Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has been nominated at the Legal Week Innovation Awards 2021. The firm was shortlisted in the Future of Legal Services Innovation and Knowledge Management Innovation categories.
WBD was recognised for its adoption and roll out of e-signatures, which have become a business critical tool during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing national and regional lockdowns. Spearheaded by managing associate Suzanne Gado and practice development manager Katherine Crowley, WBD worked both internally and externally to create a culture of change and enable lawyers and clients to embrace the use of e-signatures.
WBD had recognised the potential for e-signature platforms to transform the way in which legal documents can be executed well before the COVID-19 pandemic, becoming an early adopter in the legal sector. The firm was therefore a pioneer in the use of e-signatures and was in a strong position when the use of this technology became a necessity, rather than an innovative option. The implementation of e-signatures has been a success with the firm recording a significant reduction in time taken to achieve document signing – in some cases from 10 days to 48 hours.
The firm was also shortlisted for the roll out of its improved knowledge management tool/interface, iManage Insight. The project was a collaborative effort between the firm's IT and Knowledge teams, who worked closely together to select, design and build a system that speeds up search, provides access to core know how and leverages collective knowledge to deliver the best possible service and advice to clients. The initiative was led by head of knowledge and legal training Paul Harvey and IT applications and development manager Tom Humberstone.
The Legal Week Innovation Awards celebrate the outstanding work of law firms, chambers, in-house legal departments and alternative business structures. Through recognising exceptional achievement and best practice, the awards underline the crucial role played by lawyers in promoting innovation.
WBD has a strong focus on innovation and last year was ranked in the Top 30 most innovative law firms in Europe by the Financial Times.