The challenge: Streamlining end-to-end business processes.
Corrs wanted to provide their customers with a seamless platform to manage their end-to-end business processes that was unique to their firm. “As a truly client driven firm we listen to our clients business challenges and needs. Rather than just focusing on what legal services we can offer to them, we really want to understand our clients’ businesses. We want to think outside of the box and outside of standard legal services to truly become a valued business partner to our clients. The challenge was finding a platform to allow us to do that” explained Berys.
In order to provide these services Corrs knew they had to replace their existing extranet platform. “We were previously using older technology that had a lot of restrictions and we pushed it as far as we could but it just couldn’t provide us with the functionality that we needed,” said Jason. Berys agreed that they needed a new platform to meet their strategic IT plans “we have moved to a cloud first strategy and really wanted a SaaS collaboration platform,” she said.
The next challenge for Corrs was finding the right platform and they looked at a number of options before ruling them out. “The time and effort it would take to set up and then maintain the infrastructure, the development, as well as the software licensing costs meant that they were unsustainable as platforms for us to really grow our client facing solutions on” explained Jason.
The solution: Secure and seamless cloud collaboration.
Corrs had heard about HighQ in the marketplace and decided to evaluate the Collaborate platform “HighQ has a great reputation in the market and they also offered the cloud based SaaS platform that we were looking for so we decided to evaluate.” said Berys.
It was important to Corrs that the platform was cloud based and met their security requirements. “In line with our cloud first strategy, we have moved 5 of our core applications to SaaS which was one of the main reasons we really liked HighQ Collaborate” explained Berys. “We worked closely with HighQ to implement their Encryption Key Management solution to meet our stringent security requirements and we were very impressed with their work ethos and professionalism.” said Berys.
Jason explained further, “Having a SaaS platform is key to our IT strategic goals as well as the day-to-day management side of things. Having a SaaS platform means that we don’t have to worry about the maintenance, licensing, upgrades etc as that is all taken care of and we can focus on the clients” he said.
Cloud security is very important to Corrs and has been paramount to assuring clients that their data is secure. Corrs wanted to make sure they could encrypt all the data on the individual sites and didn’t want the encryption keys to be stored in the cloud alongside the data. “Cloud security is so important to us and our clients. Being able to work with the HighQ team and their Encryption Key Management solution to meet our security requirements was essential for us. It gives us the option to store separate encryption keys for each individual client on-premise, giving us full control. The keys are never permanently held in the cloud or managed by HighQ, which adds another layer of protection. Having that enhanced cloud security really was the tipping point in selecting HighQ as our platform of choice.” said Jason.
“Having that enhanced cloud security really was the tipping point in selecting HighQ as our platform of choice.”
Jason Jones, Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Being able to customize the platform was also important to Corrs “HighQ provides an amazing foundation and toolkit and there is so much you can do with the platform out of the box. Having the API capability has enabled us to consume external data sources and add an API layer on top to further enhance our service capabilities that we offer to our clients.” said Jason. “Being a cloud platform and having that integration using APIs is just seamless compared to how we used to try integrate or exchange information with old legacy systems” confirmed Berys.
“Being a cloud platform and having that integration using APIs is just seamless compared to how we used to try integrate or exchange information with old legacy systems.”
Berys Amor, Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Working with their clients, Corrs wanted to make sure they were able to offer their clients an easy way to manage some of their business processes. They sat down with clients and mapped out what those business processes were and how they could engineer it on the platform. They also went one step further and thought about how they could add even more value on top of that without the user having to do anything.
Berys explained a scenario where they may be providing legal advice around a client’s business process or a project. “In the past the client would scan and email a request to us, we would review it and provide advice, but there is a whole process at the start before we even get involved, with multiple teams and multiple touch points. What we are providing is a solution that our clients use for everything related to that project. They can post or upload project material and documents and relevant parties are notified when they need to action something or a specific task is done, and it is easy to see the end-to-end process and any changes that have taken place. Aggregating all the information in one place and adding our API layer means clients can get a visual snapshot with graphs and pie charts of what projects they have running in each state, what the terms around each of those projects are and if they comply with local state law.” said Berys.
Using the Collaborate iSheets module, Jason was able to build out the business process management flow, template them and then offer modular formats for different sites that needed to be created for each client.
Using a project example again, Jason explains “What we have done is build out a process on the iSheet so the user has the ability to collect information about the type of project that is being run. Conditional logic will then provide the user with the relevant questions and steps in the processes that need to be followed. This is a great way to guide the user through a structured process, using and consuming data from external sources using RESTful web services allows us to provide the user with extra data that they would usually have to go out and source themselves. This provides the client with a degree of confidence knowing that the information that is going into the iSheet or process is clean data that is accurate.” said Jason.
Jason goes on to explain “We took an unstructured process, streamlined it and put a workflow around it with a lot of visual communication throughout. Using the Collaborate platform to set up the secure extranet sites we were able to add a layer where we could introduce a lot of intelligence and logic into the process. This provided users with more information and aggregated market intelligence without them having to do anything extra. For the client it is straight forward – they have a starting point where they login to the platform, they input the relevant information and the system guides the user through the particular steps of the process. We aggregate and repurpose data wherever we can throughout the process, so if something is entered into the first phase we know we can use that information in a later phase to introduce efficiencies in the process.” Jason said.
The results: Impressing clients and winning tenders
Since implementing HighQ Collaborate Corrs have been able to differentiate themselves in the market as a true valued business partner to their clients. “Feedback from our clients has been extremely positive and because it is cloud based our clients don’t have to go to their IT department, they don’t have to seek approval to install anything or have their firewall changed, they simply need an internet browser and they can securely access the platform from any device. New clients have told us that the technology solution that we can deliver really does stand out from the other firms” said Berys.
“New clients have told us that the technology solution that we can deliver really does stand out from the other firms.”
Berys Amor, Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Jason goes on to explain how they used Collaborate to help to win the tender, “We were given 24 hours’ notice to prepare a presentation to the clients as part of a tender. Traditionally we would have put together a PowerPoint deck to present but having the HighQ platform we created an extranet site for the client, branded it and presented a live demo of the Collaborate platform to the client. When our team left, they gave the client their own logins so they could have a play around with the site. They commented that it wasn’t just smoke and mirrors and that it was the real deal which really impressed them” said Jason.
Overall Berys and Jason have seen many positive benefits from implementing HighQ Collaborate at Corrs. “As a firm that focusses on creating opportunities for our clients in the rapidly changing business landscape of today and tomorrow, staying on top of technology is important to us. Having a cloud based collaboration platform that meets our stringent security requirements and allows us to provide a platform to streamline our clients’ end-to-end business processes has allowed us to differentiate ourselves in a very competitive market and stay current.” said Berys.
HighQ is a leading provider of secure document exchange and team collaboration software. We provide innovative collaboration and publishing products to some of the world’s leading law firms, investment banks and corporations. We uniquely combine secure, enterprise-grade document management with the best corporate social tools. Now you can securely exchange critical business information and collaborate with colleagues, customers and partners in one unified space.
About Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Corrs Chambers Westgarth is an independent, client driven legal partnership. We work with our clients as true partners in their business. We bring insight, innovation and agility to create success for them on a global stage. In an increasingly globalised, hyper-connected world, Corrs will continue to assist clients by focusing on their needs. Corrs has a strong history spanning more than 175 years but we are firmly focussed on creating opportunities for our clients in the rapidly changing business landscape of today and tomorrow. With more than 600 lawyers, including 120 partners, our people are consistently recognised for world class services and results.