Lewis Silkin

International commercial law firm
International commercial law firm Lewis Silkin, renowned for their work with creative, innovative & brand-focused businesses chooses Knowledgemill Filer™ to ensure GDPR Compliance.

One of the greatest challenges facing global businesses today is the sheer volume of data (email and documentation) that defies management. With the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018, companies need to ensure from the outset that they are confident in knowing where their data is or face substantial fines.

The GDPR considers any data that can be used to identify an individual as personal data. It includes, for the first time, segments such as genetic, mental, cultural, economic or social information.

Challenges

The GDPR does not simply apply to EU domestic business, but to companies worldwide that target their goods and services to European citizens. Currently corporates demonstrate a lack of understanding around GDPR compliancy and the impact on their company. Furthermore, “To be compliant with GDPR, all companies will need to demonstrate control of all personal data.” ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) on the GDPR Breach Notification. However “Locating customer data is likely to be the biggest challenge to fulfilling personal data erasure requests under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).” Gartner 2017

Protecting and securing data isn’t about creating a veil of secrecy. It’s about breaking down silos. It’s about control. It’s about making the data transparent, where necessary, across the organization. After all, you can’t protect what you don’t know. Under the GDPR, it’s clear that the responsibility of protecting the personal data of customers and prospects falls on the shoulders of the organisation.

To ensure GDPR compliance, you must be able to answer the following two critical questions and show proof of your answers: 1 Where is my Data? & 2. Who is responsible for the data?

As a leading law firm, Lewis Silkin work with a range of businesses from global organisations through to cutting edge start-ups and manage their legal needs through the full life-cycle of the business from start-up to full market listing. The team at Lewis Silkin manage many clients and multiple matters for these clients on an ongoing basis which generates a large number of documents and a huge number of emails. Carol Skinner, (Head of IT at Lewis Silkin) suggests that “Matter-specific emails could outnumber documents by 10 to 1 and caused the main problem. Lawyers were struggling with the sheer volume of emails in their inbox each day and attempts to ensure that they were filed in the right place in real time were proving ineffective. Filing and retrieval was also becoming very time consuming”.

This lack of central filing meant that matter records were incomplete as the emails often provided the commentary around the centrally filed managed documents.

In addition, this lack of central filing meant that clear daily oversight of matters proved difficult. Without being cc’d on every mail, it was hard for partners who managed a client to keep track of all the communications to the client from their team. As Carol Skinner, (Head of IT at Lewis Silkin) explains “document management was an area that we understood well but email management can be complex and emails need to be treated differently when it comes to filing and searching.”

Email was often filed by individuals in their own Outlook folders, which meant that communications both internally and externally were not being shared and information was held in silos.

Finally, due to the volume of emails being sent and received, Lewis Silkin’s IT department had to maintain very large mailboxes. Carol suggests that her team had to manage, ‘a very large and complex exchange environment which was time consuming and costly.’

Challenges

  • Incomplete email matter files
  • Difficulty in collaborating
  • Time consuming email and document filing and retrieval
  • GDPR compliancy
Solutions

  • Knowledgemill Email Filer
Results

  • Improve corporate collaboration
  • Increase corporate productivity
  • Improve customer service
  • Ensure corporate compliancy

Solution

Knowledgemill Filer™ has been seamlessly and quickly implemented across the firm by 60 Partners and over 300 people with no down time. Set up and training was fast and easy due to the intuitive, user friendly interface. By implementing Knowledgemill Filer™, Lewis Silkin has improved employee productivity and enhanced client service by intelligently automating the storage of all internal & external emails and documents into one secure, unified set of shareable workspaces whilst being confident that they are complying with the upcoming GDPR.

Matter filing structures were quickly derived from Lewis Silkins’s Practice Management Software, Elite 3E, by use of a connector. Non-matter filing structures were obtained from SharePoint by a standard off-the-shelf connector.

‘The process was painless,’ reports Carol Skinner, (Head of IT at Lewis Silkin)

Results

Improved corporate collaboration– All the team at Lewis Silkin, including partners, use the shared client folders, so everyone is always up-to-date, in real time, with internal and external communications that have taken place with the client.

Increase corporate productivity – Knowledgemill Filer™ has cut down the need for the team at Lewis Silkin to file emails and has reduced the time spent looking for emails, asking colleagues for information or forwarding and cc’ing.

Improved customer service taking a query for a colleague, or providing relationship continuity over holidays or staff changes, every member of the team can now see the latest communication thread and pick up on it.

Ensure corporate compliancy – Lewis Silkin is confident that Knowledgemill Filer™ ensures compliance with GDPR:

  • Sensitive emails are now filed in the right place automatically, and where needed, classified and stored by client and case.
  • Knowledgemill Filer™ supports ‘The right to be forgotten’ by allowing emails associated with the Data Subject to be found very quickly and deleted.

More than 50% of our data is created in or shared by email. Knowledgemill Filer™ helped us get immediate and audit-able control of our largest source of unstructured data, thereby rapidly making us GDPR Compliant.

  • The finding of data breaches is fully supported as every action on a filed email is immediately logged.
  • Fully-configurable security rules mean privacy is designed into Knowledgemill Filer™

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