Intapp automated time capture delivers rapid productivity improvements at Lewis Silkin

The Opportunity

Improve Firm Time Recording Practices and Effectiveness

Jan Durant says Time Builder, which was implemented on-time and on-budget in July 2011, has proven to be a great success at the firm. On debut, the product was greeted enthusiastically by departmental managers and its ease of use immedi-ately appealed to firm lawyers.  

“The software has ticked three important boxes. It has had a low impact on our normal day-to-day operations; it has had a high level of user acceptance, and fi-nally; it has provided a quick and clear return on investment. It is very seldom that a software initiative runs so smoothly and addresses all three criteria so comprehensively.”

Lewis Silkin uses Intapp Time Builder as a complement to its time entry software. Whereas that tool requires lawyers and other fee earners to manually record time for each activity undertaken, Time Builder automatically records daily activity data by monitoring billable activity within email, desktop applications including Microsoft Office, phone calls and on mobile devices. Time Builder collates this information, intelligently matches and assigns client matter details, and presents a daily report to each fee earner which they can then use to add to their existing billable time entry information.

Durant says the ease of use of the product won over people in the firm who were typically resistant to change: “All fee earners have their own preferred practice when it comes to tracking and recording their time. We try not to prescribe any particular time keeping routines, but instead give them tools to simplify what is usually an onerous task. Time Builder performs this role admirably. Our lawyers simply look down a list of recorded activity and tick the time that they want to be included against matters in our time entry system.”

Durant says making it easier to record time provides a positive impact on time recording efficiency and lawyer satisfaction.

Seeing the positive results peer firms had achieved by automating time capture, she looked to assess the opportunity at Lewis Silkin and to identify a product of suitable quality and maturity.

“In talking to representatives of our firm’s five departments, I had anecdotal evidence that fee earners were starting early and working late but their recorded hours were inconsistent with the time they were putting in. We knew that time was probably being lost through mental write-off.”

Lewis Silkin’s busy fee earners often work numerous matters simultaneously and faced significant challenges in consistently recording their time using only tradi-tional time keeping tools.

“The quantity and pace of activities each lawyer contends with means it becomes almost impossible to capture every piece of time,” says Durant. “It is very easy for a lawyer to get distracted by a conversation, and to forget about recording time for the task at hand. Short events, such as email conversations and document revision, often go unrecorded.”

For more on the Lewis Silkin case study, please download the attached PDF.

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