UK: Lovells' Knowledge Management System Wins Further Praise
Last Updated: 14 November 2001

Lovells' knowledge management system, 'Total Access 2001', has won the Legal IT Award for Best Knowledge Management Project. This award, for the second phase of the system which was rolled out in February 2001, is the second that it has won: the original version of Total Access won ‘Best Use of IT’ in the 1998 The Lawyer/HIFAL awards.

Total Access is a unique knowledge bank, representing the combined legal know-how of lawyers in all of Lovells' practice areas. The system is unusual in that lawyers rather than technologists have driven its development. Material to go on to the system is selected by the lawyers themselves, with important editing and preparation by professional support lawyers.

The majority of the current improvements have come about as a direct result of feedback and suggestions from legal staff using the system. The improvements include the ability to filter the information by continent, country, or system of law; to add individual comments to materials and to build up research folders for key materials. It is designed to support international practice areas and is accessible to all of the practice areas in 20 offices across North America, Europe and Asia. Total Access is integrated with the firm’s document management system, ensuring the speed and quality of the information is optimised.

Total Access remains in the forefront of comparable systems in place at other international firms and therefore gives Lovells an important competitive advantage.

John Trotter, the partner leading Lovells' Training Steering Group, said:

"The improvements and expansion of Total Access ensure that our system remains at the cutting edge. Total Access 2001 was designed to support our international practice. It was launched globally and the objective is to help us advise our clients more quickly wherever they are."

Ed Dean, Director of IT, added:

"I am delighted that the success of the new version of Total Access has been recognised. Our IT team has worked very hard with our lawyers to develop the right tools for processing legal information and presenting it effectively."



Notes to Editors:

The award was presented on 18th October at the Legal IT Forum at Gleneagles Hotel, the citation reads:

"The award for knowledge management goes to Lovells for Total Access 2001. Knowledge Management systems are notoriously difficult to evaluate. Like teaching, knowledge management is a job that is easy to do badly, but very difficult to do well. The judges were impressed by Lovells' commitment to organising and processing those materials that represent the intellectual capital of the firm. Total Access 2001 itself builds on a successful system that has been running in Lovells since 1989 and which is now supported by 20 full time professional support lawyers. The firm has a highly developed taxonomy for describing its practice and the repository of the system which contains nearly 150,000 documents has now been rolled out in 20 offices across North America, Europe and Asia. The latest incarnation is capable of regional views and on a search it will, at first instance, default to material which is relevant to the jurisdiction in which fee earners are currently located."

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