Peer to Peer Magazine

June 2012

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

Issue link: http://epubs.iltanet.org/i/67910

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lessons learned The Next Generation of Legal Service Delivery by David Fitch of Simmons & Simmons LLP "elexica" is Simmons & Simmons' online legal service that is used to deliver know-how, training and value- added services to clients and contacts of the firm. It also has a developing range of subscription-based online services. When first launched over 10 years ago, elexica was market- leading. Despite being "home-grown" and implemented in a very cost-effective way (some would say on a shoestring), elexica developed into an online service with over 20,000 subscribers and 7,000 resources (including a broad range of legal and regulatory know-how, specialized microsites, video-based training and video podcast resources). In 2010, the firm set out to completely rebuild the service. The strategic drivers behind the project were to: • Provide a stronger platform on which to develop our subscription-based online services business • Improve (and automate) the firm's e-marketing to clients and contacts • Consolidate our market position, making the elexica content set and user experience more representative of a leading international law firm In January 2012, the next-generation elexica service was launched. It was a complex (and ambitious) project, but one that has resulted in the delivery of a world-class online service of which the firm can be proud. Building the Business Case There is no doubt that the last three years have been challenging for business. Law firms have not been immune to the impact of the global financial crisis and the pressures to provide "more for less" while attempting to protect overall profitability. The case for investing in the development of a service like elexica therefore needed to be compelling for it to be approved by the firm's international executive committee (IEC). Our business case was, in many ways, simple: • We wanted to further develop our subscription-based online business (with an ambitious growth plan for the next five years) • We needed to respond to client feedback regarding our perceived "scatter gun" approach to e-marketing, giving clients more choices and control over what they receive • Doing nothing was not an option because the technology and infrastructure being utilized were coming to the end of their shelf life and would no longer be supported The IEC was receptive to the business rationale proposed, but wanted to see more detailed cost models and a recommended approach before committing to the project. 128 Peer to Peer

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