Eversheds: evolving extranet use supporting communication and innovation. Jonathan Townend, Head of Technology Consulting, and Matthew Scott, E-Business Manager, outline how HighQ extranets helped Eversheds collaborate and support innovation across the firm.

International law firm Eversheds LLP is one of the world’s 50 largest law firms and the ninth-largest UK-based law firm by revenue. It employs around 1,220 lawyers and around 1,745 other staff in more than 40 offices across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

The challenge: ease of set up, ease of use

Eversheds sought a solution to replace its legacy extranet platforms. These were difficult to use and did not have the flexibility or functionality that the firm’s lawyers and clients required. Lawyers and clients had to be trained to use the systems, making them expensive and time consuming. They needed a solution that was streamlined, secure and easy to use. With these factors in mind, Eversheds chose to switch to HighQ Collaborate. Townend explains, “HighQ was the obvious choice because it was created by lawyers for the legal industry. HighQ is the most prominent legal-specific solution and its flexible, customer-focused approach facilitated the phased transition that our business required.”

The solution: cutting edge, flexible extranet capability

Eversheds noticed the difference straight away. “Our previous platform was comparatively expensive and did not offer the functionality or the support we required. HighQ Collaborate was an immediate improvement in terms of security, ease of use, reporting and costs,” Townend explains. HighQ extranets are quick to set up, so they can be up and running within hours. In addition to storing documents and adding users, HighQ provide different levels of security: some users simply have access to documents, while others have permission to add, edit or delete content.

Furthermore, the look and feel of the HighQ product, the structure of the folders and the way that the modules work independently and in combination, is designed with legal matters in mind. In particular iSheets, an innovative online spreadsheet list system enables users to handle straightforward matter management tasks in a collaborative and flexible way.

“HighQ’s product has always been incredibly user-friendly. We find that we hardly ever have to train people on the product, it’s very quick to set up, it’s highly secure and functional.”

Jonathan Townend, Head of Technology Consulting

The result: supporting communication and innovation

HighQ Collaborate supports innovation within Eversheds. Recently, Eversheds’ consulting offering used iSheets to assist a distributed company with numerous subsidiaries to consolidate its various reports. iSheets made it easier for different parts of the business to submit reports. By using HighQ Collaborate instead of sending dozens of emails, they were able to eliminate the need to compile, consolidate and distribute information between people working in different global offices.

Eversheds uses client facing extranets to share information and documentation between internal and external parties working on document-heavy matters. HighQ extranets are quick to set up, so they can be up and running within hours. They help to keep lawyers in close contact with clients. Users can see the latest version of the documentation at a glance and can rely on HighQ Collaborate as the central communication point between parties.

“HighQ is simple and effective, especially compared with other solutions where it is not so easy to ascertain exactly what is on the site.”

Matthew Scott, E-business Manager

HighQ’s user interface combines a helicopter view with the ability to drill down to the detail in a single click. “The documents module includes a fully expanded view of all files and folders on the site,” explains Scott. “Knowing immediately what content is included represents an immediate advantage. HighQ is simple and effective, especially compared with other solutions where it is not so easy to ascertain exactly what is on the site.”

Conclusion: changing the way Eversheds works

Townend describes how Eversheds’ use of HighQ Collaborate is continually evolving: “We started with simple sites that focused on document storage and access. We now have complex iSheets and utilise the social media features including wikis and blogs.”

Eversheds now uses HighQ Collaborate for a huge range of tasks and projects across the firm. Townend explains, “it can be a simple file transfer, when there are some big documents that need moving around that are too big to go through email. It can be a relationship team site, where contact details and news are shared between a few parties, or it can be more sophisticated, complex and making use of things like iSheets. It can become matter management, online collaboration, project management. It’s really quite an impressive, flexible solution.”

About HighQ

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 Eversheds

International law firm Eversheds operates as one team, from more than 40 offices in 26 countries. Our people share a distinctive culture which has deep client relationships at its core. Whether providing advice which is complex or straightforward, multinational or local, an attitude of delivering only the very best underscores everything we do. Recognised as the leading innovators in the legal sector, we continue to provide new legal and business solutions to meet the needs of our clients. Eversheds is about consistently great service wherever our clients need it.