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Global law firm: Technology becomes critical to success

Accenture appointed to integrate business and technology—and introduce digital capabilities—in a global law firm


Our client is one of the top-tier global law firms with over 30 offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and North America, and annual revenue of more than US$1 billion. With a history stretching back more than 150 years, the firm serves a prestigious range of corporate and government clients with diverse local and international requirements.

The firm has grown rapidly in recent years through the merger of three major law firms based in Australia, Asia and the United Kingdom. This has catapulted it into the ranks of the world’s 15 most elite law firms and placed it in a unique position to serve clients. However, the combination of multiple organizations has also created a need to confirm that the technology systems used each day by its more than 3,000 people are effective and globally compatible.

As a key step in this journey, the firm appointed Accenture Strategy to review its use of information and communications technology (ICT) and propose a roadmap for the future. Beyond simply verifying that its ICT systems were suitable to contribute to the success of the newly formed global firm, the business wanted to explore how the latest technology could be used to gain a competitive advantage.



The firm considered questions such as what would it mean to be a ‘digital lawyer?’ How could legal matters be better managed globally? How could it use social media to improve the reach of its thought leadership?

There were two particular focus areas for the Australian arm of the firm. To promote efficiency, client engagement and marketing intelligence at a time when more clients were moving from appointing lawyers based on long-term personal relationships to formalized panel structures. This trend had put more emphasis on pricing and opened the firm to competition from smaller firms, some of which were advanced users of technology.

Secondly, to support greater collaboration and interaction between the Australian business and professionals and clients across its expanded international network. This would enhance the experience of clients, improve engagement among the firm’s professionals and support staff, and facilitate the firm to complete work internationally in multiple languages and time zones.


Accenture Strategy assigned a small, senior team, which completed two six-week phases of work.

The first phase was to interview more than 50 individuals within the Australian business, ranging from the senior executive team to lawyers and support staff, to develop a good understanding of how they used technology and what capabilities they required. After further workshops and research, Accenture reported on the organization’s current technology usage.

Using this research and drawing on its own experience as one of the global leaders in using technology in professional services, Accenture also proposed a target state for the organization to move towards. This included refining current technology systems to provide a solid base for future growth as well as introducing new mobile communications, data analytics, social media and video capabilities to further enhance the experiences of clients and staff.

The second phase involved translating this target state into initiatives to be implemented over the subsequent 12–18 months. This included developing a new governance framework to allow the firm’s Australian arm to monitor a close alignment between its business and ICT strategies, and underpin the successful delivery of projects.

By working with Accenture, the firm has gained a clear view of its technology environment and a compelling road map for the future. The Accenture proposed road map will help assist the firm improve the value of its new global structure and enhance its success in attracting clients and professionals by making its operations more flexible, efficient, intelligent and responsive.

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