Panelists discuss conflicts of interest technology as a gateway to opportunity

Inside iManage blogs are reflective of a combination of authors among our various teams.
21 March 2019

Industry experts are talking about why law firms’ CFOs, COOs and CIOs are at a point where they need to pull conflicts of interest into their business strategy.

Here are the main takeaways from a recent Q&A with a deputy general counsel from an AMLAW 100 firm, an IT director in charge of all business systems for an AMLAW 100 firm, and a risk management counsel from a mid-size firm. In this conversation, the group talked about their experiences with conflict of interest management software and its influence on risk management and revenue.

From Necessity to Opportunity: Modern Conflicts as Strategic Investment, Not as Cost Center

Vetting a mass of information, improving workflows
The rapid and continuous growth of information is making it harder for firms to wrap their arms around data that they need to check for conflicts.

The panelists shared that they value most conflicts systems that drive and support in-depth analysis, that bring data clarity, and that raise flags to prompt further targeted evaluations and conversations. They value technology that can help them shed light on various levels of conflict of interest — from ethical to affiliate, internal conflict with a competitor, or positional conflicts.

Also, technology is helping them make better use of their staff’s time by removing the need for strenuous manual searches and allowing them more time for analysis. This in turn, enhances the value they bring to the firm, while ensuring a speedy and trusted clearance of conflicts.

Better business intelligence equals more revenue
Understanding client relationships better makes any firm get smarter about business intake, as well as business development. The panelists shared that they are relying on workflow and automated business intake processes to ensure that information resides in a centralized location to enable comprehensive, reliable conflicts checks, but they are interested in having flexible functionalities that will accommodate the constantly changing nature of data and information.

Gaining those insights is also debunking the old theory that conflicts of interest processes are cost centers. Instead, the panelists said that conflicts of interest data can be used for improved business evaluations and for driving strategic conversations with marketing and development. Through modern conflicts solutions, law firms are gaining more knowledge to seek opportunities for growth.

This blog post was based on “From Necessity to Opportunity: Modern Conflicts as Strategic Investment, Not as Cost Center” by Joy E. Spicer, iManage VP of Risk and Compliance.

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