Tag Archives: 2014

Under the microscope: Louise, HR Administrator

Under the microscope here is Louise who is a HR Administrator. We get asked numerous questions about what it’s like to work at Riverview Law so we decided to profile some of the different roles throughout our business. We have published a series of case studies on Riverview Law employees which will give you a feel for the people within our business, the roles they undertake and what it’s like to work here.

Me: Louise 

My role: HR Administrator

What I did before joining: 

Prior to working in Riverview Law I spent 9 months working as a Client Relationship Coordinator in a HR company, this role followed on straight from my degree at Edge Hill University where I studied Early Childhood Studies.

Why I joined:    

I joined Riverview Law because I had heard nothing but positive feedback about the business. It was clear that the culture here was of key importance and that all current employees could vouch for that. Having not worked in this line of work before, it was all completely new to me. However, straight away I started noticing and understanding just how successful Riverview Law was becoming, and how much change was taking place. Being involved in this is a fantastic opportunity which would be hard to turn down.

What surprised me most in my first week at Riverview Law:

For me my first week at Riverview Law was a massive success. The week long induction that took place really displayed the six values. I met a lot of members of staff, all carrying out different roles within the business.  Time was taken to ensure that we all knew every individual is a key part of the business and all of this was done whilst having fun

What I’ve learnt since joining:

Since joining Riverview Law I have grown massively in my HR knowledge and my personal confidence. I have learnt that support is here any time, and everyone is happy to help! I have been exposed to a massive amount in my time here and Ihave been encouraged every step of the way to ask questions, give feedback and succeed in what I am doing. Not only have I learnt a huge amount in my role, I have also had the opportunity to learn about other roles within the business.

What I enjoy most about my job:

I enjoy coming into the office every day to such a pleasant atmosphere with positive and friendly people. Having such great colleagues makes coming in every day so much easier, it really is One Team! I also appreciate how many opportunities I am given to develop my HR knowledge, and learn more and more on a daily basis. The support given from my manager and other members of the team really encourages me to push myself.

How Riverview Law compares with other places I’ve worked:

I have never worked in a place where literally every individual is appreciated. The whole business regularly get updates from our Chief Executive; this allows us all to know exactly where we are as a business, and ask any questions we may have. The social side of the business is not like I’ve experienced in any previous jobs. Riverview encourages social events, many of them being organised by our Social Committee. The business understands that it is important for all employees to connect both inside and outside of work.

Why I’m still here:

There are many reasons why I am still here, the main reason being my personal development. I have noticed massively how much I have learnt since joining the business and the encouragement I have received since day one to progress within the business.  I am treated as an individual and been offered a huge amount of support to get to where I want to be. Also of course, the people here are a definite reason to stay!

What I’d say to potential applicants:

I would recommend to anyone thinking of applying to just do it! Whatever role it is for, it does not matter. When Riverview says they encourage people to be themselves, they really do mean it!

Creation of Technology Business and launch of Software as a Service solutions for In-house teams

Riverview Law, the fixed priced legal services business, has launched ‘Riverview Law In-house’, a range of software modules that help In-house legal teams in large organisations manage matters, evolve their operating model and improve their effectiveness and efficiency. The Riverview Law In-house software modules complement the existing range of services that Riverview Law offers to large businesses, all of which are experiencing rapid growth. Riverview Law also announces that it is setting-up a separate technology business to exploit the software that it has built and the IP that it has and is creating. The Riverview Law ‘In-house’ modules announced today are just the first of a range of solutions that will be brought to market that have been built using the Riverview Law technology and IP. Riverview Law In-house Riverview Law In-house packages the Riverview Law service delivery and operating model into software modules that can be tailored to any organisation. These modules can be purchased by in-house legal functions individually or in any combination. The In-house modules complement Riverview Law’s existing offerings but are stand-alone and do not require a customer to use Riverview Law’s managed services or other solutions. The initial modules include Instruction Manager which helps manage the flow and the triage of matters into and out of the in-house function and Contract Manager which manages new contract creation from start to finish via multi-language and multi-channels (desktop, tablet, mobile).  The Analytics module provides detailed management information and business insight. Implementation Manager supports and drives the set-up and go-live process and Configuration Manager enables in-house control and management of the workflows, processes and reporting. More modules will be launched in 2015. Riverview Law Technology Business This new business, which will be set-up as a separate entity, will focus on exploiting Riverview Law IP and will be free to license it to any third party including competitors to Riverview Law. Over the last few years it has become clear to the Board of Riverview Law that its technology, built from the user-up not the developer down, has much wider application. The new business will seek to exploit these opportunities. Karl Chapman, Chief Executive of Riverview Law said: “In launching these modules we are following customer demand. Over the last two years many GCs and legal teams have asked if they can license our technology for their internal use. Now they can. The great thing is that our technology is proven and low risk because our teams use the same model to deliver our managed service solutions successfully to existing customers globally. We have always understood the need to combine people, processes and technology effectively. Our service delivery model is built on this approach and so are these modules.” “Creating a technology business that is separate from Riverview Law is a big and natural step for us. We use technology widely in our business. It is a core part of our operating model and mind-set. However, creating a global technology business requires both a different business model and different skills. By establishing this as a separate business the Board now has maximum flexibility for how it develops, manages and grows this area while retaining our focus on growing Riverview Law.”

December 2014 Market Horizon Scanning  

Welcome to the December 2014 edition of the Riverview Law Market Scanning Report. As part of our market and horizon scanning activities we have always collected and circulated internally relevant legal market articles, commentaries, reports and blogs. When we shared this data with a GC he asked why we didn’t routinely share this with him because he’d find it invaluable. It was a good question! So, we now publish this report which, as you’ll see below, contains links to what we think are the most interesting and relevant legal market commentaries of the last month – November 2014. Best wishes,

The Riverview Law R&D Team

November 2014

CLO Survey Has Bad News for Outside Counsel http://rv-l.com/1rZUglE Corporate Counsel November 5 2014

Law firm ownership and lawyer independence http://rv-l.com/1wLaiVQ Law 21 November 7 2014

What could be the global impact of the UK’s Legal Services Act? http://rv-l.com/1BgQGvK Oxford University Press blog November 8 2014

Importance of targets and metrics for legal teams http://rv-l.com/1oCB5ls Laissa Oy November 10 2014

Everything You Need to Know About the Past, Present, and Future of Legaltech in Canada http://rv-l.com/12zFxrT Techvibes November 10 2014 Can the Big4 succeed in law this time? http://rv-l.com/1CIBMQy Beaton Capital November 11 2014 Legal Futures report: City firms embracing innovation http://rv-l.com/1xIDgUp Legal Futures November 11 2014 Pandora’s Box Or Panacea? Lessons From The U.K.’s Liberalization Of Law-Firm Ownership http://rv-l.com/1w3CEfI Forbes November 13 2014 Competition blurring sectors http://rv-l.com/1zpbOvP McLaren November 20 2014

The Changing Face of Work and Workplace Learning http://rv-l.com/1FPODN5 LinkedIn November 27 2014

 

What are the I.T. specifications of Riverview Law In-house?

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The Riverview Law In-house solution is robust, scalable and secure. It is fully compliant with ISO27001 and BS9001. It is a hosted solution operating from a Tier 3 data centre. It has full integrity, access control policies, active-to-active fail-over and Disaster Recovery. Riverview Law has a lot of experience in working with the I.T. and risk teams in large organisations to structure the set-up so that it is fully compliant with whatever the Information and Security Requirements are of any organisation.

What in-house modules are available?

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The modules range from ‘Instruction Manager’, through ‘Contract Manager’ to ‘Analytics’. Super-Users access the ‘Configuration Manager’ module. Initial implementation and set-up support is provided by a Riverview Law dedicated team using the ‘Implementation Manager’ module. Customers can buy one or any combination of the modules. Each module is tailored to the behaviours and processes of an individual organisation. This approach helps minimise initial change, increase user acceptance and reduce implementation risk.

How does Riverview Law in-house help in-house functions evolve their operating model?

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Riverview Law In-house is a catalyst for change. It helps in-house functions start and continue their transformation journey in a structured and effective way, starting with where they are today but with a clear view of where they want to get to. It allows them to take one or more of the proven Riverview Law technology modules and tailor them to their business. In a low risk way it helps them automate existing processes and free the time of their team so that they have space to evolve their operating model.

How do we help in-house teams set up and implement Riverview Law In-house?

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Riverview Law experts support the implementation process. In a structured way, recognising that these are as much services as they are technology projects, a Riverview Law dedicated implementation team works with each customer to ensure that the solutions are introduced smoothly and effectively. As importantly, the solutions are also set-up to be self-maintained by each customer with additional day-to-day support being provided by the experienced Riverview Law Customer Service Centre which provides both user and technical assistance.

Is it easy for in-house teams, lawyers, paralegals and project managers to use and maintain the platform?

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The Riverview Law In-house modules are easy to use for a lawyer, paralegal or legal assistant because they have been built from the user up and not from the IT developer down. They have been built so that they can be set-up, maintained and evolved by Super-Users who are not IT professionals or developers. The key philosophy underpinning the Riverview Law software development model is the emphasis on configuration rather than coding, an emphasis which enables a quick and effective response to trends or regulatory or other change.

What is Riverview Law In-house?

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Riverview Law In-house comprises a range of modules designed to help in-house legal teams make better and quicker decisions. It helps them control the legal process, whether legal support is delivered internally and/or by third parties. It helps in-house teams improve their efficiency and effectiveness by automating existing processes and tailoring workflows to fit their business and their way of working. The modules are easy to use and configure which ensures the legal function stays in control in a cost-effective way.

Under the microscope: Heather, Commercial Litigation Lawyer

Under the microscope here is Heather who is a Commercial Litigation Lawyer. We get asked numerous questions about what it’s like to work at Riverview Law so we decided to profile some of the different roles throughout our business. We have published a series of case studies on Riverview Law employees which will give you a feel for the people within our business, the roles they undertake and what it’s like to work here.

Me: Heather

My role: Commercial Litigation Lawyer

What I did before joining:

I worked at Hill Dickinson for 5 years. My first 2 years were spent as a paralegal in the Commercial Litigation department. This role involved managing my own caseload of debt recovery matters and assisting with complex litigation projects. I subsequently spent 2 years as a trainee solicitor. Upon completion of my training contract, I qualified into the Commercial Litigation department. My role involved managing my own caseload of small claims; fast track; insolvency and debt recovery matters. I was also heavily involved in assisting with multi-track litigation in the High Court, Technology and Construction Court and Supreme Court.

Why I joined:     

When I attended interviews for new Commercial Litigation roles, it was Riverview which ticked every box for me. The friendly laid-back culture was immediately apparent. But, more importantly, it was clear that the business was ‘going places’; not only did Riverview have an impressive customer portfolio, but they were also prepared to invest time and money in the development of their staff. This was exactly what I was looking for and I accepted the position at Riverview immediately.

What surprised me most in my first week at Riverview Law:

I was surprised at the unique induction programme, as I was not only provided with training on how to do my day-to-day job, but I was also provided with guidance on the Riverview values and culture in my Moments of Truth session.

What I’ve learnt since joining:

I have learnt to put the customer at the forefront of everything I do. When working at a traditional law firm, it is very easy to become side-tracked by financial targets and time recording. As these elements are not present at Riverview, it is much easier to remember that the most important aspect of what we do as lawyers is to provide the most efficient and effective legal solutions to our customers. I have also become increasingly aware that the use of technology is a fundamental part of providing a legal service, as technology can help our customers to make important long-term adjustments within their business.

What I enjoy most about my job:

Riverview is underpinned by 6 key values which it encourages all its employees to adhere to. The values are for employees to be innovative, enthusiastic, individual, professional, inquisitive and part of one team. It is these values which make up the unique Riverview culture, and it is the culture and the people which makes working at Riverview so enjoyable.

How Riverview Law compares with other places I’ve worked: 

I had previously only worked in a ‘traditional law firm’. Riverview is completely different. Everyone has a voice in Riverview irrespective of what job title they have, as Riverview recognise that each and every individual’s role within the business is of equal importance. Riverview also encourages a working environment which is fun. The best example of this is probably the free ice cream we have in the kitchen!!

Why I’m still here: 

Riverview strikes the balance that I am looking for in my career. I am encouraged to develop myself, work hard and to be professional, whilst alongside FTSE 100 customers. However, I am also encouraged to work in a relaxed, fun culture with a great bunch of people.

What I’d say to potential applicants:

Riverview is a completely different model to many other law firms and is changing and growing at a rapid pace. If potential applicants are prepared to embrace the inevitable changes which are currently facing the legal market, and also want to be part of a new, fresh and exciting legal business, then they should definitely apply to Riverview!!

Under the microscope: Claire, Software Development Team Leader

Under the microscope here is Claire who is a Software Development Team Leader. We get asked numerous questions about what it’s like to work at Riverview Law so we decided to profile some of the different roles throughout our business. We have published a series of case studies on Riverview Law employees which will give you a feel for the people within our business, the roles they undertake and what it’s like to work here.

Me: Claire 

My role: I recently got promoted to Software Development Team Leader.

What I did before joining:

Before joining Riverview, I worked for 2 previous companies. The first was an IT company specialising in the development of customisations for Project Server, SharePoint and CRM. Clients were mainly public Sector organisations and my responsibilities included requirement gathering, development and the deployment of solutions. My second role was for a company with a background in engineering and cabling. My role changed significantly there and I was more heavily involved in custom application development for internal purposes such as project administration and human resource management. I was also responsible for general IT support and some project management.

Why I joined:    

Although I had learnt a lot in my previous role, it involved a lot of travelling and there was little room for progression or personal growth. I joined Riverview because I wanted a new challenge and I also wanted an opportunity where I could have the chance to further my career. It was really important that I worked somewhere with a positive atmosphere where I could improve my skills and be part of a cohesive team. After going for an interview and finding out for about the role and ambitions of the company I knew it would be right fit for me.

What surprised me most in my first week at Riverview Law:

What struck me first was the friendliness of the staff and the values that are instilled from the top of the organisation down. There was a really positive vibe and the support and structure that was in place for new starters was something I was not used to.

What I’ve learnt since joining:

Having been used to working independently in the past, the biggest learning experience for me has been working as part of a team and collaborating in order to achieve our goals. This has been really rewarding and I feel I’m really gelling with my colleagues. From a technical point of view I have improved my knowledge of CRM 2011 and 2013 and I’ve also gained valuable experience of managing and leading projects.

What I enjoy most about my job:

I recently got promoted to Software Development Team Leader which  has given me the opportunity to think of new ways for us to bond as a team and get the best out of each other. I’ve really enjoyed thinking outside the box and coming up with new ideas to do this. I find I get a lot of job satisfaction from seeing our team succeed and it motivates me to keep trying new things which help us do our jobs better but can also be fun and original.

How Riverview Law compares with other places I’ve worked:

In previous roles, I’ve found that staff are not always valued and given the support and recognition they need. At Riverview there is strong leadership and well defined structure for staff to give regular feedback and raise any concerns they have through their line manager. This helps ensure people are happier and more content with their jobs and I’ve always felt that happier teams are more productive. There is also set of values that are instilled throughout the company which is genuinely adhered – again this is not something I’ve experienced in the past.

Why I’m still here:

I love working with my team and they give me plenty of motivation to stick around!   I also feel as though there is support to help me improve my skills and achieve my goals and aspirations within the company and so I don’t have any reason to leave.

What I’d say to potential applicants:

If you have worked in other places where you have not been appreciated and you have a strong work ethic, a willingness to learn and want to be part of a cohesive team of lovely people, then this is the place for you! I would highly recommend it!

Under the microscope: Adam, Trainee Solicitor

Under the microscope here is Adam who is a Trainee Solicitor. We get asked numerous questions about what it’s like to work at Riverview Law so we decided to profile some of the different roles throughout our business. We have published a series of case studies on Riverview Law employees which will give you a feel for the people within our business, the roles they undertake and what it’s like to work here.

Me: Adam 

My role: I started at Riverview Law as a Business Law Executive and recently became one of the first 7 people at Riverview Law to be awarded a Training Contract.

What I did before joining:

Prior to joining Riverview I was studying the LPC at BPP Liverpool. My studies on the LPC were highly geared towards commercial law and so it really was great timing to land the job so soon after law school. I think that part of the reason young lawyers are seldom given responsibility early on in their career is because of the delay between the end of legal study and the beginning of proper legal practice. As soon as I started at Riverview I was servicing a FTSE 100 from day 1 and was able to put my knowledge directly into practice with hands on experience and the law fresh in my mind.

Why I joined:

Riverview struck me as the Google of the legal profession. Innovation was clearly high on the agenda and it is a business that’s pushing the boundaries and changing attitudes. My experience in the profession was one bound by tradition where innovation was reserved for the ancient lawyer at the top of the tower. Typically lawyers are not considered innovators but Riverview changed that for me and continues to change those attitudes in the profession. It had a bright and refreshing approach to legal services – that immediately grabbed my attention. I also felt that I had a chance to make my mark on the business and to be creative from the beginning.

What surprised me most in my first week at Riverview Law:

It is made crystal clear from the beginning that you, as an individual, are a key part of the business and can really make a difference. I wasn’t expecting such an open plan, dynamic environment where everyone is so accessible. That was a welcome change to most law firms.

What I’ve learnt since joining:

I’ve advised on over £50m worth of commercial transactions both domestic and overseas. I wouldn’t have been able to do that anywhere else at this stage in my career. Support is there for you at all times and that’s why Riverview’s young lawyers excel. We are literally sitting in and amongst experts – there are no offices or cubicles, we’re all in one place. Riverview is always looking to nurture talent internally. What’s interesting is that you can learn about the other roles in the business and give your career a new direction if you choose to – Riverview will facilitate it. From software development to client management and HR, people often move around and gain great experience from our diversity. As an example, I’m currently learning the basics of software coding from one of our programmers!

What I enjoy most about my job:

I enjoy the client contact and managing my own cases. My role involves a lot of legal and commercial negotiations and I find that aspect of my work thrilling. I also enjoy working from customer premises through our immersion plan and really getting to know our customers’ businesses and approach. I was recently involved in a series of high value software purchases in Hong Kong and got to work with some fantastic people and stakeholders across the business. Our work is global and our presence in the market is expanding – it’s an exciting place to be.

How Riverview Law compares with other places I’ve worked:

I have never worked in such a lively office where everyone is connected on both a professional and personal level. Riverview values its personalities and everyone who visits comments on our culture. The organisation recognises that you’re a person first and a lawyer second; that you have a social life and need to enjoy your work in order to excel at it. We even have a pool table and an ice cream freezer – key differentiators for me. Our socials are some of the best I’ve been to and are put together by our fantastic social committee! It’s a vibrant place and it is changing every day.

Why I’m still here:

First and foremost – the people! Our teams aren’t service delivery vehicles, they’re friendship groups. I can honestly say that I would gladly share a pint with every single member of the Riverview team bar none. You’re also treated as a valued professional, no matter your level of experience, practice area or lawyer/non-lawyer. Everyone has their own background and experience which creates a diverse group of interesting people who bring that into work. It is because of our people that we’re ahead of the curve and at the forefront of developments in the legal market. You get that feeling when you walk through our doors – it truly is an exciting place to work.

What I’d say to potential applicants:

You absolutely have to apply. We’re not paying lip service when we say “be yourself”. We mean it. Your legal knowledge and experience is a given; we want fantastic lawyers, but what can you offer over and above that? That’s what our customers ask of us and why they’re working with us – added value. Show off your personality and just be you. If you don’t like what we have to offer, I would be incredibly surprised – but you’ll get a free ice cream in the process.

Under the microscope: Sarah, Finance Manager

Under the microscope here is Sarah who is Finance Manager. We get asked numerous questions about what it’s like to work at Riverview Law so we decided to profile some of the different roles throughout our business. We have published a series of case studies on Riverview Law employees which will give you a feel for the people within our business, the roles they undertake and what it’s like to work here.

Me: Sarah

My role: Finance Manager

What I did before joining:

I am a qualified Management Accountant and spent the majority of my career working in manufacturing.  I had a career break in 2004 when I retrained as a florist. I then spent 6 years running my own Florist in Coventry before returning to accountancy in 2010.

Why I joined:

I joined Riverview Law because I was impressed with the culture and innovation within the business.  The principles applied within Riverview have been used in the corporate environment for many years but within Legal Services this is a major change.  Being involved in change and taking the business forward motivates me so Riverview Law was a perfect fit for me. The opportunity to be involved with Riverview, in what is still, early days, was one that I couldn’t resist!

What surprised me most in my first week at Riverview Law:

I was amazed the culture that was discussed and emphasised during the recruitment process was actually reality! Sometimes what is preached isn’t always practised!  Here at Riverview it is!

What I’ve learnt since joining:

Riverview Law is unique! We really are changing the way Legal Services are delivered.  I assumed, being an accountant, that MI was an integral part of managing a business.  However since joining Riverview I have discovered that this is something the Legal world has been missing out on.  Not only do we provide legal services but we also give our customers monthly management information; a  value adding service which gives them the facility to analyse their business activities more effectively.

What I enjoy most about my job:

I enjoy the fact that every day is different and that I am getting involved in projects that aren’t necessarily purely Finance focussed.  As Finance Manager I am responsible for producing the monthly management accounts for the Board of Directors and providing the Client Managers and Legal Managers with their Profit and Loss accounts in order for them to manage their team and budgets effectively.  We have monthly Profit  and Loss review meetings which are a two way process, whereby the Managers understand the Financial aspects of their Client Accounts and I get an understanding of the operational aspects of the customers’ accounts which helps me with forecasting and budgeting. As the company is growing rapidly there are many challenges that need resolving including staffing, office space and IT requirements all of which involve Finance at varying degrees.  This gives me exposure to the operational side of the business which I particularly enjoy.

How Riverview Law compares with other places I’ve worked:

Riverview Law is completely different to other places where I have worked; culture is a big thing here and we have the correct balance between work and fun. There is a positive atmosphere within the office, people enjoy being here and I think that is a combination of the openness, honesty and  our One Team culture.  Communication is vital in any organisation and here at Riverview communication is a priority.  We have weekly updates from the Chief Executive which is something the staff value considerably.

Why I’m still here:

I have only been with Riverview Law for 8 months and in this short time I have seen how the Legal Services market is changing and Riverview Law is a major player in this.  To be able to say I was there, I was part of the changes …why would you want to go anywhere else?

What I’d say to potential applicants:

Riverview Law is not a traditional law firm… if you are looking for tradition then this is not the company for you!  We have six values; one of the most important ones to me is individual.   We are encouraged to show our individuality and personality.  In my experience a culture like this is rare.  If you are the type of person that likes to make a difference and be part of the team then Riverview Law should be a consideration for you.

Under the microscope: Nicola, Client Manager & Service Delivery Team Leader

Under the microscope here is Nicola who is a Client Manager and Service Delivery Team Leader. We get asked numerous questions about what it’s like to work at Riverview Law so we decided to profile some of the different roles throughout our business. We have published a series of case studies on Riverview Law employees which will give you a feel for the people within our business, the roles they undertake and what it’s like to work here.

Me: Nicola 

My role: Client Manager and Service Delivery Team Leader

What I did before joining

Prior to joining Riverview, I worked as a Client Manager at AdviserPlus, where I met and worked alongside Karl Chapman managing a large channel partner in delivering HR advisory services to small and medium sized businesses. Prior to that I was a Statutory Advertising Manager for Lee & Nightingale Advertising where I led a team in delivering statutory advertising services to a large portfolio of clients ranging from well-known UK law firms to government entities.

Why I joined:

I was asked to assist in the launch of Riverview Law back in October 2011, and being offered an opportunity to work with Karl and other colleagues was a no brainer for me! I could see the huge potential in the business model and I was really excited about being part of such an amazing project.

What surprised me most in my first week at Riverview Law

The sheer hard work and determination of my colleagues. It was all hands to the pump and everyone got involved when required.

What I’ve learnt since joining:

I have learnt so much. My role has varied since joining. I originally joined as Office Manager to assist with recruitment, HR policies and procedures, H&S, project management, IT infrastructure – I got involved with almost everything in the early days. Once Riverview Law was an established business, I transitioned into a role of Client Manager which I was familiar with from my previous roles. My knowledge has grown so much and I have learnt something new almost every week, whether that is something about processes, systems, customers or my colleagues.  My career has developed and I believe that I have grown with each role.

What I enjoy most about my job:

How varied it is. No 2 days are the same and there is always something going on. Our customers trust us and want us to help them where we can so this keeps us busy.  

How Riverview Law compares with other places I’ve worked:

It is like no other. I have worked in small family run businesses and large corporates, neither of which have even come close to Riverview.

Why I’m still here:

I consider myself very fortunate to work with such fantastic people in such a fantastic business. The culture that Riverview possesses is infectious. Being part of something so great from the beginning makes you want to stay and see what the future holds. I am proud to say that I have been/and am part of an amazing journey and it is only just beginning! What I’d say to potential applicants: Some comments that have been made to me by various employees, work experience candidates and interns, is that they have never experienced a place quite like Riverview. Take a look at our website.  I know that it is easy for us to say how great we are, but we really are!

Under the microscope: Edmund, Legal Manager & Commercial Lawyer

Under the microscope here is Edmund who is a Legal Manager and Commercial Lawyer. We get asked numerous questions about what it’s like to work at Riverview Law so we decided to profile some of the different roles throughout our business. This is the first in a series of case studies from Riverview Law employees which will give you a feel for the people within our business, the roles they undertake and what it’s like to work here.

Me: Edmund

My role: Legal Manager and Commercial Lawyer

What I did before joining:

Before joining Riverview, I was a senior associate and part of the corporate team based in the Liverpool Office of a global law firm.  I spent lots of long days, and often nights and weekends, working on international acquisitions and disposals with a niche practice in offshore property trusts.

Why I joined:

In all honesty, when I joined Riverview Law in August 2013, I knew very little about the business or the team – there was very little to know given how new the business was and the paucity of publicly available information at the time. I accepted the invitation for an interview as I was intrigued by this “new” legal services business model and wanted to find out more about it. The interview lasted one hour, and I spent a further hour and a half meeting various members of the team based at the Wirral office (which at that time only numbered around 20!). It was the time spent at the interview, as well as the enthusiasm and positivity of the team, which convinced me that this was the right career choice for me, and I have not looked back since!

What surprised me most in my first week at Riverview Law:

The biggest surprise to me in my first week at Riverview Law was the clarity of vision of the business – not clever PR tag lines developed to promote a brand but meaningful business objectives that underpin everything each of us actually do.

What I’ve learnt since joining:

The biggest single lesson I have learnt here at Riverview Law is that there are many ways to be a lawyer. Previously, as a lawyer within a traditional private practice environment, there was only one “proper” way to progress in your legal career.  If you bill more, work excessive hours and spend all your spare time developing your own client base (all of which are more self-serving than client-focussed), you may, eventually, get a shout at partnership at some stage.  Conversely, failure to adhere to this path can be seen as a lack of ambition. Working within that type of environment, I just kept my head down and got on with it.  Stepping away from that environment and having spent time learning about the bigger picture has helped me understand how narrow and unsustainable that particular perspective is, and that we can achieve great things in law a different way.

What I enjoy most about my job:

What do I enjoy most about my job?  Easy one this – the people.  The team has grown from around 20 or so employees when I joined in August 2013 to over 100 employees (as at September 2014). Throughout this period of rapid growth the business has not only successfully retained but has also enhanced the enthusiasm, the positivity and the team culture that makes the Riverview Law business as a whole, and each and every individual within the business, so individual and unique. Is it perfect?  Absolutely not!  There are many challenges to this business, some of which are common to legal businesses and some of which are unique to Riverview Law, and the team works together and works hard to address them. Is it the best place I have ever worked?  By an absolute country mile.

How Riverview Law compares with other places I’ve worked:

Riverview Law, compared to my previous experiences of traditional private practice, is in a word – different. One of the key differences is that there is a pretty flat management structure.  Of course there are line managers and reporting lines, but no hierarchy as such – everyone has a say and everyone’s views are considered equally. Also, there is no “clock”, which from a lawyer’s perspective is hugely liberating.  In my view, formal time recording is a management device used by law firms to artificially drive individual financial performance, but it is an old fashioned construct that no longer reflects good business practice. It is not just the removal of the administrative burden of recording time and monitoring personal financials that is liberating, but the fact that it frees time up to focus on supporting and developing other members of the team.

Why I’m still here:

Back in 1996, I started my law degree and took the first steps towards a career in law with that vaguely unspecific and romanticised notion of making a difference.  Many years of commercial private practice later, I finally have the opportunity to do so.

What I’d say to potential applicants:

The most important piece of generic advice I’d give any potential applicant is to do the research and make sure you are applying to join for the right reasons. Riverview Law is a young, dynamic, fast-moving, forward-thinking, non-traditional legal services provider.  The office represents an open, collaborative workplace environment where members of the team across all roles are encouraged to take ownership of their work at a very early stage as well as to proactively contribute towards the business itself. In addition to this, applicants will get a lot of opportunities to work closely with FTSE 100 customers and to develop their legal and wider business skills accordingly. There is also a clear focus on each individual to maintain a proper work balance.  Taking a proper lunch break and leaving on time are not only not frowned upon, but actually actively encouraged! If this sounds like you, please apply!

Sketching the Future – Axiom, Valorem, Riverview, LegalZoom: Is this the New Model?

The below article written by Kelly M. Brown, Director of Client Relations, Morrison & Foerster LLP and Andy Daws, Vice President, North America, was published in the October edition of the Thomson Reuters Practice Innovations newsletter. To view the article online please click here.  

Sketching the Future – Axiom, Valorem, Riverview, LegalZoom: Is this the New Model?

The legal industry is facing a perfect storm, as the forces of globalization, technological innovation, and liberalization converge on an industry that has remained largely unchanged for decades. Change creates great opportunity, but it also poses great risk to those who do not remain fleet of foot. As we assessed the competitive forces facing Big Law in the global market for corporate legal services (see Figure 1) and the related changes taking place, we thought it would be interesting to explore from our respective demographics of New Law and Big Law and the UK and U.S. what might be the next wave of radical change in the industry, or the Next Normal.

The Experiment

To explore the Next Normal, we used scenario decision strategy. Broadly speaking, this methodology involves identifying key uncertainties facing an industry and selecting two central uncertainties to build a matrix of four possible future worlds that explore potential paths of continued market evolution. Scenario decision strategy goes beyond traditional strategic planning approaches by incorporating uncertainty and complexity into the model to simultaneously examine how different uncertainties might interact under a variety of assumptions.

We derived the content for our analysis from key uncertainties identified by one of the co-authors in a research study for the Mack Institute for Innovation Management at the Wharton School (see Sidebar: Top 10 Key Uncertainties). The full research study includes a detailed description of the scenario planning methodology and the forces, trends, and key uncertainties uncovered in the research, including results from an in-house counsel focus group assembled for the study.

For our experiment, we chose the following two key uncertainties: the pace of globalization (including its impact on liberalization in the U.S. legal market), and the pace at which clients adopt or switch to alternative technology-focused options that replace traditional legal service delivery models. We used these to build a matrix of four possible snapshots of the global market for corporate legal services in the year 2030 (Figure 2). Given the space constraints of an article of this nature, we zeroed in on one of the four scenarios to sketch: Scenario B (Law Networked), produced at the upper extremes and marked by an increasingly interconnected global economy and clients who willingly switch from traditional legal service delivery models to those built on emerging technologies.

Next, we perch ourselves in the year 2030 and offer some general observations on how the industry could unfold under Scenario B and the potential strategic implications for New Law and Big Law. But remember, this is a speculative exercise, so don’t cast too many aspersions! It’s also meant to be provocative—scenario decision strategy is designed to stretch the imagination, push people past their comfort zones, and challenge deeply held beliefs and existing business models. When built on solid industry analysis and research on key trends and uncertainties, it’s a powerful strategic planning tool that can help companies avoid stumbling in the face of disruptive change.

Sketching the Future (2030): Law Networked

Now we’re in 2030 and the era of Law Networked. Most would agree that for much of its history, the legal industry had been a very conservative one, its participants long-protected from external pressures toward competition or change. Some even argued that was a good thing. But over the last 15+ years, the industry has experienced firsthand that in a world in which open-market values are increasingly prized, and advancements in technology swift, the barriers to outside competition can quickly erode, and in dramatic fashion.

Over the last couple of decades, regulation of legal services was a proverbial hot potato, and many were adamant that the U.S. would never succumb to federal regulation or nonlawyer ownership of law firms. Understandably, there was a lot at stake. But in an increasingly globalized marketplace, it became very difficult for the U.S. legal industry to remain immune to the trend toward liberalization seen first in Australia, then Europe (UK, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Greece), followed by some Asian countries that also started to loosen their regulatory belts.

The formation of an International Network of Legal Regulators in 2012 was an early indicator that such matters could not remain isolated from an increasingly interconnected global economy. Pressure mounted from foreign competition, access to justice lobbyists, and “regulatory convergence” via the mega-regional trade agreements. As more and more countries echoed the mantra of the UK’s Legal Services Act to “promote competition, innovation, and the public and consumer interest” in legal services, in the immortal words of Star Trek’s Borg, resistance was futile!

Ultimately, just as we saw happen in Europe, when the so-called Troika (the triumvirate consisting of the IMF, ECB, and EU) used its clout to remove anticompetitive legal regulation as an economic stimulus, political pressure was brought to bear on those who stubbornly refused to accept that this was a debate that extended well beyond the boundaries of our profession. Long after the first of the Canadian provinces, Ontario, led the way in North America, the U.S. finally succumbed. By now, jurisdiction has ceased to be anywhere near as important an issue as it used to be, and the power wielded by many U.S. firms, and even regions, is long gone.

Which leads us arguably to an even more provocative aspect of this scenario, that of technology. It proved to be an enormous irony, that while numerous bar associations and countless lawyers expended their energy kicking the metaphorical ball of nonlawyer ownership around, the game moved to an entirely different pitch. What the U.S. lacked by way of regulatory stimulus toward competition and innovation fifteen years ago, it more than made up for with an impressive raft of technology-based start-ups. Over the last fifteen years, investment in legal technology has grown from the half billion over a decade ago to numbers that now boggle the mind.

Relying on human brainpower, professional services had been relatively immune from the wholesale disruption that technology had wrought on other industries such as retail, travel, publishing, and music. But what began as an interesting foray into the world of e-discovery, rapidly moved on to embrace emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, and Machine-to-Machine. Over the last fifteen years, we’ve witnessed Cognitive AI outperforming doctors in many applications, and “Robolawyer” has become a reality after IBM’s Watson passed a multistate bar exam back in 2020.

We are now in a technology era in which computers are able to do most of what lawyers could do 15 years ago, and do it better, faster, and cheaper! And given that these technological capabilities, which were once only a pipedream, are now a commercial reality, clients have become exceedingly willing to switch from traditional legal service providers to alternative technology-focused providers. The technology train left the station years ago, and it turns out that it doesn’t have brakes!

New Law

So, what of New Law in this brave new world? Well just over a decade ago, we saw in Clearspire the coming and going of what was then a New Law poster child. As Clayton Christensen has observed, the innovators of one era soon become tomorrow’s incumbents and face the same possibilities of disruption, so those service providers that the industry categorized as New Law in 2014 had to respond aggressively to the even more radical changes they perceived were forthcoming. Still, a number in New Law did ultimately go the way of Clearspire.

But those that grew in prominence after the Great Recession using technology as a key part of their platform still remain, and a handful of the early flag bearers can be found within their networks. Years ago, these players already had their sights firmly set on the future, even while we were calling them the disrupters. Accordingly, they started to raise substantial amounts of outside investment to build out the technological capabilities they perceived they would need to thrive in the ensuing decade. In fact, Riverview Law was already talking about reinvention only two years after its founding (Riverview Law: Applying Business Sense to the Legal Market)! Now in 2030, it has fully moved from a services business enabled by technology, to a technology-led patent-protected business that provides services.

There’s no denying that the inexorable march of globalization, liberalization, and technology adoption has played to New Law’s strengths and many such firms have exercised their commercial nous and deep pockets to create substantial differentiation and competitive advantage. These service providers have become the networked hub for clients, often serving as an extension of clients’ in-house teams, and working with a variety of other providers to streamline service delivery across the globe with a suite of customer-focused “productized” service solutions.

Big Law

Where does this leave Big Law? It turns out that many traditional law firms were able to weather the post-recession first wave of New Law better than many had predicted. A number of the advances in technology served to complement existing practices rather than supplant them. For example, various firms now find that they are uniquely positioned to leverage the depth and breadth of their expertise to employ AI technology at levels that are unmatched by many in New Law. Those law firms with highly specialized, “bet-the-company” litigation practices also emerged as winners.

But the New Law providers of today are proving to be more formidable competitors than those of 15 years ago. Big Law is finding it increasingly difficult to compete with the “reinvented versions” of the New Law rivals who have spent the last fifteen years building out their innovation capabilities, supported by ever increasing levels of outside investment. That investment has turned a number of New Law providers into “mega” firms, but not necessarily mega in size. Instead, it’s about tech-enabled capabilities that expand global reach, depth of knowledge, and the ability to deliver timely expertise in minutes. Many traditional law firms, on the other hand, weren’t able to take the required hit to PPP and make the investments necessary to strategically position themselves for the new legal landscape that has become increasingly tech-focused. And stunning advances in technology have even paved the way for New Law to eat into some of the high-end, bet-the-company litigation work that was once the exclusive domain of Big Law.

Liberalization introduced another rising competitor: elite accounting firms. Several accounting firms restructured as ABSs in the UK years ago and started to rebuild and expand their legal service capabilities. Since then, the increasingly interconnected global economy, and the resulting diminished importance placed on jurisdiction, has positioned elite accounting firms to compete head-on with elite law firms across the globe that remain. These competitors to Big Law have combined their business and legal acumen with the client-oriented strategies they are known for to deliver differentiated legal solutions that are tightly integrated with business solutions. They have also used their deep pockets to acquire the technology needed to keep from falling too far behind New Law.

The Next Normal?

This scenario raises many challenging questions for our industry (and many others, too, of course). Where will the present course of globalization and regulatory convergence ultimately end? What threats and opportunities does it present for providers and educators? How prepared are the regulators to deal with autonomous robotic agents delivering legal advice, and who is liable when something goes wrong? Will these technologies be available to traditional law firms, or will they be completely disintermediated? If the former, how will firms afford them, and if the latter, how many of these firms will survive and what will they look like?

Clearly, nobody can predict what today’s New Law or Big Law will look like fifteen years from now. And in some sense, New Law is no different from any of the current incumbents, in that it will need to continue to reinvent itself. Some current New Law success stories will become tomorrow’s failed experiments and some of tomorrow’s successes are likely to come from the most unlikely of quarters (for further thoughts, see Repackage the Future of Law). But a customer-centric commercial approach combined with an ability (capital and company DNA) to build innovation capabilities can help weather the storms of globalization and technological advancement. The smart players won’t be resting on their laurels, because when all is said and done, the Next Normal increasingly looks like a journey rather than a destination.

Sources

  1. Andrew Benedict-Nelson and Andy Daws, “Repackage the Future of Law,” Insight Labs (November 2013), online at:http://www.theinsightlabs.org/research/repackage-the-future-of-law/.
  2. Kelly M. Brown, “Enter the Disrupters: How New Law Firm Rivals are Disrupting the Market for High-end Legal Services in the U.S.,” MBA research fellowship, Mack Institute for Innovation Management (the Wharton School) (May 2014), online at:http://mackinstitute.wharton.upenn.edu/students/mba-research-fellowships/mba-research-fellowship-papers-2/.
  3. Clayton M. Christensen, The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (1997).
  4. George S. Day and Paul J.H. Schoemaker, Wharton on Managing Emerging Technologies (2000) (see Chapter 10, “Scenario Planning for Disruptive Technologies”).
  5. Heidi K. Gardner and Silvia Hodges Silverstein, “Riverview Law: Applying Business Sense to the Legal Market,” Harvard Business School Case Study (June 2014), online at:http://hbr.org/product/Riverview-Law–Applying-B/an/414079-PDF-ENG.
  6. Michael E. Porter, Competitive Advantage (1985).

November 2014 Market Horizon Scanning

Welcome to the November 2014 edition of the Riverview Law Market Scanning Report. As part of our market and horizon scanning activities we have always collected and circulated internally relevant legal market articles, commentaries, reports and blogs. When we shared this data with a GC he asked why we didn’t routinely share this with him because he’d find it invaluable. It was a good question! So, we now publish this report which, as you’ll see below, contains links to what we think are the most interesting and relevant legal market commentaries of the last month – October 2014. Best wishes, The Riverview Law R&D Team   October 2014 Law firms “increasingly worried” by threat of ABSs and non-solicitor competitors http://rv-l.com/1vSWcRq Legal Futures 9th October 2014 Could a big data-crunching machine be your boss one day? http://rv-l.com/1tDId2B BBC News Business 9th October 2014 The Big Bang in BigLaw – or how irreversible forces are changing law firms http://rv-l.com/1o9ZmQ3  Beaton Capital 15th October 2014 A ‘return to growth’ is a mirage for law firms http://rv-l.com/1tBpzqQ Beaton Capital 24th October 2014

The Three Breakthroughs That Have Finally Unleashed AI on the World http://rv-l.com/1zejlAN Wired 27th October 2014

Sketching the Future – Axiom, Valorem, Riverview, LegalZoom: Is this the New  Model? http://rv-l.com/13zr2Ev Thomson Reuters October 2014 The end of apps as we know them http://rv-l.com/1wDf854 Inside Intercom October 2014    

October 2014 Market Horizon Scanning

Welcome to the October 2014 edition of the Riverview Law Market Scanning Report. As part of our market and horizon scanning activities we have always collected and circulated internally relevant legal market articles, commentaries, reports and blogs. When we shared this data with a GC he asked why we didn’t routinely share this with him because he’d find it invaluable. It was a good question! So, we now publish this report which, as you’ll see below, contains links to what we think are the most interesting and relevant legal market commentaries of the last month – September 2014. Best wishes, The Riverview Law R&D Team   September 2014 Don’t think like a lawyer http://rv-l.com/1EoHFRx Law 21 1st October 2014 Accountant KPMG to offer one-stop shop with ABS http://rv-l.com/1pLoJT6 The Law Society Gazette 1st October 2014 How Digital Labor Is Transforming IT http://rv-l.com/1rf4f4G CIO Insight 29th September 2014 Meet Amelia: the computer that’s after your job http://rv-l.com/1nYiosv The Telegraph 29th September 2014

Why Do Law Firms Struggle with Strategic IT? (2 of 3): Who Do We Blame? http://rv-l.com/1BMybuZ Blue Hill Research 28th September 2014

Big Four battle royale in the Asian Century http://rv-l.com/1nYj29m Beaton Capital 26th September 2014 SRA set to ditch compulsory management course for newly qualifieds http://rv-l.com/1uwM54m Legal Futures 23rd September 2014

6 Technology Articles You Must Read Today http://rv-l.com/1vN8okl Forbes 26th September 2014

 

Riverview Law awards seven training contracts. Ten training contracts to be offered in 2015.

Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, has launched its first solicitor training scheme, awarding seven training contracts to current members of staff. Hannah Capstick, Sam Cooper, Sam Crich, Rosanna Hughes, Adam Kelly, Steven Malyj and Chris Rea have all studied in the Liverpool, Chester and Manchester areas and will start a two-year training contract today (29th September 2014). Director of Legal Services at Riverview Law, Steven Zdolyny, says the training provided will help the trainees develop into first class lawyers: “We have an exceptional legal team at Riverview Law and our business-wide training and development programme ensures that we continue to develop and grow the talent we and our customers need.  I am confident all seven of our new trainees will thrive within our business and I join my colleagues in congratulating them on their success.” In the summer of 2015 Riverview Law will commence the application process for up to a further 10 training contract opportunities to existing employees at Riverview Law – training contracts at Riverview Law are only available to team members who have been with Riverview Law for at least six months. Kate Thomsett, Head of HR, explains that this is one of the many ways Riverview Law is developing and attracting new talent: “As Riverview Law continues to win FTSE 100 clients we are and will continue to, recruit, train and progress talented people within our business.  That’s why we appointed our first legal apprentice last year and why we continue to expand and evolve the training programmes we offer internally – from legal and IT skills through to finance and client management professionals. We made the decision to open training contracts up to Riverview Law employees who have been with us for 6 months or more to ensure that candidates are the right fit for our business and embody the Riverview Law values.  Anyone who wishes to be considered for the 2015 training contracts should apply to join Riverview Law now. ” Anyone interested in a career at Riverview Law can find out more via the careers page on their website here.

Legal Apprentice anniversary

Congratulations to Anya McDonnell, Riverview Law’s first Legal Apprentice, who has successfully completed the first year of her apprenticeship. Over the past 12 months Anya has been completing a Legal Administration unit and she will start CiLEx Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship on October 2nd. Anya is Riverview Law’s first Legal Apprentice and you can learn more about her role and what being a Legal Apprentice entails here.

September 2014 Market Horizon Scanning Report

Welcome to the September 2014 edition of the Riverview Law Market Scanning Report. As part of our market and horizon scanning activities we have always collected and circulated internally relevant legal market articles, commentaries, reports and blogs. When we shared this data with a GC he asked why we didn’t routinely share this with him because he’d find it invaluable. It was a good question! So, we now publish this report which, as you’ll see below, contains links to what we think are the most interesting and relevant legal market commentaries of the last month – August 2014. Best wishes, The Riverview Law R&D Team   August 2014 Why Are Lawyers So Expensive Even With The Excess Supply Of Lawyers? http://rv-l.com/1pQR8Lg Forbes 30 June 2014 When the A-Lawyers Break Free: BigLaw 2.0 http://rv-l.com/Z0vFFg Silicon Hills Lawyer 31 July 2014  What Voltaire might have said about NewLaw http://rv-l.com/1pXig70 Eric JY Chin 1 August 2014 Are you behaviourally challenged? http://rv-l.com/1tKD2vX Lawyer Watch 13 August 2014 Local authority ABSs “will improve access to justice” http://rv-l.com/Z4tpNv Legal Futures 19 August 2014 Big increase in demand for non-traditional legal services, City report predicts http://rv-l.com/1tTkMk7 Legal Futures 20 August 2014 Lawyers: show your clients some love (well, empathy at least) http://rv-l.com/1CaoBFq The Legal Brat Blawg 21 August 2014 Selling legal services – the importance of relevance and behaviour http://rv-l.com/1vUHqYI Beaton Capital 27 August 2014

When Riverview Law met Brian Pike – Diary of an Intern

This summer Brian Pike spent a month doing an internship at Riverview Law. We asked Brian to sum up his time with us.

From the moment I stepped in the door, I could sense the energy at Riverview that I had followed throughout the past year.  The open-office floor plan buzzed with activity.  The company values and mission statement are placed throughout the office in visually appealing locations.  “Changing the way organisations use, measure and buy legal services” and “Legal input, Business output” catch your eye as you enter the room.  The office is lit primarily by natural light from large pane windows that cover three-fourths of the walls.  I had finally arrived inside the ABS I had read so much about. My relationship with Riverview began with admiration in the summer of 2013 at MSU’s 21st Century Legal Practice program in London.  One of the classes I attended focused on design thinking in the legal profession.  As part of the course, we read a case study on Riverview. I became extremely interested in not only the work Riverview was doing, but their approach.  Having studied business management in my undergraduate years, Riverview’s focus on applying business principles to law intrigued me. As part of our design course, we were encouraged to begin building a professional online presence.  Prior to arriving in London, I had never used Twitter significantly.  We learned that Twitter can be an extremely useful tool to engage companies, find like-minded professionals, share articles, and start building a professional network. I reached out to Riverview and began one of several conversations discussing the possibility of creating an international internship experience.  Every interaction I had with Riverview over the next year added to the professionalism and customer service I had previously read about.  By simply asking to speak with someone about an opportunity, Riverview responded warmly: Brian Pike 1     Riverview and I worked together to navigate the visa requirements, and they helped me arrange all aspects of my accommodation. Everyone began filtering in for the day, talking about their weekends and discussing the workweek ahead.  Staff are seated in team-locations with several free “hot seats.”  For example, Karl Chapman, the CEO, always changes his seating location in the office.  On the opposite side of the building are six meeting rooms labeled after the company values: individual, enthusiastic, inquisitive, professional, positive, and one team.  Inside these rooms the teams meet to discuss best practices, project status, or work privately. Everyone took the time to stop in and say hello and ask me a question (or three) about America.  Each person at Riverview has their own coffee cup with their name and a large heart on the back.  Below this heart is something that each person loves, and it provides an easy way for someone new to start a conversation. In the month I worked at Riverview, I spent each week working with a different FTSE 100 customer team.  During this time, I learned how each team operated, shadowed members, participated in meetings, and performed work as a member of the team.  Each week began as a new learning experience, and team members always pulled me in to answer my questions and show me their work. Riverview is a company that prides itself on process.  These processes are part of the company’s competitive advantage and what it offers its customers, and I saw the benefits.  Not only do Riverview’s processes help the company itself learn and grow, but this learning experience is shared with the customer.  Both the customer and Riverview work together to discover creative solutions to problems they both encounter. These processes help drive Riverview’s ability to provide deep management information and data to its customers.  Due to barriers lifted under the Legal Services Act of 2007 for ABS firms, Riverview has been able to heavily invest in its technology platform.  This platform is incredibly process driven and continues to grow to meet the team and customer needs.  One of the most incredible moments I experienced with Riverview occurred in a meeting with Karl Chapman.  Karl showed me the power of this management information.  Capturing hundreds of data points allows Riverview to equip its General Counsel customers with the ability to track trends from the legal department.  The simple phrase “Legal input, Business output” effectively captures a sophisticated investment in technology and demonstrates Riverview’s ability to respond and grow to client demands. The team atmosphere is amplified by the ability for any member of Riverview to add their constructive feedback.  Each person’s perspective is respected and valued.  Nearly every person I spoke with had a story about how they encountered a problem or found a creative solution and described to me how comfortable they felt sharing this information to create a better process.  The company values truly shine in the way team members perform and feel about their work.  

  • Individual.  Everyone I encountered at Riverview enjoyed talking about their interests, passions, and life outside of work.  In fact, the culture at Riverview supports their individuality and has allowed its employees to expand their roles to meet their areas of interest.
  • Enthusiastic. Trying new things and embracing change are embedded in the DNA of Riverview.  The company has experienced tremendous growth and I spoke with team members who discussed how their agility and ability to communicate in a team setting and challenge the way their creative process has contributed to the success Riverview has enjoyed.
  • Inquisitive. Riverview’s employees are encouraged to learn more about their customers in all aspects, including how the customer operates internally.  Fostering an inquisitive atmosphere has allowed Riverview’s team to provide valuable input on their work.
  • Professional. While with Riverview, I observed how each team member made themselves available to help others, or even other teams.  With Riverview positioning itself as a partner with its clients, this familiarity has bred strong relationships and that trust has turned into other work streams.
  • Positive. In every meeting or team interaction I observed, each of Riverview’s employees had their input taken into account.  In speaking with all members of each team, everyone had a strong sense of their role on the team and how they contribute to the process and the end-product.
  • One Team. “While we are individuals we know that when we work as a team there is no limit to what we can achieve!”  I believe that this statement best captures the totality of the enthusiasm and type of work that Riverview is performing.  Building processes that adopt its user’s best practices and partnering with the client epitomizes Riverview’s mission.  And I think the results are speaking for themselves.

The bad parts about my experience?  I played a terrible game of pool and was 7-balled by one of my new friends on the table available in the break room.  As part of an informal tradition, I agreed to send an e-mail apologizing for my horrible skills to the office.   Brian Pike 2   Oh, and also trying to resist the free ice cream.   Brian Pike 3  

Riverview Law responds to further FTSE 100 client wins with latest lawyer recruitment drive after 100% growth in revenues

Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, is launching its latest recruitment drive in response to further FTSE 100 long-term customer wins. The Wirral-based legal services business, announced plans in August 2013 to ‘double in size’ by recruiting a variety of roles including lawyers, business law executives, client managers, IT developers and data analysts, the majority of whom are based in their Bromborough offices. Since then, Riverview Law has won further FTSE 100 clients and is now looking to recruit up to 30 commercial lawyers and Business Law Executives to support the requirements of these new client wins. Since launching in February 2012, Riverview Law has been at the forefront of driving innovation and change in the legal services market. As well as winning a host of FTSE 100 clients, the business has won a number of prestigious international awards and has recently been the subject of a Harvard Business School case study. Kate Thomsett, Head of HR at Riverview Law, says: “Our continued growth reflects the success of our business model and our different and customer centric culture.  We know how important it is to build a culture that works. Our latest recruitment drive will allow us to meet increased client demand and give new joiners a long-term career in a business that is helping to change the legal market. Karl Chapman, CEO of Riverview Law added, “In the last year our revenues have grown by over 100% and we expect the same again this year. Customers are responding to the power of our model and we can provide great, long-term and rewarding careers for all the people who join our team.” Riverview Law recently launched a new video based website focused on attracting legal talent by showcasing what it’s like to work at the firm. You can see these videos here.

July and August 2014 Market Horizon Scanning Report

Welcome to the July 2014 edition of the Riverview Law Market Scanning Report. As part of our market and horizon scanning activities we have always collected and circulated internally relevant legal market articles, commentaries, reports and blogs. When we shared this data with a GC he asked why we didn’t routinely share this with him because he’d find it invaluable. It was a good question! So, we now publish this report which, as you’ll see below, contains links to what we think are the most interesting and relevant legal market commentaries of the last two months – June and July 2014. Best wishes, The Riverview Law R&D Team   June 2014 Why old school attitudes to technology are hitting law firm profitability http://rv-l.com/1jCToiF Legal Week 4 June 2014 Sir Nigel Knowles: The end of the legal market as we know it is nigh http://rv-l.com/1yhP2qM The Lawyer 16 June 2014 The in-house perspective on collaboration in law firms http://rv-l.com/1meB5RM Managing Partner 20 June 2014 Are you tech savvy? http://rv-l.com/1pA6AbQ The Law Gazette 23 June 2014 Future Shock: which law firms will survive? http://rv-l.com/1rGsBqc Beaton Capital 25 June 2014   July 2014 Legal IT: lions led by donkeys? http://rv-l.com/1qxcE8V Legal Week 1 July 2014 “Disruption:” Barbarians at the Gates? http://rv-l.com/1s4oaqy Adam Smith Esq, blog 7 July 2014 “Too intimidating and too expensive” – new LSB chair’s verdict on the legal market http://rv-l.com/1rPro3E Legal Futures 23 July 2014 Composing KPIs for legal departments http://rv-l.com/1oaDUb8 Global Legal Post 23 July 2014 Where now for legal regulation? http://rv-l.com/1pFAeuI Legal Futures 24 July 2014 Truly Innovative Law Firms http://rv-l.com/1o08XS1 BlackLetter PR blog July 2014

Legal IT: lions led by donkeys ?

Almost a year ago I wrote about my reflections as a guest speaker at LegalWeek’s annual Strategic Technology Forum, held in the hills of rural Italy, around an hour from Rome. A tough job, but somebody had to do it, so I gathered my postage stamp’s worth of technical IT knowledge and off I went, hoping not to be found out. I had an enjoyable and extremely informative couple of days in the company of a close-knit group of professionals who were saddled with the task of delivering IT solutions to more disparate groups of another kind of profession- lawyers. What an eye-opener that was. I had always marvelled at the ability of lawyers to look down on “nons” (whether non-lawyers, non-fee earners or non-partners) but to spend time in the company of people with in-depth knowledge of complex systems whose time was spent ensuring that the partners of their firms were able to bring in whatever new IT-trinket they had acquired and use it on the firms’ networks immediately was not only extraordinary, it was confirmation that the time had come for a radically different approach to teamwork in the professional services environment. I left refreshed and invigorated, with the knowledge that there was a lot to play for in this market. I was flattered and somewhat surprised to be invited back to this year’s event. My IT expertise had not developed in the intervening period and I had already shared my full and frank views of the legal market with my new friends in the legal IT community, but apparently they were keen for more and had lined up a panel of law firm Partners for me to spar with on Day 1 of the conference- I couldn’t resist the challenge (or another couple of days in the Italian sun). Given the tremendous developments in legal technology- driven, as ever, by VC-fuelled startups on the West Coast of the US, I was expecting a shift in the focus of the event, with the participants starting to flex their technical muscle and demonstrate the value of their skills to their lawyer colleagues (or should I say masters ?). Last year we saw tantalising glimpses of real innovation- smart e-disclosure, document automation, predictive litigation outcomes being examples- so how would things look one year on ? In a word ? Unchanged. The overwhelming impression given by the participants yet again was of a group of people who not only have the will to grasp new opportunities and help their firms to innovate, they have the skills, contacts and knowledge to deliver technology-driven change. And what do they face ? Well, perhaps the question asked in one session on legal project management- “have any firms here brought in non-lawyer project managers ?”- says it all (I don’t believe that any hands were raised, by the way). Time and time again the story was of technology-driven initiatives being stymied by a combination of a lack of basic IT capability on the part of lawyers and refusal to invest for the long-term. From a selfish point of view, of course, this was music to my ears, made sweeter by the opening statement of one of my fellow panelists, the former Senior Partner of a large international firm, that they were focussed on “crushing Riverview at birth”. Validation indeed ! Last year I had spent most of my time explaining who we were and what we did. This year everybody knew. So what are my main reflections after another lovely few days of sun, pasta and a few glasses of Grappa ? I continue to be impressed with the quality of the people delivering IT solutions to lawyers, both on a professional and a personal level. They are a great bunch, and I feel honoured to have been accepted as a semi-official hanger-on. But they deserve so much more from their lawyer colleagues. They are ground down by their operating environment, delivering innovation focussed on their bosses rather than their customers. Improving billing systems, navigating the regulatory minefield of cloud-based document collaboration and servicing the ever-increasing “Bring your own” demands of lawyers are not going to achieve the sort of radical change that their firms’ customers demand. Meanwhile, emerging technologies and market disrupters (never was a market so open to disruption) loom large on the horizon, reminding us all of earlier residents of this part of Italy, those whose skills on the violin outweighed their ability to fight fires.

Litigation outsourcing

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It is really gratifying that when GCs and their teams visit they invariably go away impressed, which is what we would want. More importantly they go away understanding the art of the possible, understanding what can now be done in the legal market. They are hugely impressed by the people, the technology, the structure, the culture. They meet our people and experience our culture, and that is what always makes them leave with that positive glow. It’s all about culture.

Becoming a seamless part of your in-house team

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‘Outsourcing’ is a really interesting word because it implies that it is detached in some way; but nothing could be further from the truth. We’re as closely integrated into the businesses that we serve as you could possibly be. One of our core competencies is assembling the right teams for the managed serviced contracts we have. Because our teams are dedicated to accounts we’re very good at becoming a seamless part of the in-house function. Our teams spend time in our customer’s offices and our customers teams spend time in our offices.

Using management information and trend data to reduce cost and pre-empt risk

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Pretty quickly in a new managed service contract the focus moves from quality, because it’s good, to how we can help our customers use the management information (MI) and trend data we generate to provide them with business insight. This is not just activity and volumetric data which tells you what is happening, how much of it is happening and what the trends are. It is MI and data that goes to the root cause of issues and then helps pre-empt them, improve operational performance, reduce future risk and lower costs.

Beyond panels: The move to managed service contracts

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Our approach to legal services has been described as innovative and market disrupting. We take a slightly different view. We don’t think we’re doing anything particularly clever. We’re just combining the best practice currently available in the legal market with relevant business models and customer service approaches proven elsewhere. A good example of this is our ‘Legal Advisory Outsourcing – Beyond Panels’ model. At first glance it may seem radical. In practice it isn’t. As one General Counsel said to us “it’s so obvious why hasn’t anyone else done it?”.

Legal Procurement Conference

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It is really gratifying that when GCs and their teams visit they invariably go away impressed, which is what we would want. More importantly they go away understanding the art of the possible, understanding what can now be done in the legal market. They are hugely impressed by the people, the technology, the structure, the culture. They meet our people and experience our culture, and that is what always makes them leave with that positive glow. It’s all about culture.

Cometh The Hour

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Post lunch with a senior partner in a law firm, the Finance Director of a large corporation turns the conversation to the pricing of a big legal project she is about to start. She wants a fixed price for the work. The ensuing discussion is ‘interesting’ and entertaining…

Fixed priced radio advert

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It is really gratifying that when GCs and their teams visit they invariably go away impressed, which is what we would want. More importantly they go away understanding the art of the possible, understanding what can now be done in the legal market. They are hugely impressed by the people, the technology, the structure, the culture. They meet our people and experience our culture, and that is what always makes them leave with that positive glow. It’s all about culture.

Legal Library

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It is really gratifying that when GCs and their teams visit they invariably go away impressed, which is what we would want. More importantly they go away understanding the art of the possible, understanding what can now be done in the legal market. They are hugely impressed by the people, the technology, the structure, the culture. They meet our people and experience our culture, and that is what always makes them leave with that positive glow. It’s all about culture.

A Different View On Law

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We think it’s time for a different view on law. One that can help your business, instead of hindering it. A service that understands your needs and makes sure everything revolves around them. We think it’s time you had more control, more access to information, more expertise and less confusion. This is about breaking away from the traditional way of delivering legal services.

We judge people by their contributions not their titles

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We spend a lot of time making sure that people are the right fit for our business. We can always test for technical ability whether that’s in a legal, IT, client manager, finance or support role. The key is do they have the attitude and spirit? We have a very flat structure and a rapidly changing business and this environment is right for some people and not for others. That’s why we don’t judge people by their titles. We judge them by their contribution and the way they operate and contribute to our culture.

Our Moments of Truth programme

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You can have the best people, processes and systems in the world but the key is the culture underpinning this. Our culture is driven by Moments of Truth, a concept that is easy to understand both internally and externally and by all other Riverview Law stakeholders. Moments of Truth ensures that we all have responsibility for making sure that our customers, team members and other stakeholders are delighted every time they interact with us.

How do our team see Moments of Truth?

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Moments of Truth is a model that we live and breathe every day. It’s part of our culture and DNA. Moments of Truth is an easy to understand concept both internally and externally. All Riverview Law people go through a Moments of Truth programme which ensures that we all have responsibility for making sure that our customers, team members and other stakeholders are delighted every time they interact with us. This is what our team say about Moments of Truth.

Our approach to Induction 

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The key thing about our induction week is that we spend a lot of time examining our culture and what it is to be part of the Riverview team. On one of these days there is an all day workshop during which new starters create the entire Riverview Law business model, end-to-end, using our Moments of Truth model. We aim for people to end that week being ‘Riverview Ready’ with a strong feeling that we’re working together to do something which is making a difference.

Management Information and Data

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Pretty quickly in a new managed service contract the focus moves from quality, because it’s good, to how we can help our customers use the management information (MI) and trend data we generate to provide them with business insight. This is not just activity and volumetric data which tells you what is happening, how much of it is happening and what the trends are. It is MI and data that goes to the root cause of issues and then helps pre-empt them, improve operational performance, reduce future risk and lower costs.

How do we Implement LAO Contracts?

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The implementation process is one of our big Moments of Truth with a client. We over-resource this phase to make sure that the service goes live seamlessly and that there is no mismatch in expectation between us and the customer as to who is doing what, what behaviours we’re trying to drive and what the desired outcomes are. The implementation journey starts with a detailed scoping exercise led by our project, workflow, IT and legal experts and runs through to the customer signing off the service as in the ‘business-as-usual’ phase.

The reaction of customers when they visit Riverview Law

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It is really gratifying that when GCs and their teams visit they invariably go away impressed, which is what we would want. More importantly they go away understanding the art of the possible, understanding what can now be done in the legal market. They are hugely impressed by the people, the technology, the structure and the culture. They meet our people and experience our culture, and that is what always makes them leave with that positive glow. It’s all about culture.

We didn’t enjoy making these videos!

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One of our core values is that we want our team members to retain their individuality, to be ‘Individual’. We all have a unique set of skills, experiences and opinions and that is why we recruited our people. So, when at work our team can be themselves. They don’t have to pretend to be something different. They are encouraged to show their individuality and personality which contributes hugely to our culture and our environment. As you’ll see from this video, our team did not enjoy making these videos!

Why you should think of joining Riverview Law

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We spend a lot of time at the front-end of the recruitment process making sure people understand what it’s like to work at Riverview Law. It’s all about the kind of person you are. Sociable people who know how to have fun and work hard at the same time, but not take themselves too seriously, will fit in well. It is a highly professional, customer focused environment, but it strikes a healthy balance between exceeding customers’ expectations and enjoying coming to work.

Investing in the careers of our people

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We promote on merit and contribution not on how old someone is or how many years’ experience they may have. That’s why we always look to promote internally before we commence any external recruitment. Where possible we’d always rather promote internally and back-fill the vacated role. This approach helps us foster and strengthen our culture and it also gives all our people career opportunities should they wish to take them.

Our people and their roles within Riverview Law

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Riverview Law has a wide range of roles and careers ranging from lawyers and business law executives through finance and IT teams to client managers and data analysts. One of the key strengths of Riverview Law is that we work as one team and we promote on merit. We run as a business and recognise that every team member plays a critical role in delivering services to existing clients as well as winning new customers.

The Riverview Law DNA and Culture

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The key differentiator for what we do in Riverview Law is our culture. We feel more like an in-house legal team than a private practice law firm. We charge fixed prices so there are no targets around billable hours, it’s all about quality, customer service and contract renewal. We spend a lot of time in the recruitment process making sure it’s right for the candidate just as it’s right for Riverview. We don’t want someone to join us and find that it’s not for them.

Becoming a seamless part of your in-house team

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‘Outsourcing’ is a really interesting word because it implies that it is detached in some way; but nothing could be further from the truth. We’re as closely integrated into the businesses that we serve as you could possibly be. One of our core competencies is assembling the right teams for the managed serviced contracts we have. Because our teams are dedicated to accounts we’re very good at becoming a seamless part of the in-house function. Our teams spend time in our customer’s offices and our customers teams spend time in our offices.

How do we use management information and data analysis to help customers?

http://www.youtube.com/embed/BfXhn3tf_vE?rel=0
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It is really gratifying that when GCs and their teams visit they invariably go away impressed, which is what we would want. More importantly they go away understanding the art of the possible, understanding what can now be done in the legal market. They are hugely impressed by the people, the technology, the structure, the culture. They meet our people and experience our culture, and that is what always makes them leave with that positive glow. It’s all about culture.

Why do businesses buy our LAO solutions?

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One of the key reasons that General Counsel buy our LAO solutions is because we have been able to prove that we can integrate more effectively with their team than other providers can. Why? Because we invest. We dedicate teams to accounts. We combine legal, operational, IT and client management skills into one team. Because we spend time understanding the legal and business requirements of our customers and using management information and trend data to provide business insight.

How do we implement a Legal Advisory Outsourcing Contract?

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It is really gratifying that when GCs and their teams visit they invariably go away impressed, which is what we would want. More importantly they go away understanding the art of the possible, understanding what can now be done in the legal market. They are hugely impressed by the people, the technology, the structure, the culture. They meet our people and experience our culture, and that is what always makes them leave with that positive glow. It’s all about culture.

How do we become a seamless part of the in-house legal team?

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It is really gratifying that when GCs and their teams visit they invariably go away impressed, which is what we would want. More importantly they go away understanding the art of the possible, understanding what can now be done in the legal market. They are hugely impressed by the people, the technology, the structure, the culture. They meet our people and experience our culture, and that is what always makes them leave with that positive glow. It’s all about culture.

What you can expect as a customer

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Our customers tell us that it feels very different working with us because we become part of their team. That’s our objective, to be a partner not a supplier. As a result we invest significantly in our customer relationships. The discussions that come out of the management information we capture enable us to knit together so much more closely with our customers, to build up a picture as to why certain activities are happening and how we can pre-empt them. Our entire model is built from the customer up.

What is Legal Advisory Outsourcing (LAO)?

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Legal Advisory Outsourcing (LAO) covers the 60-70% of legal work that large organisations do every day of the week, every week of the month, every month of the year that can be sensibly packaged into long-term managed services contracts. LAO frees the internal legal team to focus on the more complex strategic and tactical matters. LAO is not rocket science, it is just very well executed, delivered by highly talented people and underpinned by effective systems, comprehensive reporting and a customer focused culture.

What do General Counsel find surprising when they visit Riverview Law?

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It is really gratifying that when GCs and their teams visit they invariably go away impressed, which is what we would want. More importantly they go away understanding the art of the possible, understanding what can now be done in the legal market. They are hugely impressed by the people, the technology, the structure, the culture. They meet our people and experience our culture, and that is what always makes them leave with that positive glow. It’s all about culture.

June 2014 Market Horizon Scanning Report

Welcome to the June 2014 edition of the Riverview Law Market Scanning Report. As part of our market and horizon scanning activities we have always collected and circulated internally relevant legal market articles, commentaries, reports and blogs. When we shared this data with a GC he asked why we didn’t routinely share this with him because he’d find it invaluable. It was a good question! So, we now publish this report which, as you’ll see below, contains links to what we think are the most interesting and relevant legal market commentaries of the last month – May 2014. Best wishes, The Riverview Law R&D Team   May 2014 Partnership: an idea on the brink? http://rv-l.com/1uhXy6f The Lawyer 19 May 2014 An incomplete inventory of NewLaw http://rv-l.com/1rCM1QR Law 21 13 May 2014 Notes on the future of BigLaw firms http://rv-l.com/RY35QQ Beaton Capital 12 May 2014 Key observations on the changing legal market http://rv-l.com/1nHXpJO Virtual Intelligence Blog May 2014 A future based on the best of the past not the worst of now http://rv-l.com/1jQJGrL LBC Wise Counsel May 2014 Five megatrends and possible implications http://rv-l.com/1x772DM PwC April 2014 Evolution, Revolution (or Extinction) http://rv-l.com/1hQTfKS Lawyer Watch 30 April 2014 The business of IoT – how companies make money from connected things and the risks involved http://rv-l.com/1p6yPzz Bird & Bird 28 March 2014

Evolution, Revolution (or Extinction) commentary of the Modern Law conference by Richard Moorhead

Richard Moorhead states in his commentary of the Modern Law conference in April 2014 ‘Karl Chapman spends 10% of his time on this question – what does the next Riverview Law look like. He will not be alone but he probably will be unusual.’ To read the full commentary entitled ‘Evolution, Revolution (or Extinction)’ on his Lawyer Watch blog click here.

Our approach to recruitment

Karl Chapman, CEO, wrote the below article for The Law Society Gazette in relation to how Riverview Law approach recruitment.

Riverview: our recruitment approach

I should be fired if we’re still recruiting a lot of senior lawyers in five to seven years. In the next five to seven years it will be a great disappointment if Riverview Law is still recruiting many senior lawyers. Other than in exceptional circumstances, relating either to the need to have a specific high-level technical or sector expertise or because our growth rates are so strong that our vacancies outpace our internal talent pool, we will be doing everything we can to promote internally and to back-fill at junior levels. Our future leaders are to be found in our business Today 43% of Riverview’s team are qualified lawyers. Their experience ranges from newly qualified through to those who have been GCs at large businesses and who have over 20 years’ experience. Our people have experience in-house and with law firms of all sizes from regional firms to the magic circle. Another 23% of the team are paralegals. Overall, 59% of the team are women. Over the last two years we have, as you’d expect with a new business, recruited a lot of senior personnel. In the next two years we will recruit additional senior personnel as we continue to grow significantly. However if we, the Riverview Law management team, have done our job properly in the next five to seven years we should not need to recruit many senior lawyers or other senior staff. If we recruit (and have recruited!), induct and develop our people properly, it is from this rich and ‘Riverview Ready’ pool of talent that our future leaders and senior managers will come. This is why we have a very simple recruitment rule. No external vacancy is advertised without first considering whether the role can be filled internally. If it can be filled internally it will be and the role vacated will be back-filled. We promote our people and we replace them with junior people who in time will be candidates for promotion as they demonstrate both their abilities and their fit with our culture and values. This cultural fit is critical and its importance cannot be stressed enough. You can have the best people, processes and systems in the world but if these are not underpinned by the right culture a business will not fulfil its potential and it will not be sustainable. This is why we have such a focus on our ‘Moments of Truth’ programme and our ‘Legal input. Business output.’ strapline. Ensuring cultural fit is another reason why it makes sound business sense to follow a ‘grow-our-own’ strategy. In our customers’ interests The logic behind the above strategy is not radical or revolutionary. Like much in Riverview Law it reflects the deployment of proven and common sense business principles from other sectors. It’s a philosophy that comes from building businesses that are great places to work, that deliver excellent and high-quality services to customers and that provide clear career prospects and development paths for team members – whether, for example, they are IT developers, finance staff, client managers, paralegals or lawyers. It’s a philosophy focused on building long-term sustainability for all our stakeholders from customers to team members. If you have a business like ours which is predicated on long-term contracts with blue chip customers and high contract renewal rates, you know that you don’t achieve high renewal rates unless you have talented people, delivering quality services with low staff turnover. Which is why, with our fixed-price model, our lawyers have no billable hours targets and a better work-life balance. In this context having an objective of not recruiting senior lawyers in five to seven years makes sound business sense. Indeed, it’s in the interests of our customers, our people and our shareholders that we grow-our-own talent and future leaders. This strategy drives consistency, quality and sustainability. It provides customers with confidence to contract with us on a long-term basis. As a business model ‘grow-your-own’ makes far more sense than lateral hires. Lateral hires is a ‘growth strategy’ that highlights the flaws in the traditional law firm model. We’re interested in what our recruits can add to Riverview not what following they may or may not have. Why would we subject ourselves to the risks and high costs of lateral hires when we can adopt a more effective and lower risk ‘grow-your-own’ strategy? Young people In parallel with recruiting more senior people in the next two years we are strongly committed to young people. This is why we will be offering training contracts. This is why we’re running apprenticeship programmes. We are very happy to recruit the right people with the right attitude from school, college, university, their first job… . Yes, for all the reasons stated above, it makes sound business sense to do this. But it is also the right thing to do. It is sad that there is an over-supply of young people with legal qualifications. The legal training and development infrastructure has largely failed a generation. Pleasingly things are changing. As an alternative route into the law a young person can now avoid the expense of a degree and then law school. They can join from school or college and become a qualified lawyer by a similar age yet have no debt but much work experience. This will be a growing entry route and will widen access to individuals who would not typically have been able to pursue a legal career. Making mistakes Do we get our recruitment, induction and development processes right every time? Of course not. Do we have a lot to do? Yes. However, as a board we have a great commitment to growing our own people and giving them worthwhile and enjoyable careers whatever their roles and however they join us. One of the biggest mistakes I can make as chief executive and our board can make as a team is not having a strategy to grow and develop our own talent. If I make that mistake I will resign before I am rightly fired!

Riverview Law to launch training contracts and apprenticeships

In interviews with Lawyer 2B and Legal Cheek, Karl Chapman, CEO at Riverview Law, said: “Five, six or seven years down the line it would be disappointing if we had to recruit senior lawyers, aside from in exceptional circumstances for very talented individuals. We are recruiting a range of people – from senior lawyers to school leavers – now, and some of those should be running the firm in the next five or so years.” For the full article with Lawyer 2B click here. For the full article in Legal Cheek click here.

May 2014 Market Horizon Scanning Report

Welcome to the May 2014 edition of the Riverview Law Market Scanning Report.

As part of our market and horizon scanning activities we have always collected and circulated internally relevant legal market articles, commentaries, reports and blogs. When we shared this data with a GC he asked why we didn’t routinely share this with him because he’d find it invaluable. It was a good question!

So, we now publish this report which, as you’ll see below, contains links to what we think are the most interesting and relevant legal market commentaries of the last month – April 2014.

Best wishes,

The Riverview Law R&D Team

April 2014

Two hard questions about law firms’ fee strategies http://rv-l.com/1g7p2TH Beaton Capital 23 April 2014 How will software transform the legal industry? http://rv-l.com/1iUnl0e Outsource Magazine 23 April 2014 When Corporate Legal Departments Use Business Analytics to Measure Law Firms http://rv-l.com/1iklUmZ Above and Beyond KM 18 April 2014 Guest post: three leading indicators of success http://rv-l.com/1fT4PXo Legal Business 11 April 2014 Is this the death of hourly rates at law firms? http://rv-l.com/1kqy6aj The Washington Post 11 April 2014 Video: Law + Tech + Design + Delivery, ReInvent Law NYC 2014 http://rv-l.com/1gfctWa Paul Lippe: Legal By Design 04 April 2014 The future of the legal industry isn’t what it used to be http://rv-l.com/1mZazAC Law 2023 01 April 2014 Culture beats money http://rv-l.com/1heItZI Global Legal Post 01 April 2014

April 2014 Market Horizon Scanning Report

Welcome to the April 2014 edition of the Riverview Law Market Scanning Report. As part of our market and horizon scanning activities we have always collected and circulated internally relevant legal market articles, commentaries, reports and blogs. When we shared this data with a GC he asked why we didn’t routinely share this with him because he’d find it invaluable. It was a good question! So, we now publish this report which, as you’ll see below, contains links to what we think are the most interesting and relevant legal market commentaries of the last month – March 2014. Best wishes, The Riverview Law R&D Team   March 2014 Moorhead: lawyers not as superior as they may think they are http://rv-l.com/1mu0ecC Legal Futures 7 March 2014  Big Law and the Dinosaurs http://rv-l.com/1juMePQ The Time Blawg 15 March 2014 PwC Legal chief: we can be a top global legal services business in five years http://rv-l.com/QBrVq7 The Lawyer 18 March 2014 Consumer panel chief: it’s how the work is done, not who does it, that matters in the new legal world http://rv-l.com/1lroTRN Legal Futures 19 March 2014 Richard Susskind: Moses To The Modern Law Firm http://rv-l.com/OO29NX Forbes 21 March 2014 Insider view – Interview with Dan Fitz, General Counsel at BT http://rv-l.com/1kmM3oi Halebury 24 March 2014 ReInvent Law’s message is change for the client’s benefit http://rv-l.com/1rKS4QZ ABA Journal 28 March 2014 Video: Richard Susskind – Future of Artificial Intelligence and Law http://rv-l.com/1hhMlh1 The ReInvent Law Channel Reinvent La NYC 2014 ABSs “have potential to challenge leading law firms” http://rv-l.com/1frXsjk Legal Futures 28 March 2014  A perspective on the legal market http://rv-l.com/P0VGPL RBS 2014

March 2014 Market Horizon Scanning Report

Welcome to the March 2014 edition of the Riverview Law Market Scanning Report.

As part of our market and horizon scanning activities we have always collected and circulated internally relevant legal market articles, commentaries, reports and blogs. When we shared this data with a GC he asked why we didn’t routinely share this with him because he’d find it invaluable. It was a good question!

So, we now publish this report which, as you’ll see below, contains links to what we think are the most interesting and relevant legal market commentaries of the last month – February 2014.

 

February 2014

NewLaw New Rules Reviewed – The past, present and future practice of law
http://rv-l.com/1bcF15M
The Time Blawg
14 February 2014 

ReInvent Law NYC implores lawyers to embrace change and technology
http://rv-l.com/1fm7vcT
ABA Legal Journal
09 February 2014

Technology: Why Big Data is a Big Deal for lawyers
http://rv-l.com/1glslHs
Inside Counsel
14 February 2014

Think smart and stop the robots gobbling you up
http://rv-l.com/Mg2IOH
The Sunday Times
16 February 2014

General counsel as innovators?
http://rv-l.com/1d8Zunt
Canadian Lawyer
17 February 2014

Comment: paradigm shift or just the mother of recessions? 2014 should answer the profession’s big question
http://rv-l.com/NgUaYA
Legal Business
18 February 2014

Why Lawyers Are Still Waiting for the Future
http://rv-l.com/NMSXbL
The American Lawyer
27 February 2014

Gartner Legal IT Scenario, 2020 – Smart Machines and LPO Radically Disrupt Legal Profession
http://rv-l.com/1dkC8P6
French Caldwell
28 February 2014

Riverview Law shortlisted for ‘Best Emerging Firm’ at MPF awards 2014

We are delighted to have been shortlisted for ‘Best Emerging Firm’ at the 2014 Managing Partners Forum Awards for Management Excellence in association with The Harvard Business ReviewThe Financial Times and Google Enterprise. We were delighted to have won this award in 2013 and are thrilled to have been shortlisted again this year.

The Riverview Law DNA and Model

At the end of a visit to our Wirral Service Delivery Centre, a General Counsel commented: “I now understand how you do it. I must admit that I was sceptical. I didn’t think you could possibly do it in scale and across a range of areas. I know you explained your model when we met but it took this visit, and meeting your people, to make me realise the art of the possible. We will do business.” We were pleased. He then added: “But you must think of a better way of explaining your outsourcing model when you go to people’s offices. I don’t know how you do it but your current approach needs work. Get them here and they’ll buy. Your challenge is to get them here.” He was right! So, during the second half of 2013 we set-up a team to find a better way to explain what we do, how we do it and how it benefits customers. What started off as a simple project – improve our presentations – turned into a much bigger project. This project has seen us completely re-map our business and, with the benefit of some excellent graphic designers, change how we explain what we do both internally and externally. The ‘Riverview Law DNA and Model’ is our new top level navigation map that we now use to explain our business and services to potential customers, recruits, business partners, suppliers and other stakeholders. Behind each of the stations on this map are other maps specific to that topic plus supporting videos, slides and other content. As you will see, it allows the people we are talking with to drive the presentation, dipping into the areas in the order they want to rather than in a linear format driven by Powerpoint. We hope that this navigation map gives you a flavour of why we are different. (NB This is our headline navigation map. Because the maps and content that sit behind it are commercially sensitive and confidential, none of the stations on this map have been enabled. As a result you cannot access the content that sits behind each station. We are, of course, happy to share this content with you during a meeting and/or when you visit).  

February 2014 Market Horizon Scanning Report

Welcome to the February 2014 edition of the Riverview Law Market Scanning Report.

As part of our market and horizon scanning activities we have always collected and circulated internally relevant legal market articles, commentaries, reports and blogs. When we shared this data with a GC he asked why we didn’t routinely share this with him because he’d find it invaluable. It was a good question!

So, we now publish this report which, as you’ll see below, contains links to what we think are the most interesting and relevant legal market commentaries of the last month – January 2014.

January 2014

Georgetown Law and Peer Monitor Release 2014 Report on the State of the Legal Market
http://rv-l.com/1hQp1VV
Georgetown Law
2 January 2014

NewLaw: Cradle of innovation in the legal sector
http://rv-l.com/1lkm9WQ
More than Law
31 December 2013

Do lawyers have the ‘design mojo’ needed to re-think the delivery of legal services?
http://rv-l.com/1eecbkt
ABA Journal
31 December 2013

Suffolk Law’s launch into innovation and technology
http://rv-l.com/1cy5KZb
Boston Business Journal
17 January 2014

Spotting a NewLaw firm
http://rv-l.com/L6GZbz
The Global Legal Post
14 January 2014

What does 2014 have in store for the legal market?
http://rv-l.com/MaSBLu
Claire Rodway: The Conversation
14 January 2014

Where is the Alternative Business Structures revolution heading?
http://rv-l.com/1e4OUmB
The Future of Law – Lexis Nexis Blog
14 January 2014

Let’s learn about legal process mapping
http://rv-l.com/1cqoPfR
Canadian Lawyer
14 January 2014

Riverview Law to sponsor award at the University of Law

We are delighted to announce that we will be sponsoring an award at the Chester branch of the University of Law in 2014. The ‘Riverview Law Exceptional Achievement Award LL.B’ will be awarded to the highest scoring individual on the LL.B, at Chester, and the winner will be offered a week of work experience at Riverview Law. Karl Chapman, CEO of Riverview Law, said ‘We are pleased to be sponsoring this award and delighted to be working with the University of Law. We are committed to creating career opportunities in the legal market and this is part of our investment in young people.’

Riverview Law partners with US tech pioneer Legal OnRamp to deliver ground-breaking services to global banks

Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, has teamed up with US legal technology leader Legal OnRamp to enable banks to comply cost-effectively with complex regulatory requirements such as Recovery and Resolution Plans (RRP). Major banks in the UK, US and Europe are now required to put in place RRPs – called ‘living wills’ – to ensure safe re-organisation in the event of financial trouble. The living will must include a wide range of information, including contractual obligations across the entire organisation. In addition, a number of banks will face similar requirements in relation to ‘ring-fencing’ areas of their activities. This Riverview Law/Legal OnRamp combined service and technology platform is already being used by one global financial institution as it prepares its living will. This project, which started in June 2013, covers thousands of contracts and millions of data points and is probably unique in terms of scale and complexity. The Riverview Law/Legal OnRamp service combines people, processes and technology to:

  • identify all of a customer’s contracts and supporting documents, including a gap analysis and escalation process for recovering incomplete contracts/documents;
  • upload completed contracts and documents onto the OnRamp collaboration platform;
  • review and map each contract/document against a customer-tailored checklist of up to 200
  • legal and related questions;
  • quality assure the review process and organise the information into appropriate contract
  • families and systems maps;
  • help resolve any operational and/or regulatory issues with any contracts and/or documents;
  • and
  • if required, provide on-going tactical and strategic management of existing and new
  • contracts.

Karl Chapman, the CEO of Riverview Law, says: “The RRP is a huge challenge for any bank. Combining our Legal Advisory Outsourcing expertise – implementation and project management, dedicated client teams and expertise in data management and reporting – with the excellent OnRamp platform means that we have built a robust process and scalable model that can cope with the huge volumes involved. Of course, this model also has applications beyond banks to any global organisation that needs to manage its contract and data infrastructure more effectively.” Paul Lippe, CEO of Legal OnRamp, says: “This is the next stage in the development of ‘Legal-By- Design’, helping legal departments improve quality and efficiency while also reducing the cost of legal work. Riverview Law is a perfect partner, combining low-cost, process savvy quality and ability to scale. We’re seeing legal departments and cross-functional teams look to innovative partnerships like ours to address major ‘event-driven’ projects like RRP and simultaneously kick-start ongoing operational improvements.”

January 2014 Market Horizon Scanning Report

Welcome to the January 2014 edition of the Riverview Law Market Scanning Report.

As part of our market and horizon scanning activities we have always collected and circulated internally relevant legal market articles, commentaries, reports and blogs. When we shared this data with a GC he asked why we didn’t routinely share this with him because he’d find it invaluable. It was a good question!

So, we now publish this report which, as you’ll see below, contains links to what we think are the most interesting and relevant legal market commentaries of the last month – December 2013.

December 2013 

You say you want a revolution?
http://rv-l.com/1eQjjGh
Law21
20 December 2013

5 Takeaways for the Legal Department Benchmarking Survey
http://rv-l.com/1dZ2wfg
CounselLink Blog
19 December 2013

Brothers in arms?
http://rv-l.com/1cPt2uI
Legal Futures
13 December 2013

ACC Looks Into the Future of General Counsel
http://rv-l.com/1eQkfdy
Corporate Counsel
13 December 2013

How to recognise a NewLaw firm
http://rv-l.com/18tU2ik
Beaton Capital
12 December 2013

Non-Lawyers: A Critical Success Factor for the Law Firm of the Future
http://rv-l.com/1hCfBjx
Sterling Strategies
5 December 2013

More and Less
http://rv-l.com/1944Q4T
The In-House Lawyer
2013