Akash Devani, partner, Anjarwalla & Khanna, with awards judge Toyah Pfafferott, GroCapital

Finalists: Baker McKenzie (Highly Commended); Bowmans; DLA Piper; Norton Rose Fulbright; VdA Vieira de Almeida; Webber Wentzel

Anjarwalla & Khanna was awarded the law firm innovation prize for its initiative to cut the time spent on individual real estate development, sales and leasing transactions.

Having initially introduced a document automation tool to speed up the process, the project team soon realised that document automation alone was not going to deliver the desired time and cost savings (the goal was to shave 75% off the time-recorded cost of a transaction in three months). That meant carrying out a thorough review of the current procedures to highlight inefficiencies, remove redundant tasks and to map out a faster system. This allowed the project team to streamline the process, allowing more work to be automated and reducing the number of lawyers needed to be involved from six to three.

The new system has also improved the way transactions are managed, with the client now able to track the progress of individual sales in real time. In the first month, time spent on these matters dropped by 40%. “Demonstrates a law firm trying to change the way it does business to deliver better client service. Firms often talk about trying to achieve this but rarely dedicate the necessary resources to make it happen,” a judge commented.

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