Kluge is a full service corporate law firm that was established in Stavanger, Norway in 1923. Kluge is the preferred adviser and discussion partner for many of the most important
players in the Norwegian business sector, and have a solid international network.
Kluge has 110 lawyers assisting medium to large-sized private business enterprises with complex legal issues and they also assist public agencies with several types of assignments giving them a wide range of expertise in various industries and disciplines.
Knut-Magnar Aanestad, Head of Innovation at Kluge explains how the firm leveraged HighQ Collaborate to create a product which they call Omnia for contract management, IPR management, deal rooms, dispute resolution and client portals.
The challenge: Modernising the service delivery functions within the firm.
Kluge wanted to modernise and professionalise the service delivery function within the firm. They wanted to combine the right technology with the right expertise to help clients thrive in what they do and to make business decisions quicker and easier.
“One of the main focuses in Kluge was to find an innovative new way to interact with our clients,” explains Knut-Magnar. “We wanted to find a platform or interface that goes beyond email and telephone as we recognise the importance of combining technology and legal services to offer clients a quicker and easier way to interact with us.”
Kluge took a customer centric approach in their planning. “We wanted to focus on our client needs and really think about how we could add value above the normal legal advice our expert lawyers provide,” explains Knut-Magnar. “The initial idea was to think about how we can enhance the legal advice services that we already provide to enable clients to make better decisions and make them faster and more precise.”
“It is a changing world for our clients, even more so than it is for us, and our clients need to be able to make decisions quickly in order to strive and sometimes even survive,” says Knut-Magnar. “We want to be able to enhance our experts and offer our clients other types of value added services utilising technology.”
Knut-Magnar goes on to explain: “Before I joined the firm, Kluge had tried a couple of solutions that just didn’t offer the the breadth of functionality that they wanted,” he says. “Kluge really wanted a single collaboration platform that would go beyond secure file sharing.”
The solution: Delivering innovative legal services through one collaborative platform.
Knut-Magnar was familiar with HighQ as he had implemented the platform in a previous law firm and knew the benefits it could provide to Kluge. Upon joining the firm he recommended HighQ Collaborate to meet Kluge’s requirements for a single collaboration platform that went beyond secure file sharing.
“Building from the basic functionality of transferring massive amounts of large files securely, I knew there was the possibility to professionalise the project management side of being a lawyer using the HighQ Collaborate platform,” explains Knut-Magnar. “Everything from transaction management, setting up data rooms and managing the whole process from due diligence to the bidder sites could all be done on one platform.”
“Everything from transaction management, setting up data rooms and managing the whole process from due diligence to the bidder site could all be done on one platform.”
Knut-Magnar Aanestad, Kluge
“What we did was to create a product utilising the Collaborate platform that we call Omnia,” says Knut-Magnar. “We have been utilising the platform to add structure to the legal tools, or legal instruments as I call them. These are things like contracts, permissions, licenses for production, documents that protect your IP, registrations, and so on, for our clients’ businesses.”
Knut-Magnar goes on to explain: “In structuring the data that is within the tools or instruments and using Omnia [HighQ Collaborate] to build it out, we can make legal information more accessible to the company and to the different roles in the company that need it for their day-to-day work,” he says. “This also allows us to manage risk and opens up commercial opportunities for our firm.”
Kluge wanted to enable clients to better handle risk by having access to all the key information that they required so they could make more informed decisions. “Using HighQ Collaborate to structure this information and make it more accessible to our clients means that they are put in a position where they can make better decisions,” explains Knut-Magnar. “Furthermore, these legal instruments are what define the area of commercial potential in your business so in order to have less leakage we need to make sure that the information that defines this area is more accessible.”
Kluge also sees client education as an important focus, which Knut-Magnar goes on to explain: “We also think that if we educate people in key roles at our clients’ firms, we can educate them in different areas so they can better identify risk,” he says. “This allows clients to see potential so they can better judge when they need to contact a lawyer or when they can make the decision.”
“We offer clients a combination of normal on-site training or e-learning modules through our Omnia platform, and clients can communicate with the experts through Q&A,” explains Knut-Magnar. “Most law firms today do 30 minute breakfast seminars or similar which is a hybrid of client education but also sales and marketing, but we wanted to put some real value-added client education in the agenda using HighQ Collaborate as the interface.” .
The results: Value-added client services through one platform
Kluge is now able to offer several value-added services to clients, including contract management, IPR management, deal rooms, dispute resolution and client portals with e-learning.
Knut-Magnar explains these services in more detail: “We decided to focus on branded products that we can bring to the market utilising HighQ Collaborate,” he says. “One of them is an IPR management system which enables the structuring of all your IP. Clients are guided through a list of questions at the beginning which helps identify any legal issues that need to be addressed.”
“We have also built a client education programme into the platform and there are different modules that clients can choose from, such as only the IPR database, or the ability to ask an expert through Q&A for a certain period of time, or clients can chose to have access to all the modules,” says Knut-Magnar. “We have also created a contract management programme which is the same but it is done with contracts and then, of course, you can merge the two and make it a total legal business management programme,” he says.
Knut-Magnar goes on to explain how else the firm is utilising HighQ Collaborate: “We have also created a startup portal making it easy for startup companies to structure their data from the very start,” he explains. “By using the portal, clients get a long way in managing their legal issues in the startup phase. This also helps them to make sure there isn’t any leakage in terms of their business ideas and concepts which can all be kept securely in one place.”
“We also handle a lot of big disputes, so using the platform to interact with the clients, witnesses and all the parties involved in the bigger disputes is a very professional and efficient way of doing things,” says Knut-Magnar.
Kluge wanted to be innovative and offer as much advice to clients as efficiently as possible and deliver legal services outside of the traditional hourly rate model. “HighQ Collaborate has allowed us to streamline internal processes as well as provide services to clients,” says Knut-Magnar. “It gives us a more professional and versatile client communication interface. We charge a fee for using this as a project management tool because it brings functionality beyond the interface between us as a law firm and our clients,” explains Knut-Magnar.
“HighQ Collaborate has allowed us to streamline internal processes as well as provide services to clients. It gives us a more professional and versatile client communication interface.”
Knut-Magnar Aanestad, Kluge
Kluge has been very satisfied with the way HighQ Collaborate has helped them to modernise and professionalise the service delivery function. “HighQ Collaborate lowers the threshold of new ways of delivering clients services,” says Knut-Magnar.
“Collaborate is so easy to use and one of the key features for us was the ability to customise the branding,” he says. “It was very easy for us to re-brand the platform to Omnia by Kluge so that it is in line with our company brand guidelines. We have found the platform very user friendly and efficient and I get a lot of good feedback from the users. It saves users a lot of time and allows them to structure projects a lot better enabling us to really delivery value-added services to our clients.”
Knut-Magnar goes on to say: “Internally we have weekly ideas of how we can use the platform and the team are very excited about the possibilities of what we can do with HighQ Collaborate in the future.”
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.
Kluge is one of the leading and most successful law firms in Norway with offices in Stavanger, Bergen and Oslo. Our employees have extensive expertise within the central business districts in business. Our clients are primarily large and medium-sized private sector enterprises, in addition, we assist government agencies in a variety of missions.