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No-one works harder than lawyers. And its happening 24/7. The round-the-clock activity puts tremendous strain on both the IT-infrastructure, devices and the need for support within one of the largest lawfirms in Denmark.
Technology plays a increasingly bigger role in one of the world’s largest law firms. Performance and security must be at the highest possible level, and the future brings a wave of automation. A well-functioning and secure infrastructure is a prerequisite.
We spoke to Brian Bremer, Head of IT at DLA Piper Denmark.
“Accessibility and performance.” Brian Bremer answers immediately when asked about DLA Piper’s most important requirements for infrastructure. “Nobody works harder than lawyers, and that is day and night.
Everything comes down to time, and the better we – the IT department – can support the lawyers, the more efficiently they can work. Consequently, they are impatient and demanding users, and rightly so. The infrastructure must be completely updated. The systems must run, and they must be both fast and easily accessible so that no time is wasted.”
Today, IT delivers value
As a consequence, technology is an important prerequisite and a competitive factor for the law firm, Brian Bremer explains. “Years ago, IT was seen as a cost, but today people understand that we create value, and that the more resources we get the more value we can deliver. As a consequence, our strategy is clear – we follow the technological development, and we are always up to date with the development in order to be able to support the lawyers in the best possible way. Many of the systems we operate are heavy and require a lot of processor power. For that reason, we replace PCs every third year and phones every second year. Again, it is all about time and money. The new PCs make their money back quickly if they help the lawyers work faster.”
This way of thinking – focusing on being up to date with the development – made DLA Piper outsource all its IT to Itadel in 2012.
“It is expensive and difficult to have it all in-house. You need your own experts, and you need to constantly be up to date with the development. Now we can leave it to the experts at Itadel, and we can focus on supporting the business. And we have seen a significant increase in uptime,” Brian Bremer explains.
Brian Bremer is manager of the IT department at DLA Piper Denmark and is responsible for the daily operation as well as upgrades and expansion of the company’s IT infrastructure.
Brian has many years of experience in the IT industry, and before he started working at DLA Piper Denmark, he worked in the US for a number of years for large international companies such as IBM and New Breed Logistics.
Brian Bremer - Head of IT, DLA Piper Denmark
In addition to the fact that the technology must run, it must also be secure, which is priority number two at DLA Piper. “Security means a lot. When you are part of a global group, there are many strict security requirements and standards that we must follow, for instance ISO 27001,” Brian Bremer explains.
However, no one can feel safe, and in 2017 DLA Piper’s international offices experienced a large cyberattack – the same attack that paralyzed Mærsk and cost the company up to two billion Danish kroner – and since then, the focus on security has increased. “In recent years, the DLA Piper group has really tightened up in every way possible, and that is one of the main reasons why we chose Itadel as our supplier. They meet the security requirements in ways in which many Danish companies do not. This year, we moved to a new infrastructure – Itadel’s private cloud – which meets very strict security requirements. That is the kind of international level we choose.”
Double-digit automation potential
Similarly, DLA Piper’s level of ambition is high when it comes to new technology. Here, the lawyers’ line of profes- sion faces an automation wave – just like a number of other knowledge-based industries. Intelligent software takes over relatively many repetitive routine tasks that are part of the lawyers’ work today. An analysis made by McKinsey for Djøf (a Danish trade union that represents members who study or work within the areas of law, economics, strategy, management, politics, administration, business, research, communication and more) in 2017 shows that the lawyers’ work has an automation potential of 20-25 percent.
“A lot of the lawyers’ work is characterized by reading a lot of texts, comparing cases and finding legal practice. A soft- ware robot can do that much faster – it just needs to be fed with the information. There is a high potential for optimization and automation of procedures. For many people, it will change the way they work. We are working on RPA (Robotic Process Automation), however, we are also looking into other artificial intelligence and machine learning options. It is clearly an advantage for us to be part of one of the largest law firms in the world, considering the resources that are involved. We have developers in the US and Great Britain who work on new technologies that can make us even more efficient.”
But everything rests on the infrastructure, and that is why DLA Piper requires a partner that can keep up the high level and stay there, Brian Bremer says.
“We are a very dynamic company in which things change constantly, especially owing to new technology. Today, if you do not have the right infrastructure, you cannot work efficiently. That is why we need a business partner that can be agile with us when we talk about servers, upgrades and new IT solutions. I talk to Itadel at least every two weeks. We hold status meetings on a continuous basis where we review the current situation and talk about development as well as our ongoing projects. For instance, sizing of a new infrastructure or help for different cloud solutions. Itadel is a great match."
DLA Piper is a global law firm with offices in more than 40 countries in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. As the only law firm with global presence, DLA Piper has a unique opportunity to cover the cli- ents’ needs.
Cases often cross borders, and here the company can always make a strong team and draw on the knowledge from lawyer colleagues all over the world – something no other Danish law firm can do.
In Denmark, DLA Piper employs a little more than 400 employees in offices in Aarhus and Copenhagen. In 2020, DLA Piper in Copenhagen will move from the town hall square to the newly built Østerport II.