Foundation Software Group, a developer of next-generation software for large law firms, and Fireman & Company, the leading management consulting firm for law firms and corporate legal departments, today announced a strategic partnership to deliver industry leading experience management solutions for the legal market.
The document management, search and AI spaces have seen accelerated activity and innovation over the past two years. iManage’s acquisition of RAVN, announced May 24, 2017, brings these three streams together. Integrating all three categories into a single product likely will have a significant impact well beyond the deal.
New York, NY, May 10, 2017 – Fireman & Company, a leading management consulting firm for law firms and corporate legal departments, announced today that Sally Gonzalez has joined the firm as its newest senior consultant. Gonzalez is recognized as a leading expert in knowledge management and strategic technology planning for the legal services industry.
2016 set records for Fireman & Company. We grew our team, added a new practice area, and assisted many new law firm and law department clients. We now count over 30% of the Am Law 100, and four of the top 10 most profitable US firms as clients. In 2016, we continued as the legal industry leader in knowledge management consulting. We worked on numerous KM strategy initiatives, intranet redesign projects, and enterprise search evaluations and deployments. We also led projects involving document management, legal project management, process improvement, and artificial intelligence (AI).
In this 2016 year-in-review, we explain why the legal market is shifting, review our 2016 experiences, and report on the trends we see for 2017.
Market in Transition: Flat Demand Drives a Focus on Service Delivery Improvement
In 2016, firms realized that cutting expenses was no longer enough. Future success requires changing how firms deliver legal services. That means managing matters, deploying technology for practice efficiency, improving practice processes, using knowledge management effectively, and delegating work to lower cost resources.
The Citi Private Bank 2017 Client Advisory, reports that revenue growth will remain flat, and recommends that law firms improve service delivery:
“In a market where clients want the most efficient delivery of legal services, the market will reward law firms who focus on operational efficiency in its broadest sense — not just managing expenses, but transforming the way they run their firms and deliver legal services”
Fireman & Company helps firms with that transformation.
Fireman & Company 2016 in Review
Our growth this year was driven by law firm management eager to see lawyers work more efficiently and effectively. We created a new practice area, expanded our team, partnered with more software companies, and added many new clients and projects.
We also grew by assisting corporate legal departments determine the most effective way forward by designing and implementing technology and workflow solutions. With increased internal cost center pressures, our best practices enabled more responsive and proactive workflow management for their internal clients, and improved efficiency when working with outside counsel.
Established Our PPI Practice. We created the legal market’s first Performance, Profitability and Innovation (PPI) practice group. The PPI Group helps law firms improve profits by combining the right mix of process improvement, legal project management, knowledge management, and pricing and financial analytics. We worked closely with several Am Law 200 firms to improve how they manage and deliver legal work to drive more profits.
Grew Our Team. In February, Tom Baldwin joined us as Partner, bringing over 20 years of award-winning legal experience, including his work as CIO at Cadwalader and CKO at Reed Smith. In June, we allied with Gimbal Canada to add deep Lean Six Sigma experience for improving the practice of law.
Built our Partnerships. Our technology partners provide software that is key to improving law practice efficiency. We deepened our exclusive partnership with Handshake Software, which provides key functionality for creating practice portals. We use Handshake to create leading practice portals and are now assisted in that effort by our new partner Door3, a top UI/UX design firm. Our Handshake partnership took on new significance with the acquisition of Recommind by OpenText. Handshake offers an excellent SharePoint-based search solution. This year, we helped two Am Law 100 firms switch to Handshake Universal Search from Recommind. We also became RAVN Systems’ sole search partner in North America, as legal market demand for advanced search, data analytics, and AI solutions skyrocketed. On document management, we continue to work closely with both NetDocuments and iManage. We are the leaders in designing and implementing document management that supports everyday lawyer workflows.
Our Take on 2017 Trends
Here are the key trends we see for 2017:
- A New Generation of Intranets: Many firms now want a modern intranet and seek to replace aging, administratively focused intranets with elegantly designed, practice-focused intranets that lawyers find useful.
- Are the Robots Coming?: AI continues to be a hot topic. We have never before had as many in-bound, unsolicited inquiries on a new legal market trend. Firms are moving from investigation or a “check the box” approach to working systems that drive profits.
- Search Upgrades and Expands: With OpenText’s acquisition of Recommind, many firms are re-evaluating their search strategy. And those firms that never deployed search seek to do so now. We expect to see continued high interest in enterprise search systems from Handshake, BA Insight, RAVN, and other players. New technology and a decade of search experience is driving an expansive view of search: we see a growing role for it in analytics and new functions such as matter staffing.
- Law Firms Take Steps to Improve Profitability: The Citi report makes clear firms must reduce legal delivery cost to drive improvement in profitability. Consequently, we expect LPM, process improvement, alternative staffing, and new practice technologies to remain hot. This is especially true for firms that started pricing functions before they had the ability to reduce legal delivery cost.
- Fixing Document Management: DMS continues to be white-hot, with major shifts in the supplier landscape. It has become clear to us that, irrespective of platform, firms need to improve DMS design to gain lawyer adoption of the DMS and avoid security risks and knowledge management failure.
Please contact us if you need assistance improving your firm’s profitability and performance or if you would like to discuss these trends.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
London, 17 October 2016
RAVN Systems, leading experts in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Search and Knowledge Management solutions, and Fireman & Company, the leading management consulting firm for law firms and corporate legal departments, today announced a strategic partnership to deliver revolutionary Artificial Intelligence (AI) and enterprise search technology to the North American legal market.
This strategic partnership will provide law firms and corporate legal departments with the most advanced AI search platform on the market. The combination of RAVN’s ground-breaking technology in conjunction with Fireman’s vision and expertise on delivering complex projects successfully will allow firms to boost their profitability and optimise their service delivery.
Peter Wallqvist, CEO at RAVN Systems commented, “We are excited to collaborate with Joshua Fireman and his team and align our collective focus of transforming legal services through innovation. RAVN’s search technology will provide firms and corporate clients with a radically enhanced Universal Search and Knowledge Management tool that exploits Artificial Intelligence to efficiently capture, find, manage and collaborate on their organisations’ information estate. The technology’s advanced features include Expertise Location, Clause Extraction and a Knowledge Graph to navigate links between knowledge types across the enterprise.”
“We’ve been the industry leader in search and KM for over a decade” explains Joshua Fireman, Fireman & Company’s founder and president. Over this time, we’ve developed a wish list of applications and solutions that meet lawyers’ practice and KM needs. With RAVN, we finally have the opportunity to develop solutions on a platform that merges AI with practical software development. We are excited to show the legal market our RAVN-based solutions.”
About RAVN Systems
RAVN Systems are leading experts in the Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning branches of Artificial Intelligence (AI). They offer revolutionary cognitive computing solutions for any information intensive vertical. RAVN’s expertise and solutions deliver long-term value, competitive advantages and help manage and mitigate risk through structuring and surfacing information contained within unstructured data.
About Fireman & Company
Fireman & Company is a legal industry-focused management consulting firm. Our team members have decades of experience as leaders in the industry, working as attorneys, CIOs, CKOs, and experts in KM, LPM, process improvement, and pricing. We are trusted advisors to the world’s most innovative law firms and corporations, and our mission is to help our clients make substantial, distinctive, and lasting improvements in performance.
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