2. Best Use of Technology-Article-201612130511(L-R): Awards host David Mitchell, chief knowledge officer Lucy Dillon, partner Andrew Jenkinson, partner, innovation manager Alex Smith, awards judge Oonagh Harpur

Finalists: Addleshaw Goddard, Ashurst, Linklaters, My Home Move (highly commended), Osborne Clarke, Shearman & Sterling, Simmons & Simmons

Reed Smith has developed a web-based platform that streamlines deals. It has delivered 20 new clients, prompting one judge to describe it as the “outright winner”.

The firm’s Deal Performance Platform (DPP) was devised by the UK-led knowledge management team, working with the IT department and legal practice groups. It automates deal-closing document preparation and provides instant web access to deal information and due diligence for all transaction participants. Deal information is accessible from any computer or mobile device.

According to the firm, automation means the effort and time typically required to prepare closing datasets has been significantly decreased, while use of customised share sites results in a reduction of email traffic by as much as 70%. The system boosts efficiency by allowing more work to be undertaken by more junior lawyers. Meanwhile, online post-closing binder sites, utilising automated taxonomies and hyperlinked documents have allowed for quick and easy reference during follow-on loan administration.

There is no charge for the initial set-up of the product and Reed Smith notes that some clients are hooking up DPP to related internal systems to improve processes more generally.