Global growth has been a key goals for top 30 UK law firm Kennedys. Today it has 2,300 lawyers and staff across 43 offices in 25 countries.

Tackling Resource Challenges To Support Business Growth

When Acora first started working with Kennedys, the law firm was committed to growing and strengthening its international capability and for the IT team, run from its London HQ, this meant a requirement for a stable and high-performing global IT platform.

James Elmer, IT manager at Kennedys at the time explains; “Investment in technology is important but what’s crucial is having an effective support eco-system in place, fundamentally this means having the right people and processes embedded. When Claire, our IT Operations Manager, joined we had a service desk refresh. We recruited and trained new staff, reviewed processes and had a really good year. However, staff began to leave because we couldn’t offer them career progression. We started to struggle with the churn and subsequent resourcing challenges. We found it difficult to resource the quality of staff with the right skill-set and drive to want to do the job. In the legal sector, not only are there specific technologies, the end users tend to be quite demanding.

The general consensus was to explore the use of an external provider. James had come across Acora in a previous role and after assessing the market further, Kennedys felt Acora was in the best position to assist.

The Service Alignment Process Began With A Period Of Site Awareness

Acora analysts were deployed to work on-site at Kennedys offices alongside their in-house team. Following this, the service delivery was transferred to Acora’s UK-based legal service centre. James runs through the experience, “We did have some concerns about how a third party could adopt the ‘Kennedys’ way of doing things, especially remotely, but Acora aligned the service to mirror our in-house model. In fact, we’ve benefited from the new ideas the team have brought to us about how we can improve things.”

Claire explains the logistics of remote support, “Technically, it was relatively quick and easy to configure phone systems and networks to incorporate Acora. There’s always a few teething issues, but we found them to be minimal.” For end-users, there is no difference in experience. All Acora analysts have Kennedys’ email addresses and access to directly populate its Service Desk tool. The only impact was that the service improved.

Moving To Round The Clock Support

“The fact that part of the service is being delivered by Acora and based elsewhere in London doesn’t impact the lawyers at all. That was really the seamless bit about it all” James explains.

In addition, Claire meets with a Acora Service Delivery Manager for regular Service Reviews that cover reporting against formal progressive SLA metrics and other KPIs. Jointly they also review Acora’s Continuous Service Improvement Programme which focuses on refining and progressing the service. “The service delivery model Acora has implemented works well and if there are any issues I find there are plenty of Acora people to turn to” Claire comments.

As day-time support was starting to stabilise, James knew they had to turn their attention to improving the firm’s out-of-hours model. Kennedys was using on-call IT staff to provide night-time and weekend support. This resulted in disturbed nights for staff, and unpredictable levels of service for users and an expectation that it should only be used in emergencies.

In addition, the firm wanted to more effectively support its international staff. Kennedys made the decision to extend its use of Acora to around the clock support. James describes the process; “Whilst there was an appetite to improve the out-of-hours service, it was particularly useful to have Acora’s senior management help us formally justify the business case here at Kennedys”.

Being able to support international staff centrally and offer UK staff a better level of out-of-hours support, we can now offer a more proactive service. Besides availability increasing, analysts working at night can look at less urgent tickets raised during the day and provide a quicker turnaround time for the overall service.

James Elmer, IT Manager, Kennedys

Moving Forward

“Working with Acora has enabled us to really focus on improving the service as a whole. Firstly, we have the confidence in a support service that will be able to maintain business as usual whilst giving us the time to focus on planning upcoming transformation projects. Secondly, when we do move into the implementation phase, we know we can rely on a capable support function during what will be no doubt be a challenging period ahead of us.” concludes James.