Power to the People Platform: Osborne Clarke harnesses data for new in-house tech product

February 24, 2020

3 min read

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What's going on here?

Osborne Clarke Solutions, the law firm Osborne Clarke’s in-house software development vehicle, has developed a new in-house tech product, “People Platform”.

What does this mean?

The product is described as an innovative digital platform for the management of employment law requirements. It enables clients to see an overview of their employment claim. Clients are able to subscribe to use the service, and once subscribed the platform is tailored to their specific requirements. It is reported that three clients have already subscribed to the service, with more underway. 

It is not surprising that clients are jumping onboard, as the multi-feature product gives clients a bird’s-eye view of the work being done for them. Clients are also able to instruct lawyers through the platform, and see what has been done, where tasks have been allocated and progressed, as well as what is coming next. Access to the platform, which is available via smartphone as well as computer, is able to be given to all relevant people to ensure that everyone involved is on the same page. 

Another useful feature of the product is the case management section which provides a secure way of managing the employment tribunal process. This can be used to track claims from the receipt of a claim right up to settlement. As well as providing an overview, documents required for each matter can be created and shared on the platform. 

The product is also likely to appeal to clients due to its openness relating to costs. Clients are able to view financial and billing information.  This information is presented in ways which enable clients to easily identify the legal expenditure on projects and where improvements can be made. Other features of the product also promote cost reduction, like the templates of frequently used documents which are provided.

What's the big picture effect?

The move to create and use an in-house tech product is one of many, by both Osborne Clarke and other firms, to become more innovative to improve their efficiency and competitive edge. However, those who do it best do not just implement the latest technology, they find means to use it to provide a better client experience, and this is something which Osborne Clarke has honed in on with People Platform. While many other legal tech products on the market tend to focus on providing a service which is faster or better, because lawyers are able to use a tech product in doing their work, this product differs in that the client is able to use the product themself.

We can expect that new tech products will continue to reflect changes in the industry. A product such as this for example, reflects the current client demand for greater efficiency at a lower cost. It does this through a visible cost management feature enabling the firm to be extremely transparent in their fees. Osborne Clarke’s product also promotes a more collaborative approach between the firm and the clients’ in-house team as they all have access to the same real time information, ultimately allowing for greater efficiency. This collaborative strategy could be something to keep an eye on in the industry, and given the nature of this product, it might be fair to say that we can expect a roll out of similar platforms in sectors outside employment law.

The release of the tech product follows Osborne Clarke’s introduction of a tech focused vacation scheme, and other firms are trending the same way like Linklaters’ virtual internship (for more information see our article on that here). It can be seen therefore, that the trend is very much into harnessing technology as a support to the provision of legal services, and we can expect to see more of it in the near future. Arguably the most intriguing aspect of this is what innovative new ideas firms are able to come up with next.

Report written by Julie Lawford

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