3 minute read

A Better Way To Manage Employment And Dispute Matters

Ab Saraswat

Ab Saraswat

A better way to manage employment and disputes matters
In this article

    The CMS Dispute Resolution team has lawyers across 84 offices, acting for clients in the most important and strategic disputes all over the world.

    Hugo Arellano, Partner and Head of Employment & Dispute Resolution in Luxembourg, shares his vision for the future delivery of legal services – and discusses how a central system like Lupl can act as a facilitator for a new and better way of working.

    About the team 

    Hugo’s team focuses on employment, civil and commercial matters. His practice includes supporting employers with the full spectrum of employment law issues through to advising clients on dispute resolution strategies in civil and commercial legal proceedings.

    A vision for the future of legal service delivery

    Hugo’s vision for the future of legal service delivery is clear – it is about services, not time:

    For the moment most [lawyers around the world] are selling time. In my opinion,  we have to change that to selling services. Today we are in a world where everybody sells services, except [lawyers]. If we do not change….we will remain with our old pattern…which I think is negative for the profession.

    The challenges of managing work without a central system

    Hugo identified some opportunities to optimize the planning, organization and delivery of work.

    He started by reviewing how work was being managed. As is the case in many legal teams, he found that the management of work was primarily being handled in email and via team meetings.

    “It was a mix of following up with emails in Microsoft Outlook [and] following up during meetings. But that is actually very inefficient because you are doing meetings every week to just do the follow-up on the file.”

    Finding a solution in Lupl

    Hugo is quick to look at other industries for inspiration – and he noted that while most other industries have project management systems, most lawyers were not using project management principles or technologies in their work.

    As Hugo puts it, his team started experimenting with Lupl “when we came to the point where we said, well, let’s try to make some real project management and follow a project with a platform”.

    Better visibility and efficiency

    One immediate benefit of a project management system like Lupl is that everybody on the team can see who is doing what and how it is going. This means that when meetings do happen, there is already a shared understanding, and they can focus on more strategic discussions.

    “When we come into a meeting, we can discuss about what happened not just where we stand, which is totally different approach actually.”

    As Hugo’s practice is very broad, having a solution that is flexible is also important:

    “I’ve been quite impressed by the fact that you can really adapt Lupl today to your needs. And that makes it very useful, I think, because…the firm can adapt it to a way of working and I think that’s essential.”

    Templates and playbooks

    Driving efficiency and repeatable process is a key part of Hugo’s vision – and as part of his “services not time” mindset he sees opportunities to deploy templates, playbooks or blueprints for common matter types.

    “The idea of the [Lupl matter template] is great because it’s something we could actually populate to the whole firm at some point for specific works. And at the end of the day, I would say for all the type of services we would be rendering. And what is very interesting is that you can use them, but also you can change them and amend them over time so that they become more efficient.”

    Opportunities for client collaboration

    Hugo’s vision is ultimately driven by making his legal services more accessible to clients. He sees an opportunity to bring clients directly into Lupl matters, providing better collaboration and transparency.

    “But it’s not only an interaction with our lawyers and associates within the firm, but I think we could use it at the end also with the clients. And that’s what is very interesting. It’s the interaction we could have with the law firm, with the associates, and also with the clients together.”

    Closing thoughts

    Hugo’s “services not time” mantra is not something he sees as a long-term trend but one that applies in the here and now – with those who do not adapt risking being left behind.

    As Hugo puts it, “We need to change now, because if we wait five years to make the change it is going to be too late, everyone else will have done the changing and we will be the last”.

    In this article

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