Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has launched a new service that pulls together all of its key technology and business services that are becoming increasingly essential to clients alongside its traditional legal advice. These services include support for high volume projects such as document review; project and risk management of legal work; automation and process design; managing knowledge and information; and flexible resourcing.

WBD Advance will deliver these services through a multi-disciplinary team of more than 100 people focused on developing new ways of working for clients – this includes lawyers, project managers, technologists, data analysts, knowledge managers and operations professionals.

WBD Advance is to be headed up in the UK by Board Member Nick Barwood who previously led the Commercial Business team. 

Commenting on his new role, Nick Barwood said:

"Our clients’ needs are changing. As well as legal advice, they often also want our help to design high quality, cost effective processes to resolve wider, complex business issues. We believe innovation comes from the ability to see things from a different perspective and that's how WBD Advance was born."

Andy Layton, Director of the Legal Solutions Centre, will also be playing a key role in WBD Advance. Andy joined the firm 18 months ago as Operations Director to shape the firm's paralegal support centre (now the Legal Solutions Centre) and lead on the application of technology, legal project management and efficiency methodology to provide valuable solutions to clients' issues.

Andy Layton comments:

"The Legal Solutions Centre is a team of over 70 paralegals and legal executives, project managers, data analysts and client co-ordinators which uses flexible resourcing and time-saving technology to deliver a high-quality, cost-effective service for large scale volume projects. This team has been working with clients in various guises for more than seven years and the service it now offers is central to the firm and many of its key clients, particularly with the launch of WBD Advance." 

The five main services offered through WBD Advance in the UK are:

  1. Support for high volume projects - delivered through the Legal Solutions Centre. This is an established service providing support on e-disclosure, high volume commercial disputes or real estate matters, and more recently GDPR-related contract review and remediation.  
  2. Project management - project planning and management to support clients with delivering complex work on time, to budget and to a high standard using tried and tested, best practice project and risk management approaches and tools. 
  3. Legal process - legal process design and improvement for clients with large operations. The team will advise on the data flows needed to complete complex work and projects ensuring that the right technology is being leveraged. Good process is central to reducing waste, increasing value and managing risk.
  4. Advance insight – helping clients to stay up to date and compliant with the law, to devise, manage and deliver bespoke knowledge management products and also to provide management information in interactive formats, perform data analysis and provide a Key Client Co-ordination service. 
  5. GCSolutions flexible resourcing – providing seconded lawyers for clients to increase in-house capacity or cover gaps when needed. GCSolutions will offer affordable, scaleable services staffed by highly qualified lawyers.