Aptum has been awarded Excellence in Innovation & Technology at the 2022 Australasian Law Awards. The award recognises Australian law firms who have demonstrated a contemporary and effective use of technology in the delivery of legal services over the past 12 months.
Finding more effective ways of positioning our clients for the best possible outcomes in commercial and tax disputes is baked into our DNA. We have built a discipline and unique methodology that enables an uncompromising focus on the critical issues that continually deliver winning outcomes.
Here are some of the key innovations at Aptum over the past 12 months:
Launched Project Magic
Problem: The best value a lawyer provides is in the thinking and analysis that leads to an effective strategy to solve a client’s problem. It’s not in all the admin and paperwork that comes with it. The question is, how do we minimise the time, cost and mental energy devoted to low value tasks?
Solution: In 2021, we launched ‘Project Magic’ – an internal initiative to develop Aptum’s Litigation Playbook. This playbook will centralise the IP behind Aptum’s practice, include best practice guidelines for Aptum’s approach to litigation, practice support materials, a unified research and precedent depository, and more.
Benefit: Aptum’s Litigation Playbook, the culmination of ‘Project Magic’, enables Aptum lawyers to access key information more easily, ensuring a consistent application of the legal intelligence we deploy to resolve commercial and tax disputes. ‘Project Magic’ also reduces administration and simplifies workflow processes, increasing a firm wide focus on substantive, high value project work that our clients ultimately benefit from.
Continued to build and refine the Project Management process
Problem: Aptum deals with complex commercial and tax disputes, where it’s not uncommon for litigation to take months, and sometimes even years to resolve. To prevent unnecessary delays and costs, it’s crucial to ensure that our time and resources are focused on the most important tasks that will lead to that resolution.
Solution: One of the foundational four pillars of Aptum’s litigation model is a bespoke project management framework. This includes all the processes we develop on planning and management to ensure a consistent process of documentation, communication, and the achievement of our objectives.
In 2021, we developed and refined a practice that we call the Project Cycle process. This involves Aptum’s project teams developing monthly sets of objectives (a mini project plan) for each project, reporting monthly to our clients with a detailed status update, outlining objectives for the upcoming month, and providing a frank assessment of Aptum’s performance in achieving the objectives from the previous month.
Benefit: As well as the project planning we conduct at the beginning of a dispute, the Project Cycle process ensures an ongoing rigour to the way we organise our work. Having a routine obligation to report on our progress also ensures that our clients consistently feel updated and empowered to make the next decision.
Rollout of a Fully Custom Microsoft Dynamics 365
Problem: This innovation presented an opportunity rather than a problem. Given Aptum’s narrow focus on commercial and tax disputes, how could we gather data to apply learnings in future, similar disputes? What can we do to ensure our clients have a consistent, predictable experience?
Solution: Rather than trying to mould an off-the-shelf practice management software to our needs, we decided to create something specific to Aptum’s unique model – in particular our project management framework. Working with external developers, Aptum designed, developed, and rolled out a fully customised Microsoft Dynamics 365 as a practice management system, with an implementation process that took over a month of internal training. The system applies global best practice business development processes from outside the law.
Benefit: A custom Microsoft Dynamics 365 practice management system provides structured methods of practice, making Aptum’s delivery more efficient and predictable – saving significant long-term costs. The data gathering capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365 also enables us to provide valuable, evidence-based insights into the likely challenges, costs, and timeframes a client will face in pursuing their objectives and resolving their disputes.
What innovation projects are in the pipeline?
We are obsessed with capturing the data and intelligence that enables our clients to make informed, evidence-based decisions and then ensuring we can convey that information in a way that is accessible and easy to understand.
In addition to building on the work we have completed in 2021, Aptum is currently developing a tool that will help clients better understand legal pathways and risk using a simple visual map. This is an exciting initiative that will improve the way our clients understand legal risk and pathways and make informed investment decisions on the most effective pathway.
We would like to thank Australasian Lawyer for the recognition of Excellence in Innovation and Technology and congratulate those firms who also received an award. See the list full list of firms here.
This award means Aptum has been recognised for innovation in national law awards three years running – a significant achievement for the team and for Aptum’s Head of Innovation, David Adason.