Autonomy First Lawyers is Australia’s first collaborative, cognitively-responsive law firm.

Collaboration means working together using common processes and practices to reach a common goal for our clients and their supporters or successors, as well as ourselves. Effective collaboration helps our clients achieve their wealth conservation, estate administration and succession objectives. It also helps us efficiently and cost-effectively marshal resources that can support our clients, using a common process to create shared value for clients from which all benefit. Collaboration allows more cooperation across professional boundaries in the service of clients.

Earlier this year we were proud to work with marketing agency Ucidity, the Institute of Collaborative Work and the CBD Sydney Chamber of Commerce, to sponsor an event entitled ‘Collaborate and Grow 2022’. The event was designed to give legal professionals the opportunity to leverage each other’s specialties.

Before the event, a full house of attendees was invited to complete a survey and share a snapshot of collaborative working in their organisations.

Here’s what we learned.

How collaborative is your organisation?

Of those attending, 76% felt their organisation to be ‘Highly collaborative, with the remaining 24% opting for ‘Usually collaborative’.

What do you need to be more collaborative?

45% of attendees said that ‘Closer engagement with supply chain partners’ would help them be more collaborative, 35% said ‘Community of practice access’ and 10% felt that ‘Better technology’ would help.

What tools do you need to support collaboration?

This question elicited a variety of responses, listed below:

  • Teams, emails, calls
  • Unsure
  • Getting to know each other
  • Leadership
  • Software
  • More tools, training
  • Business plan upgrade.
  • Not sure/unsure
  • Technology and culture
  • Training from the firm on cross-referrals, practice areas and team members’ specialties
  • Collaboration confuses me a little when it comes to fees for businesses involved. I would like clarity around that.
  • I believe that it is important for the lead collaborator in any organisation to actively share his or her collaborative channels with others in his or her own organisation and foster introductions to these channels amongst colleagues in all connected organisations.
  • Management leadership 2 Culture of collaboration 3. Clear collaboration principles and processes
  • IT systems, appropriate working environments, people that want to work together and are not competitive.
  • None – just genuine curiosity, awareness and a willingness to ‘be of service’
  • flexible on the tools if it is an efficient system and use of time.
  • low latency internet mobile phones
  • webcams, dual monitors
  • Better software

Which modes of training delivery would you prefer in order to progress collaboration in your organisation?

  1. face to face training 48%
  2. mentor-off peer review43%
  3. self-paced e-learning33%
  4. hybrid model 33%
  5. audio/podcast 24%
  6. AV classroom, Private Reading, ‘teaching and learning’ delivery. 14%

How will collaboration deliver value to your organisation?

  • Hopefully increased revenue!
  • Greater outcomes for clients which lead to better business outcomes.
  • Better engagement.
  • Access to larger organisations and clients
  • Act as a value driver
  • Building better relationships
  • A rising tide lifts all ships
  • Better results and service by giving our organisation a positive reputation for providing the best services to clients
  • Very important – open more doors
  • To my mind, collaboration to the fullest extent possible on any complex engagement is the only way to assure the provision of complete advice, which should be the professional goal of any engagement. So, to me, collaboration is a must.
  • Formalising collaboration plays a significant part in establishing a truly collaborative culture. It also allows for difficult conversations to be addressed more effectively. Finally formalised collaboration acts as a force multiplier to all other areas of the organisation, particularly in project delivery.
  • greater efficiency
  • Collaboration delivers value to my organisation by increasing sales to the bottom-line yet it also delivers inspiration, engagement and empowerment to my colleagues, peers and industry network. When we are engaged in our working life, our character and who we are excels and demonstrates commitment to excellence. “A rising tide lifts all boats”
  • Help our services to reach more people and grow revenue opportunities to support reaching more people.

We are planning more events like this in the future, so please contact us to be kept informed.