Eversheds avoids conflicts and mitigates risk
“Without OneSource, my team would be searching Google all day, which would not only take up a lot more time, but also come with a greater risk of inaccuracy. The platform is very well-presented and user friendly – even to those who are not overly familiar with it. For Eversheds, OneSource really is a business necessity.”
CCU Manager, Client Opening team
Eversheds is an international law firm, operating at the leading edge of business. The firm regularly advises on billion dollar deals and high profile cases on behalf of the world’s most powerful corporations and financial institutions. Eversheds’ client-driven approach has seen it grow into one of the world’s foremost international law firms in little over 25 years. Today, Eversheds has over 50 offices across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa, and works across all business sectors.
Eversheds employees regularly need easy and direct access to global company information. For some teams, such as Conflicts and Client Opening, company profiling is a core component of the job and as such, has the potential to take up a lot of time and resource.
Eversheds has offices across the world but client on-boarding is dealt with by a central Client Opening team, based in the UK, which is required to carry out regulatory checks on both UK and international organisations in order to confirm ownership structures. The team works in a fast paced environment, receiving around 20 submissions a day, and needs to be able to quickly and accurately identify parent companies and corporate family trees to satisfy compliance requirements, such as Anti-Money Laundering regulations. In the absence of an intelligent data platform, the team would have to research companies on the open web; an extremely time-consuming and high-risk approach due to its imprecise methodology.
The Conflicts team has nine dedicated conflict analysts whose job it is to ensure that the firm avoids costly and embarrassing conflicts of interest, such as suing an entity which is in the same corporate group as an existing client. The team carries out 250 searches a day and therefore needs to be able to quickly and easily establish a company’s corporate hierarchy. Failing to identify a conflict could have serious repercussions for the firm, both financially and reputationally.
Eversheds asked Avention to implement its OneSource Solution across the firm so that any of its 3,000+ employees would be able to quickly access industry, company and executive intelligence that can be used to develop client relationships and build trust and credibility. Having this ability to examine a company profile and get an in-depth view of its structure, management and financial health is particularly beneficial for the Client Opening team, which uses the platform as the starting point of their research for all submissions that they receive from lawyers across the firm’s offices.
For the Conflicts team – the most frequent user of the platform within the firm – Avention integrated OneSource into Eversheds’ existing conflict checking system, Intapp, to create a single customised system in which all company checks can be carried out. This way, when running a conflict check, analysts can quickly add entities from a company’s corporate family to the search. Previously, two different systems were used, which the analysts had to switch between during each search, increasing workload and taking up more time. The analysts use the platform throughout the day and so its ease of use and functionality are key. With OneSource, the team has direct access to corporate intelligence on over 40 million companies across the globe, meaning that potential conflicts can be quickly identified and avoided to enable Eversheds to continue advising in the best interest of its existing clients.
OneSource serves a central role in many of Eversheds’ employees’ jobs, and so the robustness and reliability of the platform is extremely important. Tom Wood, CCU Manager in the Conflicts and Compliance team, says: “Eversheds rarely encounters issues with OneSource but we know that members of Avention’s dedicated support team are on-hand should we need any assistance – they have always been extremely helpful in the past.”
OneSource is relied upon by a large number of Eversheds employees as a business critical tool, from ensuring legal compliance to undertaking research to supporting new business opportunities. Wood sees OneSource as an extremely valuable asset to the firm, both in terms of client relationships and profitability. He says: “If we weren’t using OneSource, we could potentially lose valuable clients through missed conflicts, equating to millions of pounds in lost revenue. Our clients are extremely important to us; using OneSource prevents us from getting into difficult and embarrassing situations.”
Given that the Conflicts team look up around 250 companies a day, having an easy-to-use tool saves the analysts significant amounts of time, and reduces the human resource required. Nick Dove, CCU Manager in the Client Opening team, agrees that the time saved is one of OneSource’s biggest benefits: “Without OneSource, my team would be searching Google all day, which would not only take up a lot more time, but also come with a greater risk of inaccuracy. The platform is very well-presented and user friendly – even to those who are not overly familiar with it. For Eversheds, OneSource really is a business necessity.”