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Customer Stories

Howard Kennedy improves knowledge management with iManage Insight

iManage application helps innovative law firm quickly find and access relevant information, unlocking the value of their work product

Headquartered in London, Howard Kennedy is a forward-thinking law firm that provides straightforward advice to ambitious clients. With a vision to be progressive and a profitable business, the firm has changed substantially in recent years. Operating from a single office at No. 1 London Bridge with over 150 lawyers and 350 employees in total, the firm offers advisory, transactional and dispute-related support to individuals, businesses and institutions on all their business and personal legal needs.

The business challenge

To enhance its ability to serve its clients, Howard Kennedy is always seeking new ways to improve knowledge management within the firm. While the firm is using iManage Work for document and email management, they require a more effective way to unlock the value of the knowledge contained inside that system.

“We didn’t have a coordinated approach to knowledge management and know-how generation within the firm,” said Robin Hall, Head of Knowledge Management, Howard Kennedy. “Our knowledge was scattered around in bits and pieces — there was no single place for people to find it.”

The firm started looking for a solution that would serve as a layer on top of its documents, providing a simple and elegant interface for accessing the material. In addition to understanding the contents of the documents and providing sophisticated search, the firm wanted a solution that could understand key metadata that already existed in those documents, such as author, creation date, and other key attributes. Based on previous experience, Howard Kennedy knew that simplicity was key.

“We didn’t want to go overboard with metadata and taxonomies,” said Hall. “We wanted to help people find what they are looking for through search. At the same time, we wanted to minimize the content management requirements for the knowledge management group since we are a small team. Our other key requirement was to ensure metadata was tied to the documents, rather than in a separate data store because that can cause migration issues later down the road if they’re separate.”


London, UK




iManage Work 

iManage Insight


  • Saves time that was spent classifying content
  • Quickly and easily find work product through search or auto-applied metadata
  • KM professionals spend less time on IT
  • Sophisticated knowledge management with a small staff

The solution

Adds a layer of intelligence and information

Upon researching available solutions, Howard Kennedy could find only two that met its functional requirements. Based on the firm’s need for global support and desire to take advantage of new innovations easily and rapidly, Howard Kennedy chose iManage Insight.

iManage Insight finds, analyzes, and identifies organization information, allowing users to quickly find and access relevant content. The product offers seamless integration with iManage Work.

“The tight integration between the iManage products was a big selling point,” said Hall. “We are currently using iManage Work as our document management system and Insight adds a layer of intelligence and information that leverages Work. Also, because both products are from the same vendor, we know they’ll move in tandem as they’re enhanced and developed.”







Business outcomes

A very sophisticated piece of technology

Since implementing iManage Insight, Howard Kennedy has experienced numerous benefits in its knowledge management function.

“Just storing our documents in the iManage document and email management system allows iManage Insight to take advantage of that content — we don’t have to do anything special or learn anything new,” said Hall. “The net result is that you don’t need to be some kind of ‘techie’ expert to get value out of the content.”

The firm particularly appreciates the way Insight takes advantage of lesser-used features in iManage Work and turns them into valuable knowledge management features. Related documents in iManage Work are elegantly surfaced in iManage Insight — for example, when retrieving the final version of a document, the iManage Insight Knowledge Graph will show a cluster of related documents, such as the draft version or a similar document from another matter.

iManage Insight also addresses a common knowledge management problem of having a document but not knowing where to file it in the system. This problem is typically addressed by adding overly complex metadata. With iManage, Howard Kennedy can place links to that document in multiple folders. There’s still only one copy of that document to manage but it’s surfaced through iManage Insight in multiple locations — and Insight can use those folder locations as metadata that further enrich searches.

All aspects of search have become significantly faster, easier, and more accurate with iManage Insight. “With a lot of search systems, you first need to fill out a massive search form and then — more often than not — wade through a couple of pages of results to find the most relevant item,” said Hall. “iManage Insight is more like Google in that there aren’t multiple search fields to fill out — there’s just one box. I can’t think of a search that I’ve done with iManage Insight where the most important result is not either first or second. It really works.”

Hall concluded, “For a relatively small firm, we have a very sophisticated piece of technology that any size firm would be proud to have. Many of the larger firms are still struggling with legacy knowledge management systems that require lots of people and resources to run and manage. iManage Insight requires very, very little resources on our side to manage and it delivers fantastic results.

Making Knowledge Work

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