Enabling change - delivering 21st century legal support

A top 50 UK law firm commissioned Intelligent Office to review its secretarial and office administrative functions. At the time, the firm’s support consisted of PAs, secretaries and administrative assistants plus central office services such as print, mail and archives. The ratio of secretarial support to fee earners was about 1:2.5. According to PwC’s annual law firm survey, the average ratio within equivalent sized law firms at that time was 1:3.8.

The firm’s support structure had grown organically and was managed locally within practice groups. As a result, service varied across the firm. It had become tailored to meet individual fee earner need and demand, leading to inconsistency and inability to use support resources to maximum effect.

Set against this was the firm’s drive to modernise: to ensure that it could compete on service and on price in a climate where clients demanded ‘more for less’. The firm wanted its support services to become more professional, modern and be structured cost effectively to ensure the firm continued to improve its profitability. 

Our task - to create legal support services that would:

  • Ensure a scalable structure to meet current and future need
  • Create a culture and platform for change
  • Deliver ‘best in class’ business processes to improve fee earner productivity
  • Improve the hours of coverage that fee earners could rely on
  • Support other operational projects (e.g. office moves, paper-lite working) 


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