Leading UK business law firm DWF fosters collaboration and enhances client services with Interact

“Rubix, our Interact intranet, has made it easier for our 2,500 staff to collaborate and share knowledge across the business.”

Lawrence Spence, Portfolio Manager, DWF

DWF has deployed Interact, the intelligent intranet software, to revolutionise internal communications, foster team collaboration and deliver the best legal advice for clients.

The Problem

To deliver timely, accurate legal advice for clients across a range of sectors and scenarios, law firms need to leverage knowledge and expertise across their organisations. This can be a major challenge, especially if firms have grown quickly through acquisition and have multiple, geographically distributed offices.

This was the case for DWF, a leading law firm with 12 offices across the UK and Ireland, which has won the top spot in Legal Week’s Client Satisfaction Survey and the Managing Partners’ Forum award for ‘Best Managed National Firm’. To bring distributed teams together and give staff fast access to a range of legal documentation and training, DWF needed a new, intelligent intranet platform.

Lawrence Spence, Portfolio Manager, DWF, says, “In five years, we acquired five law firms and doubled in size, but we also inherited five different intranets. To ensure that team members in all our practice groups can quickly access the skills and information they need, provide clients with the best legal advice and streamline compliance with requirements for transparency across the billing process, we needed a single, intelligent, intuitive intranet platform that could bring everyone together and offer all the advanced collaboration and knowledge-sharing tools we required.”

DWF chose Interact, the intelligent intranet software to achieve its company-wide collaboration and knowledge sharing goals. Interact, which is an out of the box intranet platform, was deployed by a dedicated DWF project team in just 11 weeks.

“The rich branding capabilities of Interact have enabled us to communicate DWF’s mission and brand values to all employees, helping us create a more cohesive, more successful firm.”

Lawrence Spence, Portfolio Manager, DWF

Effectively communicating DWF’s mission and values

DWF has created a strong brand identify for its Interact intranet, which is called Rubix, based on standardised page templates, corporate brand guidelines and a set of engaging brand characters called the ‘o-men’. “The o-men represent the values of the company and provide valuable information about new initiatives, people investment activities, company leadership, reward and recognition and employee engagement,” says Spence.

With Interact, creating DFW-branded pages was fast and simple, requiring virtually no specialist knowledge. “The rich branding capabilities of Interact have enabled us to communicate DWF’s mission and brand values to all employees, helping us create a more cohesive, successful firm,” says Spence.

Unlocking the skills and knowledge clients need

Rubix is helping DWF bring together legal specialists across all of its six practice groups. “With our old intranet, it was difficult to find the right people, skills and information needed to deliver client engagements in the best and most efficient way,” says Spence. “Now, the process is much faster for our legal specialists, saving them time and increasing their focus on core, client-facing tasks.”

Interact uses a unique search algorithm in conjunction with its intelligent functionality, which allows all kinds of content to be searched, from documents and the staff directory, to calendars, blogs and attachments. “With Interact Search, we can find information and people much more quickly, helping us provide the best, most timely legal advice for clients,” says Spence.

“Interact Blogging is a critical tool for us in terms of driving collaboration. Our CEO Andrew Leaitherland blogs very regularly and that’s been fantastic for engaging staff across all our practice groups.”

Ryan Kaye, Project Manager, DWF

Delivering critical news and information for staff

The Rubix homepage gives team members fast, easy access to a range of critical news, information and resources. This includes news that impacts people’s jobs, as well as links to legal Knowledge Banks for different practices and online legal and IT training.

“We used Interact Homepage Widgets to provide all the tools and resources team members need in one place,” says Spence. “As well as all the latest news displayed in the left-hand column, the homepage also provides links to collaboration tools such as blogs and discussion boards and to critical legal and corporate systems, from HR and Expenses to the DWF training academy. With Interact, users can access the tools and resources they need faster, freeing more time to spend with clients.”

“We use Discussion Forums regularly now when we launch new products and services, and we get ideas and suggestions on how we can improve them.”

Ryan Kaye, Project Manager, DWF

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Providing social tools that are good for business

Interact provides ‘social media’ tools that are helping DWF to streamline business processes and propagate best practices internally.
Ryan Kaye, Project Manager at DWF, says, ‘Interact Blogging is a critical tool for us in terms of driving collaboration. Our CEO Andrew Leaitherland blogs very regularly and that’s been fantastic for engaging staff across all our practice groups.”

Interact Discussion Forums are also heavily used at DWF for sharing ideas and best practices across the business. “We use Discussion Forums regularly now when we launch new products and services, and we get ideas and suggestions on how we can improve them,” says Kaye.

“With Interact, users can access the tools and resources they need faster, freeing more time to spend with clients.”

Lawrence Spence, Portfolio Manager, DWF

Driving content management efficiency

With DWF’s previous intranet, adding new content was complex and time consuming, putting pressure on content administrators and the IT team. With Interact, the process is much faster and simpler, delivering significant time and cost savings.

Ian Bennett, Content Administrator, DWF, says, “Interact Intranet has made it very easy for me to add new content areas and to add information to those areas. The whole process is now very quick and simple, which means I can focus on more strategic tasks such as driving adoption and supporting users effectively.”

Measuring success based on user adoption

After a live launch at the DWF partner conference and a successful adoption campaign, nearly all of DWF’s 2,500 employees now access Rubix on a regular basis. Comprising 568 pages when launched, the site now has more than 1,400 pages and is growing by an average of 11 new pages a day. Blogging and Discussion Boards are used frequently by teams to collaborate and share best practices.

“Interact Analytics tools show us that Rubix is extremely popular across all our practice groups, and the feedback we’ve had about the platform has been extremely positive,” says Spence. “We’ve had compliments about how easy it is to search for content and people now, and people also like how Rubix looks. Staff are also very happy to be able to access Rubix on their mobile devices when they are out of the office,” he adds.

Rubix is now the ‘go-to’ resource for collaboration and knowledge sharing at DWF. “It’s extremely common to hear colleagues say, “have a look on Rubix,” or “you’ll find it on Rubix,” and we get complaints immediately if the system becomes unavailable,” says Spence. “The intranet is now a business-critical tool for us: so much so that the future growth and success of DWF depends on it.”

“Interact Intranet has made it very easy for me to add new content areas and to add information to those areas. The whole process is now very quick and simple, which means I can focus on more strategic tasks such as driving adoption and supporting users effectively.”

Ian Bennett, Content Administrator, DWF

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DWF is a leading UK business law firm with 2,500 employees, 12 offices across the UK and Ireland, and annual revenues of £189 million. Working with 27% of the FTSE 100 companies, DWF has been ranked top in Legal Week’s Client Satisfaction Report, and won the ‘Best Managed National Firm’ awards at the Managing Partners Forum Awards.

Employees: 1,000-10,000

Vertical: Legal

Locations: Europe

dwf.co.uk/

DWF Challenges

The firm needed to integrate disparate teams and infrastructure, unlocking valuable knowledge from across the organisation and helping teams to deliver the best, most timely legal advice for clients.

The Solution

DWF deployed intelligent intranet technology from Interact, creating a new intranet with a strong brand identity. The intranet, which is called Rubix, provides a range of collaboration and knowledge sharing tools that save teams time and help them focus on core, client-facing tasks.

Key Benefits

  • Effective communication of the firm’s mission, values and brand to all employees
  • Single point of access to skills, knowledge and information across the business
  • Fast, effective content management
  • Social tools, including blogging and discussion forums, that promote knowledge sharing and best practices
  • Links to all the information, tools and systems staff need from the Rubix homepage
  • Near ubiquitous intranet adoption across all 2,500 staff
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