From virtual lawyers to virtual assistants

Eva Bruch 18 febrero de 2016

+MoreThanLaw was recently welcomed by Riverview Law, together with a group of other innovative lawyers, eager to learn about different ways of providing legal services and improve the added value for their clients.

During the visit, Karl Chapman, CEO at Riverview Law not only explained how his legal firm works, but also introduced us to the second "strategic pillar" of his project, Kim, the virtual legal assistant, commercialized by a spin-off company of the group.

Most firms are aware that their main source of client catchment is word of mouth of their own clients' recommendations. So client satisfaction should be any firm's number one aim and in professional services, satisfying a client means exceeding their expectations.

Partly due to the adverse economic situation, the legal industry has gone through an overhaul we might qualify as structural which has, among other aspects, placed price as the number one consideration when purchasing, followed by better forecast of cost and scope of the project and better management efficiency.

Exceeding a client's expectations in these three areas is what Riverview Law achieves by applying a number of strategies described by Karl Chapman and his team:

  1. Set price

It is the firm which takes on the risk in the client-provider relationship; this is an incentive for the company to create a continuous improvement system which guarantees both the quality of the services provided and the necessary profitability of the matters.

  1. Very sophisticated process structure

Contrary to what many firms advocate, Riverview Law considers, and has proven, that apart from certain highly complex matters known as "bet-the-company" matters, the rest can be fragmented and processed.

  1. Total transparency in the handling and in the results

What better way of providing transparency to the client than to give them access to the CMS? Each client can access the team allocated to their matters, the status of the procedings, the associated risk, how long they have been ongoing and other internal KPIs.

  1. Corporate culture focused on the client

Based on the "Moments of Truth" methodology, this modus operandi of Riverview Law's has become a mantra for their team and this was quite apparent for the visitors to their firm.

  1. A technological platform which ensures even service standards

Kim, the technological platform, or virtual legal assistant, as Karl likes to call it, has been several years in the making. I myself have been witness to its evolution from one visit I made to the next and it looks very much like this technology will become a standard in the industry through which to provide legal services exceeding clients' expectations.

But don't get the wrong idea. Of course this platform places a strata of AI to make access to information easier and it will be capable of suggesting options, solutions and resources, just as a lawyer does at present; but that doesn't mean that the lawyer is excluded from the equation. The role of the lawyer remains, as a quick-witted master who joins the pieces of a 3-D puzzle where experience, knowledge of the client's sector, of his own business and an endless array of elements play a key role and which, propped on this solid technological basis, give rise to a far more efficient lawyer. This is where efficiency and effectiveness fit together in the perfect hand-shake.

Please watch a selection of some of the moments of our visits in the video of this post.



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