Clients benefit from Field Law's framework of a client service culture and dedication to successfully running the firm as a competitive, continuously improving business while pursuing legal excellence and serving our communities.
Our regional size, structure and deep roots allow us to provide added value services. We are a large enough regional presence to be able to closely monitor regional issues and challenges affecting our clients and still entrepreneurial and nimble enough to be able to effect change quickly and cost effectively. Field was named in BTI's 2015 Client Service “A-Team”.
Field Law's leadership follows client, general counsel and legal industry research and aligns the firm's strategy to remain a competitive and attractive choice for clients, lawyers and staff. We are committed to client-focused, mutually rewarding investments in initiatives that demonstrate our commitment to client service and professional excellence. Some examples are as follows:
Commitment to Help You:
Process Improvement: The Firm has taken significant steps over the years to implement process improvement, including having a number of lawyers and staff with Lean Legal Six Sigma certification. Testing this initial training in Legal Lean Six Sigma, we undertook a top to bottom efficiency project in handling real estate conveyancing for a large client. We examined each step of the process, eliminating or amending various steps so that ultimately we were able to perform more transactions while at the same time reducing time. This initiative proved successful for the client and ourselves and led to our decision to make process improvement both a strategic investment and a cultural reality.
In 2013 and 2014 we hired legal management advisors to train the rest of the firm’s lawyers, paralegals and staff. We have trained over 250 lawyers and staff and created the post of Director Knowledge Management and Process Improvement to continue to drive innovation and streamlining within the Firm.
Providing Value for Your Dollars:
Alternative Fee Arrangements: Field Law has experience with a broad range of alternative fee arrangements (AFAs), including providing legal services on a fixed fee basis for project work, fixed fees for larger portfolios of work, contingency fee arrangements, blended hourly rate and contingency fee arrangements, and blended hourly rate and performance based holdbacks. We have identified the need to be proactive in providing alternatives to the hourly rate billing model.
We are flexible in structuring our billing arrangements and are aware that in many cases clients want more budget certainty than the hourly billing model provides. For example, we have found that coverage opinions are well-suited to a flat fee billing arrangement. In the litigation context we have experience "unbundling" the process into its components (Statement of Defence, document discovery, oral discovery, interlocutory matters, trial, etc.) and providing flat fees for our services related to the individual components. We have also structured billing arrangements for litigation matters where flat fees are combined with performance-based holdbacks that result in a specific focus on value delivered. In addition, we have significant experience in prosecuting subrogated claims on the basis of both traditional contingency fee arrangements and more complex contingency and performance-based structures that take into account achieving pre-arranged milestones.
For business law clients, Field Law offers a variety of services at a fixed price. These services include incorporation and an extensive range of corporate administrative actions. For commercial house builders, we offer conveyance services at a fixed price. A variety of transactional services are offered at special or blended rates.
Client Learning: As a client, you have access to exclusive opportunities to learn such as seminars, in-house presentations, webinars, industry-specific roundtable sessions, Lunch and Learn sessions, e-bulletins, newsletters and articles. Many of our lawyers have written authoritative textbooks in particular areas of law and/or have annotated other publications that we also share with you. You can find our publications and events at this link: News + Views + Events and you can subscribe to our communications using this link: Subscribe.
Extranet: Our Extranet allows for efficient and secure communication and file management, sharing and editing sensitive documents, collaborating, specifying important tasks and deadlines, as well as secure messaging and automated notifications. Each component has item-level security settings to manage access. Innovative and cost-effective elements of Field Law's Extranet allow clients to:
- Use a secure extranet website with pages for each matter
- Post documents and authorized members can comment, edit and collaborate online
- Not waste time in asking for, sending, receiving documents and then sending them back
- Share task lists and milestone tracking
- Share calendars and deadline tracking
- Access matter-specific discussion threads that are more efficient than regular email, and
- 24/7 encrypted access to the extranet and data, documents.
Conflict Checks: Multi-layered conflict checking is conducted for all new file openings.
Leveraged Resourcing: Paralegals, librarians and assistants are part of the Field Law team who provide technical proficiency and support to your business and ensure that the right work is being done by the right person.
Precedents Management: Precedents, arranged by practice area and forms are collected and organized within our document management system for easy re-use of work product. Lawyers across the firm can easily share tasks and collaborate for the most efficient production of the best work product by the right people.
Legal Research Database: Field Law has invested in a fully searchable work product database. Our substantial archived collection of research work is available to all our searchers and includes keyword tagging in addition to advanced full text searching capabilities. We also subscribe to a complement of external legal research sources including WestlawNext Canada, Lexis Advance, Carswell’s eLooseleafs on ProView ebooks, des Libris ebooks, and QPSource Professional.
Software: Our litigation support team uses Eclipse SE, which enables us to provide document review and production capacity up to 10,000,000 records per matter on our secure internal systems. This software:
- Automates some aspects of document review, such as identification of duplicate and near duplicates to save time
- Much faster processing times
- All data stored in our secure Edmonton data centre, and
- When it is necessary to send documents or data, we can provide it in a variety of formats to suit your preferences: MS Word, PDFs, Summation Briefcases, etc.
Eclipse SE allows us to describe, number, classify, and manipulate both scanned documents and native files for efficient production and exchange of records. The use of scanned copies of material and/or exact digital copies of native files allows original documents to be preserved intact, and the software gives us the capability to search native files and OCR, to redact privileged or confidential material, and to create electronic "packages" in various formats that can be provided to you, opposing counsel, co-counsel, and experts with minimal time expenditure.
Business lawyers use specialized document assembly software. We use The Conveyancer by Do Process so that our real estate paralegals can systematize their workflows and ALF in our corporate services team for efficient and effective filings. Business law clients benefit from the use of “blacklining” programs and metadata removal services offered by the WorkShare software suite, deployed throughout the firm.
Netdocs, a fully text searchable document management system is used firm-wide. Netdocs allows us to securely store our work related to your matter as well as review and retrieve files quickly.
Law Librarians & Research Lawyer: The Field library team members offer personal research assistance and legislation monitoring along with assisting in a variety of efficiency based knowledge management activities. Because we offer so many tools for both print and electronic legal research, we also offer regular training and refreshers on these products.
Our Firm employs a dedicated research lawyer and has a very high number of junior lawyers and students who have done legal research and clerking at most levels of Court.
Field Law Librarians work closely with the Director of Knowledge Management and Process Improvement who has the responsibility of leading the development of methods and systems which enhance our lawyers’ abilities to create, store, find and use information efficiently.
Professional Development/Training: Our commitment to education and training is such a high priority that we created the position of Director of Professional Recruitment and Development. Responsible for coordinating the delivery of our various continuing legal education and professional initiatives, our Director is constantly looking for ways to build upon and expand our existing programs. Our goal is to ensure that all of our lawyers can access the resources they need in order to become outstanding legal advisors to our clients. Highlights of our current programs include:
- Field Excels, a broadly based internal continuing education program focused on topics related to practice management, ethics, business development and the business of law
- Regular Practice Group meetings, with an emphasis on legal developments in specific areas of law
- Support for external continuing legal education through several recognized organizations, including Legal Education Society of Alberta, Canadian Bar Association, Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association, and The Advocates Society
- Supporting partners who would like to work on their L.L.M. degrees
- A mentorship program for all associate lawyers to support their training and development on an individualized basis, and
- A comprehensive and well-structured articling program with formal rotations in both litigation and corporate law.
Additionally a large number of our lawyers engage in law school teaching which allows us to give back to our legal academic communities and keeps us on the cutting edge of developments in various areas.
Technology: Clients benefit from our investment in and streamlining of technology. Information is stored in a centralized data centre with disaster recovery redundancies for continuous access to data, managed maintenance and support of computer hardware, and minimal downtime and operating costs. Field operates on virtual desktops and Field lawyers and staff have access to our network applications, services and data from anywhere, anytime using just about any computer, tablet or smartphone on a secured connection.
Global Network: Field Law is a member of SCG Legal, allowing you access, (through us) to legal representation around the world. SCG Legal is a seamless global network of over 140 independent law firms serving businesses in all 50 U.S. state capital cities and in capital cities and major international commercial centres. With access to nearly 12,000 lawyers, Field Law can help your business navigate a complex and ever-changing legal landscape to help you solve today’s toughest business challenges.
Focusing On You:
Client Feedback Audit: Client Feedback Audits are a regular part of our business and are meant to discuss all levels of satisfaction concerning your relationship with Field Law. Assessing our performance is critical in ensuring that we both enjoy a productive, long-standing, transparent and mutually beneficial relationship. Members of senior leadership usually conduct these face-to-face or voice-to-voice interviews.
Client Service Survey: In 2018, Field Law engaged the help of a leading market research firm serving the legal industry to conduct our first online Client Service Survey that focused on Field Law’s client service performance. This major initiative is helping us to identify key issues facing you, better understand your needs and service preferences, and identify ways to continually improve our service delivery.
Succession Planning: Succession or transition of a particular file or key relationship leader with you is critical. Field Law has a policy that if the change is due to a Field-initiated reason, we do not charge for the new lawyer's time to get up to speed on the file or relationship. When we do go through change, we advise you of the upcoming change to propose the transition strategy and work with you to make final decisions of team members and roles.
From an internal perspective, Field Law also has a succession plan and a strategic committee that addresses the evolution of law firm organizational structures, demographic imperatives and potential changes in retirement legislation.
Understanding Your Business:
Understanding your business is our business. We know that providing efficient and effective service means being actively involved in and knowledgeable of your industry, business, vision and objectives.
Field Law encourages its lawyers to become familiar with your business through visits to your workplaces, subscription to industry publications and attendance at and participation in events relevant to your business. Our advice and services benefit from this in-depth understanding and knowledge and you benefit from more informed advice that creates better relationships and delivers more value.