Agency: Building Blocks (part of Dept)

Building Blocks explain how they created a centralised extranet for commercial law firm dwf

dwf LLP is a British commercial law firm, headquartered in Manchester with twelve offices across England, Scotland and Ireland. With over 2,500 employees and an annual revenue of over £190 million, dwf is one of the largest law firms in the country.

As a forward-thinking organisation, dwf was keen to implement a Digital Transformation strategy to improve customer experience, whilst delivering operational efficiencies.  The organisation had already identified that digital could provide a key differentiator for it in the legal sector, and sought a like-minded agency who could help them develop and implement an innovative, digital case management platform.

dwf wanted a centralised extranet, accessible to clients and employees, which could act as a hub for all information and documentation related to legal cases.  The overarching objectives of this project were to:

  • Develop a centralised system, providing a personalised dashboard for clients and lawyers with up-to-date legal case information, access to documentation and a platform to collaborate with stakeholders.
  • Drive operational efficiency by freeing up some of the time lawyers were spending on account management.dwf-link-tablet 


Building Blocks provided full life-cycle services for this project, from requirements gathering, creative and UX, through to front and back-end Umbraco development and delivery. We also created a digital roadmap for dwf, to provide a structured strategy to help them fulfil their digital potential.


Online case access and management

dwf link is a centralised system that provides secure and timely legal case information to clients and lawyers.  Clients are able to access, manage and share legal cases, important documents, products and contacts all in one secure location, at any time and from any device, without the need to install system software.

Personalised dashboards act as the gateway to all legal case documentation and status information. With everything in one location, clients have the flexibility to view legal documents, contracts, medical expert reports, witness reports, letters and management data.

Clients can quickly view current stats and data relating to live cases and costs, helping them to manage their budget and make decisions.

Improved collaboration

dwf link gives clients the flexibility to collaborate with everyone involved in their legal case, removing lengthy email chains.

Stakeholders can co-work on documents online, reducing response times from third party suppliers by using notifications to signpost the clauses and information that they need to advise on.

A powerful search tool enables clients to navigate through documents, data and contacts at speed.

Secure document management

The system is built on a hyper-secure internal network, and encompasses granular role and permissions functionality to ensure the privacy and protection of clients’ information.

Clients have the power to control access of different levels of data for people within their teams, and can also provide levels of access to third parties, such as medical experts, barristers and opposing counsel.

Everyone working in parallel helps generate a speedy turnaround of work. As people move on, it’s a straight forward, self-serve process to transfer access rights, so clients’ work is always accessible and visible to the relevant people.

Access to all case stakeholders in one place

dwf link is transparent and gives clients unlimited access to their key contacts and dwf’s business and legal experts.

By acting as a contacts database, clients can easily trace and contact the lawyers working on each of their legal cases, which reduces the time needed to triage and respond to telephone enquiries.

In turn, this has improved the customer experience; clients now know exactly who the right person to deal with their enquiry is, and can contact them in the knowledge that they all have access to the most up-to-date information.

Tailored news and events

A content streaming service delivers tailored news, updates and event information from across the web.

Cross-selling opportunities

In regards to revenue improvements, dwf now has a digital platform to cross-sell and up-sell to clients, based on their account history.

Clients can access dwf’s full range of apps and products, and request free trials and demos.


Operational efficiency

The business is already benefitting from operational efficiencies. By enabling clients to access the status and documentation related to their legal cases, there has been time savings related to the reduction in the number of inbound calls to lawyers.

Continuous improvement

We are continuing to work closely with dwf, and are currently developing new functionality to further improve dwf link.

Marketing automation functionality will enable automated, personalised emails to clients and employees, which will summarise the last week’s actions in relation to specific cases.

A new speed reading widget will inform a lawyer of the estimated time needed to read through all the case documentation, based on their average word-per-minute speed.

Based on an individual’s permission level, they will have access to an events calendar which will include lead times for when cases go to litigation, and encourage attendance at dwf’s events.

Doing things differently

Andrew Leaitherland, Managing Partner and CEO at dwf said, “We do things differently. dwf link is our latest web based service that delivers a collaborative and transparent way of working. ​I appreciate what it takes to run a business, it’s invaluable to have management information at your fingertips, helping you to make the right decisions, quickly, based on real time data and insight.