Market research reveals that despite 59% of law firms making “significant” structural changes, legal support teams still face challenges around task visibility, clarity and capacity

BigHand shares findings from a recent survey of over 800 legal support staff, giving new insight into the daily challenges and working experiences of support teams globally.

BigHand, a software supplier to the legal market, today shares the results of their “Legal Support Staff Survey”, which gathered data from support teams across the UK, North America, Australia and New Zealand. The research reveals key trends in the way that lawyers and legal support staff are working together, as well as exploring current operating models and giving insight into how firms are organising their back-office support services.

In a world of rising fixed fee work and client demands, firms are looking to drive new efficiencies within legal support services to ensure that projects are completed in a timely and cost-effective manner. For many firms, the new economic model has prompted a reconsideration of the best way to deliver legal support to lawyers.

BigHand’s Legal Support Staff Survey reveals that although change has happened for many already, 59% of respondents still believe that the way work is submitted to them is not as efficient as it could be, with 73% passing acknowledging they have to pass work to their colleagues at least once a week.

Ben Jennings, Commercial Products Director at BigHand comments, “Firms understand that they need to organise and modernise their support team and processes in order to stay competitive, and many have already started the journey to operational excellence. What our survey uncovered, however, is that despite having made structural changes, support staff continue to face challenges around visibility and workload. There’s clearly still work to be done before firms will be able to realise the true benefits of their actions.”

Sandie Craciun, Director at KonSept Services Management Consultancy adds, “The results of this survey are statistical confirmation of the many observations we make about legal practices. We regularly observe significant discrepancies in workload allocation and find firms struggling to track productivity levels. In my experience, truly impactful change is only made possible with specialist tools that allow for full visibility and the effective deployment and utilisation of skills-based teams, such as BigHand Now.”

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