As we move into 2023 many law firms will hopefully be looking ahead to October 2023 and the introduction of a whole new raft of Fixed Recoverable Costs across matters with a monetary value of up to £100k.
For some firms this will mean the use of a Portal for the first time. That will bring with it new demands on both process and Information Security and quality management. There will be a sea change in how data is obtained/shared/stored. Data security will be key.
As a law firm embracing either ISO 9001, 27001 or better still both, you will be well on the road to be a process driven organisation with outcomes, process and data management a central feature of how you operate.
ISO 9001 for Law Firms
ISO 9001:2015 will allow law firms to move towards a far more productive efficient way of working with an emphasis on outcomes for the customer. Fixed fees at the £100k level are only the beginning of a journey towards fixed fees across all work types, Value Based Pricing and possibly Services as a Subscription (SaaS).
ISO 27001 for Law Firms
ISO 27001:2022 will allow a firm to adapt to the ever more wanted flexible or WFH approach so that there can be a safe, resilient and secure way of both Team Members working and customers sharing data. Security of transactions, information sharing, network access, the list goes on but it is or should be very much at the forefront of management.
Customers all use technology in a very fluid way. For many e-mail is the same as snail mail. Instant messaging, chatbots, voice notes all require processes to store and use the information and also for team members to know how to use them as that is what the customer wants.
And when you read the Civil Service lost 50 laptops a week in 2022 (something that just didn’t happen in Sir Humphrey’s day it was briefcases) it is surely time that an office wide Information Security make over was in order.
Both standards have much to commend them to law firms. Neither are onerous. Rather they are there to assist in allowing management make better decisions and more importantly put the customer at the heart of those decisions.
Will Whawell has over 30 years’ experience in legal costs. He is a Legal Project Practitioner (IILPM), a Lead Auditor ISO 9001:2015 (IRCA) as well as an internal ISO 27001 auditor. He is a Lexcel consultant and adviser to several alternative funding providers in the UK on legal costs and funding matters.
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