Know it all – Wragge Lawrence Graham says yes to Manzama as knowledge team brings in core competencies

getphotoWragge Lawrence Graham (WLG), which this week announced it is to merge with leading Canadian firm Gowlings and rebrand as Gowlings WLG, is in the process of rolling out Manzama’s targeted information solution across the soon-to-be 1,400 lawyer firm.
Led by WLG’s know-how team including head of strategic development Derek Southall and information service managers Karen Gray and Susanne Homer, WLG recently completed a successful pilot with Manzama, which collates sector or corporate-based market information and delivers it in one email alert.
WLG has a Sharepoint-driven knowledge centre divided into sector hubs, under which individual practice areas can access all relevant precedents, wikis and blogs. The firm already uses Thomson Reuters’ federated legal search tool Solcara and Manzama will run alongside that to provide wider market information, such as tracking specific companies, industries and events.
Partners will have the option to turn off the email alert in favour of visiting the sector hub and Southall said: “We are trying to make it easy in a context where people are subject to information overload.”
Manzama, which charges on a per user basis, also provides a quarterly report showing what share of voice each practice area has ranked against their competition. The US-headquartered company, set up in 2010 by Mark Hinkle and Peter Ozolin, now counts DLA Piper, White & Case, K&L Gates, McDermott, Will & Emery and Mayer Brown among its clients. In the UK it has had successes with firms including Herbert Smith Freehills, DWF and Nabarro.
WLG’s roll out of Manzama follows a number of measures taken to improve the performance of its now 30-strong knowledge management team, including a review of its professional support lawyer (PSL) function, who now all have core competencies for different levels of seniority. Southall said: “PSLs play a material role in winning millions of pounds of work and we want them to be the best lawyers.”
PSLs have also received training on how to best use their time and maximise the impact their work has on the firm.
In line with this theme, the knowledge team has used the firm’s existing financial system, Aderant Expert, to produce key performance indicator packs for each practice head, to show the total cost of knowledge resources used by their department compared to other departments, what their resources have been spent on and what has been wasted.