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Leading-edge law firm taps into sophisticated technology to revolutionize search results

Neil Blum

Barry.Nilsson. is experiencing phenomenal growth across Australia — making it an exciting time to be the firm’s IT Manager. I am actively encouraged to keep the firm at the forefront of innovation, checking out weird and wonderful new technologies. Empowering our lawyers to get document search results nine times faster definitely comes under “wonderful” in my book.

Our firm provides family and insurance legal services across Australia, working with some of the biggest insurance providers around. That means data security and document management are paramount. We need to assure client data has the same level of protection that the client has in-house — and do so without the multi-million-dollar budget. That’s why we’ve been using best-of-breed solutions from iManage since 2004.

Knowledge management isn’t a hot area for investment in Australia, and I wanted more than the standard offering. Barry.Nilsson. doesn’t shy away from a challenge, though. I met up with other knowledge managers and reached out to some large firms in the US, and that’s how I discovered iManage Insight.

Working together with iManage and our implementation partner, Morae, we built a knowledge search platform based on iManage Insight and iManage Work 10, linked to our Practice Management Solution and Time and Billing platform. We added a custom front-end interface with specific filters for each user group and branded it as One Solution for Knowledge and Research — OSKR.

Trial by user

For a proof of concept, we asked two paralegals to search for knowledge on a specific matter. One used our prior method, and one used OSKR. The results were astonishing! In just three minutes, OSKR produced 73 records. That’s nine times faster than the search took using the old method, with more relevant results.

We all know what an effort winning lawyers over to new tech can be, but not this time. They love how easy OSKR is to use. The filters enable them to search by specific areas of law, state, legislation, and much more. You just don’t get that kind of granularity with an off-the-shelf solution.

Fulfilling modern search expectations

Infusing searches with modern search relevancy algorithms has been a game changer. The search experience mirrors modern search expectations, and we’re saving costs for clients by spending less time looking for knowledge. Reducing non-billable overheads, as well.

Both our family lawyers and our insurance team can find the data and documents they need, search internal and external data repositories, connect with the right experts by searching our database, and use iManage Share to collaborate with third parties.

Before OSKR, we sometimes hired extra paralegals to sift through documents and find legislation. With iManage, we don’t need huge numbers of staff to work on challenging matters. We can have half as many paralegals and still perform searches faster with OSKR.

If I had a crystal ball...

I predict products like iManage Insight are going to revolutionize knowledge work in Australia over the next few years. The right partners can help you take your technology from 0 to 100 in just a few weeks — and the benefits of that kind of transformation are hard to ignore.

Get the full case study.

About the author

Neil Blum

As a senior technology executive and leader with extensive experience in the professional services industry, Neil has a solid track record of delivering technology solutions to drive business strategies that are truly aligned to business outcomes. Core values of honesty, respect and reliability underpin his success. Neil recently celebrated 5 years with Barry.Nilsson.