It’s not the (firm) size that matters, but how you use it!

It’s not the (firm) size that matters, but how you use it!


Creative technology projects win the 2013 ALPMA/Telstra Thought Leadership Awards

Law firms must think much more creatively about the use of technology and how they partner with technology vendors and customers if they want to gain sustainable competitive advantage from their technology investment in the challenging and highly competitive Australasian legal market, according to the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA). 

“The ALPMA/Telstra Thought Leadership Awards and recent ALPMA/LexisNexis research show most firms, regardless of size, are enthusiastically investing in technology as a key strategy to adapt to the changing legal landscape.” ALPMA National President and General Manager, Coleman Greig, Warrick McLean said. 

“But firms need to challenge themselves and think a whole lot more creatively about how they implement technology in their practice if they want to actually get ahead of the game and not just keep up.” 

“What is exciting is that there are a number of both small and large Australian firms who have embraced this concept wholeheartedly and are achieving some uniquely compelling and innovative outcomes that are strengthening their firm’s market position.” 

“The winners of the ALPMA/Telstra Thought Leadership Awards are creatively deploying technology to improve customer loyalty, transform their firm operations, streamline cumbersome legal processes and drive significant productivity and profitability gains,” Mr McLean said.

The ALPMA/Telstra Thought Leadership Awards were presented to an overall winner and three finalists at the ALPMA National Summit Gala dinner at the Sydney Exhibition and Convention Centre on Friday 18 October. 

ALPMA/Telstra Thought Leadership Awards 2013 Winner: Anderssen Lawyers 

Anderssen Lawyers, a Brisbane-based commercial and property law firm with just 16 staff, secured the overall win for an impressive project creating a unique, secure, online operating environment that supports a 100% paperless and highly automated legal process and is accessible 24/7 for both staff and clients from anywhere on any device.  

“The winning project allows Anderssen’s to deliver the personal service and reduced fees expected of a small firm, coupled with a level of technology support and strategic advantage typically associated only with top tier practices, providing significant competitive advantage,”  Award judge and General Counsel, Telstra Business Craig Emery said.

“To further instil strong loyalty from their client base, Anderssen’s quantified the economical savings from this project and passed these directly onto clients,” he said.

The reliable, easy to use tools, backed by a culture that supports a remote working,  provides staff with the ability to balance work and personal commitments, and results in healthy, contented staff and a firm with an enviable reputation as an employer of choice. 

2013 Award Finalists: Bennett + Co, Hall & Wilcox & Emil Ford Lawyers

Award Finalist, Bennett + Co (WA) worked closely with vendor, LitSupport, to develop a novel application of evidence management analytical methodology and technology to identify omissions and inconsistencies in evidence. 

“This unique approach delivered a substantially more complete, sophisticated view of the evidence than would have been possible if conventional techniques had been applied, even if the budget had been unlimited, for a fraction of the cost,” said Award’s Judging Panel Chair and ALPMA NSW President, Sally King.

“Ultimately, the client was provided with a fully informed, substantially stronger foundation for negotiation of a settlement. Adoption of the methodology and technology applied in these proceedings to litigation generally would facilitate more fully informed resolution of disputes ‐ better outcomes at lower cost.”

Hall & Wilcox (VIC) were recognised as Award Finalists for collaborating with a leading franchising customer and workflow vendor Caseflow to manage a large volume of documentation and deliver an online working environment that gives the client real-time oversight of their work, interactive involvement from the very start of their matters, faster turnaround times for instructions and less risk in the whole process.

Emil Ford Lawyers (NSW) were selected as Award Finalists for streamlining a common, repetitive and time consuming legal process, enabling Contract of Sale preparation to be done online, and delivering a contract licensed by the Law Society and REINSW to agents and lawyers within minutes of obtaining instructions, and then commercialising the Paradocs software.

Innovative & Inspiring Nominations

There were 20 projects nominated for the inaugural ALPMA/Telstra Thought Leadership Awards, which showcases the innovative projects being undertaken by ALPMA members to address the changing legal landscape. Nominations were received a mix of small, medium and large firms, located across Australia. 60% of nominees’ submitted technology- based projects. This technology bias reflects recent ALPMA/LexisNexis research, which shows that the majority of law firms see investment in technology as central to their plans for adapting to the changing legal landscape.

There were also some excellent nominations from firms adopting innovative programs in other areas.  This includes the “Marketing Apprentice” program that saw partners and staff at Brown Wright & Stein compete in challenges to improve their marketing and business development skills overseen by Managing Partner “Geoff “Trump” Stein, the “Women in Business” program set up for Western Sydney professional women by Coleman Greig and a Thought Leadership program run for customers and staff by Swaab Attorney’s.


ALPMA is the peak body representing managers and lawyers with a legal practice management role at law firms and legal departments across Australasia. ALPMA provides an authoritative voice on issues relevant to legal practice management. ALPMA’s National Summit is the largest legal management conference in the Southern Hemisphere. The 2013 ALPMA National Summit “Law Firm 3.0 – Leading the New Normal” held at the Sydney helped firms develop leadership and business strategies to manage the “new normal” legal landscape.

About Telstra

Telstra recognises that small and medium businesses are the growth engine of the Australian economy. Telstra Business specialises in meeting their unique communication needs and enabling them to get the most from today’s amazing, but complex, technology. To do this Telstra has tailored a range of technology products and services which keep businesses connected to their customers. These include compelling fixed line, broadband and mobile services as well as the latest cloud computing solutions.