You say ‘To-mah-to’, I say ‘To-may-to’ Two countries separated by a common language
At Document Direct, we fully appreciate the ‘Special Relationship’ between the US & the UK, and none more so than when it come to the practices of the leading law firms that straddle both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
At face value, the needs of top law firms are pretty similar across the globe; your output needs to be of excellent quality, work needs to be expedited quickly and efficiently and there is no room for error where client facing documents are concerned.
But, what about the nuances of how you work, the language you use and the documents that are specific not only to your country and your state but also your specific area(s) of law.
With hardworking City lawyers still working very long hours, there’s an inevitable cross over of time zones, especially for those working in EDT / GMT but the same isn’t necessarily the same for your support teams.
Document Direct clients operating in New York & London are reporting a number of trends including:
- Skills shortage and a scarcity of resource. This is especially true for highly technical document production roles requiring extensive knowledge of the Office suite and increasing use of GoogleDocs in the US
- High staff attrition rate. Even when these roles can be filled, staff attrition is high due to the stressful nature of a highly pressured, time sensitive working environment
- Development of staff. Qualified staff in City firms have a desire to move through the ranks and this means typing and document production work no longer fits their pay grade, especially when they are operating more as paralegals or legal assistants
- Support staff hiring difficulties. Huge risks & costs associated with recruiting ‘temps’ plus a time delay in training staff to the required levels
- Lack of systems knowledge. Increasing need to work within legal specific case and document management systems and difficulty in finding staff with the ability to do this
- Restricted to ‘normal’ office hours. Inability to offer round the clock coverage to fee earners and lawyers who do not work traditional hours and have high net worth clients, or in fast paced markets that demand instantaneous responses
- Lost in translation. Move towards centralised (or ‘centralized’) support functions for both jurisdictions which can result in requests to support teams being ‘lost in translation’ between the countries
- High cost personnel doing admin tasks. City wages in London and New York still far supersede their peers in other locations in the UK / US and it therefore makes little sense for lawyers to be doing their own admin tasks
A short case study with an international law firm
Towards the end of 2020, an international law firm headquartered in New York City, with a growing London presence, informed us that they would like to increase the use of our service. In line with trends that we have seen, document production work is co-ordinated by a centralised team in New York and is then sent to us for completion.
After a thorough scoping session of their requirements, we had trained our team on their processes within a couple of days. In adherence with their security protocols, all of our secretaries have individual log-ins and multi factor authentication is required to access their systems.
The work we complete for them is highly specific to their requirements in financial markets and it is not unusual for us to work on documents in excess of hundreds of pages.
It is also imperative that work is returned on the correct version of their varying in-house styles, reflecting the needs of both or either of their London or New York office(s). Accurate tracking of changes by us also plays a key role in communication across the two countries.
Additionally, there are many highly detailed PDF requirements on Stock Transfer Forms and Share Certificates that require incredible attention to detail on hundreds of documents at a time.
Audio dictation can be submitted by our highly secure, free to use smartphone app and is returned in as little as an hour. Our highly trained team are skilled in both single and multi- speaker work.
With usage increasing rapidly since late 2020, we now complete, on average, 150 hours’ worth of work for this international law firm each month.
Compliments we have received from them over the last 6 months include:
- “This is perfect – thank you for the quick turnaround!”
- “Reducing it to 15MB is nothing short of wizardry given the original size. Incredible. Thank you!”
[PDF was 128Mb to start and we were asked to reduce the filesize]
- “That’s perfect, exactly what I wanted – thank you!”
[Job involved correcting problematic formatting and applying consistency]
Why partner with Document Direct?
- Full scoping to understand your requirements and processes, including full security compliance.
- We have over 200 legally trained secretaries that understand the nuances between US & UK law – accuracy is key.
- Existing relationships with similar firms – confidence that we know what we are talking about.
- Your firm won’t become overwhelmed with large backlogs of typing or document production tasks as your work is returned in as little as an hour, with no premium on cost.
- In-house teams can spend more time on ‘value-added’ tasks.
- Opportunity to take on more work, or progress / close cases quicker.
- 24/7 coverage makes you more responsive to client demands.
- Significant cost savings of up to 60% compared to employing full-time staff.
- Ability to scale up your operations quickly and seamlessly.