Learn how Freshfields is delivering richer client experiences with greater digitalisation.

 

Cyber security, hybrid working, climate change: the challenges and complexities facing businesses are constantly evolving.

As a Global Elite Law Firm and a top tier firm in the US, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (“Freshfields”) helps businesses turn challenges into opportunities.

“We enable our clients to succeed by navigating their legal challenges and supporting their growth goals,” said Rafique Bachour, Managing Partner at Freshfields. “We want to ensure we are delivering for our clients, our people, and our local communities into the future.”

With more than 4,000 employees serving clients in 150+ countries, Freshfields helps execute cross-border transactions, mitigate operational risks, and simplify regulatory compliance. Its teams and services span multiple regions, industries, and areas of expertise, including transactional, corporate governance, regulatory, and litigation.

Freshfields isn’t just committed to providing world-class legal advice, it also wants to provide exceptional client experiences. “Our strategy is to evolve with our clients, and that means we also need to evolve our offerings and service delivery models,” explained Bachour.

To enhance the client experience, Freshfields has embarked on a multi-year digital transformation that will enable greater automation, personalisation, and collaboration. We talked to the team at Freshfields about some of the key steps on their digitalisation journey.

 

 
 
"Salesforce helps us build stronger relationships and engage with our clients in a more impactful way"
Rafique Bachour
Managing Partner
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
 
 
 

1. Establishing 360-degree visibility of client relationships.

To deliver richer client experiences, Freshfields wanted better visibility of its client relationships. The firm had already captured a wealth of data. But, as Senior Global Manager of CRM and Marketing Technology at Freshfields, Craig James Ashton-Chalmers explains: “We wanted to make it easier and faster for our people to access client information by creating a single source of truth.

The law firm wanted an integrated platform that could bring together master data from its matter, finance, practice, and time management systems into a central client record without compromising security. “With Salesforce, we are better informed about our clients,” said Ashton-Chalmers

Freshfields worked with Salesforce partner, CloudShift, to design and deploy the platform over the course of just six months. As part of the project, the team migrated terabytes of data to Salesforce and established integrations with 18 systems, including HR, billing, practice management, and event management platforms. “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to deliver the project virtually, a first for Freshfields. Learning to work in this new way wasn’t instantly straightforward, but we made a success of the project and pushed ourselves into creating a new benchmark for project management,” explained Ashton-Chalmers.

The new platform, which is founded on Sales Cloud, Tableau CRM Analytics, and Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, has been rolled out to around 2,750 people across the globe. Freshfields has also deployed Salesforce Shield to help meet the data security requirements of the legal industry. “Salesforce Shield helps us stay compliant with data policies in different jurisdictions,” said Ashton-Chalmers. For example, Freshfields uses Shield Encryption to protect sensitive data while at rest and Field Audit Trail to track when this data is deleted or changed.

As well as enabling greater data governance, Salesforce Shield unlocks unique insights into the user experience. “With Event Monitoring, we can see how our teams use the different Salesforce features. This enables us to identify ways to optimise their experience and simplify data access,” added Ashton-Chalmers.

 
 

2. Empowering teams with sharper client insights.

Unifying internal data sources was an important step towards enabling 360-degree visibility. Freshfields also wanted to empower its lawyers and business development teams with external market intelligence.

“As a lawyer, one of the biggest benefits you can bring to a client is an in-depth understanding of their industry and the challenges that sector faces now and is likely to experience in the future,” explained Bachour. “Salesforce helps us look at the world outside in, not inside out.”

Freshfields uses Tableau CRM Analytics to import client and prospect data, such as stock prices, commercial transactions, and personnel changes from third-party sources. Lawyers are automatically alerted by email or SMS to key developments, which are logged in the client’s record in Sales Cloud. This enables lawyers to proactively reach out to clients if they spot any challenges or opportunities related to new regulations or business initiatives.

Client information can be securely accessed via a desktop or the Salesforce Mobile App. “With Salesforce, our people can become more efficient and client-centric,” said Bachour. “It helps us build stronger relationships and engage in a more impactful way.”

3. Supporting growth with smarter opportunity management.

Richer insights are key to progressing new opportunities with both existing and prospective clients. “We are on a strong growth trajectory and need to be able to respond quickly to new demand,” said Bachour.

Freshfields continued to expand despite the COVID-19 pandemic and opened a new office in Silicon Valley with seven founding partners. The firm has approximately 300 lawyers across the US and has worked with 60% of the 1,000 largest US-based companies since 2018.

By capturing client data in a single record, lawyers and business development teams can identify new opportunities and prepare pitches more easily and quickly. New contacts can be automatically added to a company record thanks to an integration between Sales Cloud and Introhive.

To help predict industry trends and track client activity levels, Freshfields uses Tableau CRM Analytics. “By sharpening people’s business development skills, we can better anticipate client needs,” said Bachour.

 
 
“We wanted to make it easier and faster for our people to access client information by creating a single source of truth.”
Craig James Ashton-Chalmers
Senior Global Manager of CRM and Marketing Technology
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
 
 

4. Personalising communications to boost client engagement.

The legal landscape is constantly evolving especially in relation to environmental, social, and governance issues. Freshfields shares regulatory updates with its clients via a variety of channels, from industry newsletters to events and blogs.

With Salesforce, Freshfields can ensure the right communications reach the right recipients. Thanks to an integration between Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, Salesforce’s B2B marketing automation platform, and data cleansing solution DemandTools by Validity, the firm has seen a substantial improvement in data quality and email deliverability.

Freshfields also uses Marketing Cloud Account Engagement to test and personalise the content in its information emails and event invitations. “With Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, we can tailor campaigns and communications based on a client’s previous responses and interests,” explained Ashton-Chalmers. This personalised approach has contributed to an 18% uplift in click through rates for information emails and using connected data quality tools has increased the deliverability rate to a staggering 93% for all outbound emails.

By integrating Marketing Cloud Account Engagement with Sales Cloud, lawyers can see whether clients have responded to emails or invitations, which enables them to have more informed conversations.

To ensure it focuses on the right topics and channels, the marketing team at Freshfields uses Tableau CRM Analytics to track client engagement and campaign performance. “With Salesforce, we can amalgamate performance data from different channels and compare campaign metrics. It helps us refine our communications strategy to maximise client engagement,” said Ashton-Chalmers.

5. Attracting talent with richer colleague experiences.

Freshfields wants to empower its people to succeed and that means delivering an exceptional colleague experience. “Our people are our greatest asset, and we want to help them grow,” said Bachour. “By embracing digitalisation and innovation, we can create a progressive working environment that enables us to push the boundaries of excellence.” For example, providing partners with access to a unified client view from anywhere is helping Freshfields foster new ways of working.

Encouraging greater flexibility and diversity in the workplace is key to retaining and attracting talent. The Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme helps to broaden access to careers in large commercial law firms and City of London institutions by addressing the disproportionate under-representation of black men from less socially mobile backgrounds.

Nearly 100 applicants from 70+ universities have been offered a scholarship since the launch of the scheme in 2013. To help simplify the application process and enrich scholar relationships, Freshfields has built a community on Experience Cloud. It has also deployed Digital Engagement to enable scheme managers and participants to connect more easily via social and mobile channels.

“We want to promote more inclusive workplaces where everyone can achieve their potential,” said Ashton-Chalmers. “With Experience Cloud, we can offer a more personalised experience to applicants and scholars and encourage greater engagement.”

 
 

18%

uplift in CTR for
information emails

 

100

applicants have been
offered a scholarship

 

93%

delivery rate for
all outbound emails

6. Establishing a culture that thrives on challenge and change.

Freshfields has been recognised as one of the most innovative law firms in the world.

“Our people are entrepreneurial and want to embrace digitalisation. With so much potential for innovation and transformation, it’s important to ensure new technologies are going to deliver a net benefit,” said Bachour.

Freshfields puts new digital ideas through their paces with user testing and feedback sessions before evaluating the security and cost implications. “We try to involve influencers in the testing process so they can support future adoption,” explained Bachour. “Sharing early success stories with internal stakeholders also helps new technologies gain traction faster.”

There are lots of new technologies and digital initiatives on the horizon at Freshfields, and the firm wants to leverage the Salesforce platform to help simplify conflict checking and improve visibility of the matter lifecycle. “We want to keep challenging ourselves and the entire industry to deliver legal services more efficiently and effectively,” said Bachour. “With Salesforce, we can identify new ways to deliver greater value to our clients and people. It helps us get to the future faster.”

 
 

For more information, visit Freshfields.

 

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