Digital Dialogue Revs Up at Top Firms

September 10, 2007

Matt Kesner, Fenwick & West's Chief Technology Officer, was recently interviewed by Legal Technology News about the use of online collaboration, wireless tools and technical support teams at top law firms.

A recent survey from AmLaw Tech indicated there is a growing appetite among law firms for modern technological tools, such as extranets that share information with clients, voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and mobile wireless technology.

Fenwick & West became one of the earliest firms to adopt some of these technological tools. Six years ago, the firm began hosting its own online collaboration extranet and implemented VoIP technology.

"Collaboration is the name of the game today," says Kesner, who praises it as an "invaluable tool in our work with clients."

He elaborates, "We now create standard extranet spaces for every client matter. We have conducted a number of multibillion-dollar acquisitions in these virtual spaces."

Increased efficiency and improved client satisfaction are some of the benefits of online collaboration. Extranets help the firm reduce the transaction costs of work with attorneys for clients, and VoIP, which allows users to make voice calls over the internet, facilitates communication between attorneys and clients.

Fenwick & West also makes it a priority to have continuous on-site technical support, a relatively rare feature of law firms. A 24-hour pager service is answered by a high-level engineer within thirty minutes of a call. The firm's technical team supports Fenwick clients as well as attorneys and employees.

Kesner explains the Fenwick technical team's new mission, "Just like our lawyers, our focus is now on serving firm clients."