Alternative Resourcing in the Legal Sector
LOCAL AUTHORITIES SHARED SERVICES DESIGN
An association of local authorities – under substantial pressure to reduce operating costs and improve service quality– wished to understand the opportunities for sharing legal services amongst their association. With the rise of work in critical areas such as child protection and adult social care, lawyer resource was stretched and senior lawyers were typically expected to perform a “cradle to grave” service regardless of how complex (or simple) the work might be. This resulted in experienced lawyers performing low complexity, but high volume tasks, detracting from their ability to service their stakeholders with timely strategic advice in more complex areas. The association wished to understand the benefits and structural models to sharing lawyers and technical expertise.
OMC initially consulted with experienced lawyer practitioners across 16 practice areas to produce 150+ task inventories for services delivered by each specialist team. We then held a series of workshops with senior stakeholders from each authority to agree those tasks that were capable of sharing and those that were not. After identifying that approximately 80% or more of tasks were capable of being shared, we then explored with Authority Leaders their vision for how services could be shared across the group, gaining valuable buy-in and building momentum for change. Working with these task inventories, Leadership feedback, and detailed financial submissions provided by each authority, we modelled the opportunities and benefits for each member from sharing services, providing proposed solutions to the the what, why, where, when, and how questions.