Global law firm Kennedys has launched Portal Manager, which generates real-time information and insights on the number of claims an insurer has in the Ministry of Justice Claims Portal at any one time. It comes as leading Australian firm Hall & Wilcox launches a portal that makes the visa application process easier for its clients. Both claim a market first. Elsewhere Reed Smith has launched an eDiscovery resources app for litigation professionals developed in-house by Reed Smith’s records and eDiscovery practice group in collaboration with the firm’s legal tech subsidiary, Gravity Stack.

Portal Manager provides Kennedys clients with visibility on how many claims an insurer has; how long each stage is taking; which claims are falling out – or are close to falling out; and leakage points. Kennedys is understood to be the first law firm to integrate with the portal in this way.

It provides live information on claimant firms’ activities and can also assess the performance of claims handlers. 

Kennedys has so far been piloting the portal with a major global insurer, which “has realised substantial savings in both indemnity spend and operational efficiencies through its trial of the tool.”

Leading the implementation of Portal Manager is Alan Collins who has joined Kennedys from the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) where he was responsible for the design and build of the new whiplash claims portal which serviced roughly 600,000 claims a year.

Collins will work alongside Kennedys’ head of R&D, Karim Derrick and partner, Martin Stockdale, who led on the creation of the tool.

Stockdale said: “It may seem counter-intuitive to many that we place such emphasis on automating and creating technology that removes lawyers from legal work. Our point of view, however, is that if lower-value work can be automated, then it should be. This provides efficiencies for our clients and for us to provide the knowledge and support on complex and technical legal work where we can really add value to a client’s business.”

Meanwhile Hall & Wilcox has launched the Work Visa Platform, a portal that makes the visa application process easier, more efficient and transparent.

Hall & Wilcox’s head of migration Kristopher Kunasingam said, ‘the Work Visa Platform is a unique offering we provide to our clients.’

‘We developed this platform as a solution to a common problem faced by our clients, which is tracking the visa status of their workforce,’ he said.

‘It’s a digital solution that lets multiple parties easily submit data. It’s cost-effective, easy to use and provides real-time status updates.

‘When you are a company sponsoring 20 or 30 people, it can be hard to have an overview of the individual status of workers. This helps our clients have better visibility over their workforce even beyond the grant of the initial visas.’

The Work Visa Platform is part of the firm’s broader managed migration service, and is aimed at both companies and individuals.

The platform allows multi-party users to input and save information as they receive it which makes the data collection process for applicants easier and reduces delays. For the clients, it also features real-time status updates, shared editing capability, downloadable reports, online instruction options and secure document storage.

Director of client solutions, Peter Campbell, said the portal was a great example of the firm’s Smarter Law client solutions approach in action. He noted: ‘It’s not all about the technology. Our legal services platform approach uses a combination of technology, legal expertise, process design and a culture where we genuinely embrace continuous improvement.

‘In this case, we’ve deeply analysed the process and worked with early adopter clients to refine it. We believe the future of legal services is around co-designing the experience with our clients, delivering easy to use solutions that add more value at a competitive price point,’ he said.

Elsewhere, Reed Smith’s eDiscovery resources App, launched this week, is a free download available through the Apple App Store and Google Play.

“Our clients and professionals within the e-discovery community have been seeking an on-demand tool that gives them access to many e-discovery resources at their fingertips,” said David Cohen, a Reed Smith partner and RED chair. “Our app provides a great starting point for legal professionals and helps drive progress for our clients.”

The app provides resources including a glossary of definitions, eDiscovery calendar of events, relevant civil procedure rules, document review management resources, sample eDiscovery forms and an extensive listing of eDiscovery software and service providers.

“There are some great e-discovery resources already available on the internet, but you have to know where to look, and you cannot always find what you are looking for,” said Bryon Bratcher, managing director of Gravity Stack. “Having a curated collection of resources and links available in one location will be invaluable to those in the e-discovery community.”