How Shoosmiths worked collaboratively with client Volkswagen Group (VWG) to help deliver its new legal strategy and streamline its working relationships with external lawyers...
Changes at VWG led to a shift in focus for the in-house legal team towards more business critical projects and core activities. This resulted in a need for new thinking in the way external law firms were used.
Working closely with the Shoosmiths team to drive these changes, VWG developed a new approach to improve working practices:
- Development of an intranet - to make templates, best practice and the legal team itself more accessible to the business. Shoosmiths' digital team worked closely with VWG, acting as a sounding board/challenger to help develop the structure and approach.
- Creation of a new customer care legal escalation process (including a helpline) - to allow customer care teams to raise queries direct to Shoosmiths' litigation team rather than via the VWG legal department for swifter and more effective resolution.
- Faster scoping process - a "scoping new instructions form" for incoming matters and a conference call between Shoosmiths and the business at the start of a matter compressed the timescale for turning instructions round.
- Indicative pricing for budgeting - a new system of menu pricing was established, making it quicker and easier for queries to be outsourced with an assurance on cost.
- Continuous improvement - Shoosmiths worked with VWG to design a quarterly internal client survey and system for 360-degree feedback on the new processes. Feedback is regularly used to identify zones for proactive improvement and the survey results show satisfaction ratings of >90%.
- Recognised for innovation - the collaboration between Shoosmiths and VWG was described as "standout" in the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards 2014.