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Challenges in Promoting Km

Page 1 of 31

Prepared for

Walters Cameron & Partners

TSE Wai Kit

Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction


2.0 Background


3.0 Methodology


4.0 SWOT analysis


5.0 GAP analysis


6.0 Formulization of Strategies


7.1 Plan a reward/recognition system & Develop Lawyers’ expertise


7.2 Improve the CoP


7.3 Improve the lessons learned from cases by after action review


7.4. Big data analysis training for lawyers/ information service team


8.0 Change Management


9.0 Timeframe for action


10.0 Members for the project report


11.0 Conclusion


12.0 Appendix


1.0 Introduction

This project is prepared for the Chief Knowledge Officer of Walters Cameron & Partners, a law firm providing professional legal advices/services for its clients. Knowing that the firm has encountered challenges in promoting KM and foresees problems that may arise, this project explores and proposes some possible solutions for implementation and improve the company’s situations. According to Drucker (1986), the only unique resource in an organization is nothing but the knowledge, which means that knowledge is the core asset in the value creation of an organization. As a knowledge-intensive organization, the law firm – Walters Cameron & Partners with 39 branches in 26 countries is geared to provide service by advising their clients basing on their technical knowhow and problem solving expertise, which highlights the importance of knowledge. This firm possesses an independent Knowledge Resources Department which incorporates three branches: Professional Support, Library & Research and Connect. Professional support team, library & research team, competitive intelligence team and connect team are performing their own functions respectively. However, there are still some issues deterring the development of this firm. This report is meant to prepare an analysis of the problems and recommendations for the future action to ensure the firm operates efficiently and competitively.

Knowledge Management refers to discern and organize the collective knowledge in an institute to enhance its competitiveness. Knowledge management is aimed at improving innovation capability and reaction capacity (Hackbarth, 1998). In this era of knowledge-driven economy, obtaining and managing the knowledge effectively not only directivity determines the professional level of the office, but also concerns the firm’s core competitiveness. Walters Cameron & Partners has already initiated KM in the company for years. It has its Knowledge Resources Department that is responsible for providing Professional Support, Library & Research, Competitive Intelligence, and Connect.

2.0 Background

In order to fully realize the advantages of Knowledge Management (KM) within the industry, it is essential to understand the structure of law firms, the stakeholders involved, and the motivation behind the creation of a law firm. Law firms are similar to social communities which specialize in speed and efficiency in creating and transferring legal knowledge. When this statement is broken down into separate components and examined further, it exemplifies the ‘ideal’ firm. The ideal firm consists of a community of individuals who create and transfer knowledge quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, because of the stakeholders involved, this is not always the case. A law firm is generally composed of lawyers, paralegals, managers, support personnel and administrators. These diverse occupations have distinct functions, yet these individuals must work together to achieve the desired outcome of adding value to the firm. However, it also states that each law firm has a unique set of distinct characteristics and operating procedures that can play an important role in the creation and implementation of a KM strategy. To understand the reasons why KM is such an important business driver, it is essential to be aware of the scope and purpose of a law firm. A firm’s mission and purpose of the firm can be useful in providing a clear and accurate snapshot of both the scope. The American Lawyer (2015) wrote about the business strategies of the company, the firm’s new five-year-plan is to grow substantially in New York and London, increasing the firm’s presence in each city to 500 lawyers. The firm will specifically target growth in its M&A, private equity, capital markets and disputes practices, with a special focus on the private equity, financial institutions, technology and oil and gas industries. Secondly, the firm will be ramping up existing training programs for all lawyers, designed in part to foster deeper working relationships between the firm’s global outposts. That will mean a greater focus on regional and global training events, which usually last from about half a day to three days and focus on both practice subject matter and internal networking. Finally, the firm has taken a hard look at its approach to client services and client relationships. Over the past two years, the firm has conducted hundreds of interviews with senior partners, business services staff, general counsel and client CEOs to discuss what the firm is doing well—and what it could be doing better. One lesson from the interviews is that clients prefer lawyers with strong preexisting ties, especially when it comes to cross-border work. Clients want true partners, rather than vendors, he says.

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