Due to Covid-19, businesses worldwide had to rapidly adopt new ways of working, with a focus on remote working and remote services. Simmons & Simmons Germany were due to hold a firmwide innovation workshop in June. However, instead of taking place face-to-face as originally organized, a new plan was created to hold a virtual workshop for the Innovation Circle with the CS team at BRYTER.
What is the Innovation Circle?
The novel “Innovation Circle” initiated by Simmons & Simmons is specifically designed to bring together innovation enthusiasts and proactive team players. As “Innovation Multipliers”, they explore and experiment with new approaches for themselves and their practice groups.
The Innovation Circle focuses on both soft skills, such as Design Thinking, as well as hard skills to build up tech expertise. Particularly active team members, known as “enablers”, are expected to promote and build upon these skills to generate additional value streams within their practice groups. This allows sustainable identification of new legal products and better ways of working.
The advantages of No Code platforms
The virtual workshop began with a product demo session run by the BRYTER CS team, demonstrating the BRYTER toolkit functionalities and outlining the possibilities for the rest of the workshop. Following this, four drop-in ideation sessions were held to discuss use-case ideas on an abstract level. As many attendees were more familiar with face-to-face meetings, holding these initial ideation sessions proved a great introduction to the workshop, by allowing participants to collaborate virtually from the outset.
Participants were divided into smaller groups to brainstorm and identify use cases which could then be built with BRYTER as an application for internal or external use. The groups designed 6 different use cases, including a transparency register tool, a regulatory assessment of target funds tool and a side-letter generator.
Gathered in virtual break-out rooms, teams prepared use cases and started developing legal product prototypes. The objective of these sessions was to build functional prototypes that could be later developed and tested with clients and internal stakeholders, outside of the workshop. During this phase, support was provided by the Simmons & Simmons Innovation Manager Alkan Dogan as well as the BRYTER team.
From the start of the virtual workshop, the advantage of the BRYTER no-code platform was apparent: users can start building applications immediately, without prior programming knowledge. In no time at all, projects can be designed and developed within the platform, even without technical know-how. Changes or improvements can also be easily made, removing the need for lengthy and labor-intensive planning phases. Prototypes can be easily shared via a link and are immediately available for all employees and clients to provide feedback. This enables early stakeholder involvement in the development of applications, enhancing usability and guaranteeing an actual later application.
The workshop helped foster a productive and collaborative atmosphere between the team members who worked together as module authors, coupled with positive feedback from Innovation Circle members.
Enterprise ready prototypes in one day
At the end of the workshop, all participants presented their prototypes in a joint discussion and question session.
Over the workshop each team succeeded in creating an initial prototype within only one day. For Simmons & Simmons this achievement represents a considerable additional benefit.
To finish, all workshop participants could share their impressions and lessons in a feedback round:
BRYTER finally offers lawyers the opportunity to become as active as legal tech engineers themselves and to broaden their own horizons. The support provided by BRYTER employees is characterized by a good understanding of market needs and helps to further increase the marketability of the tools. Within a short period of time, operational tools can be generated, which encourages the company to consistently pursue its own legal tech approach,
commented Sabrina Schwiebert, Supervising Associate at Simmons & Simmons.
Sabrina specializes in asset management and regulatory law, in particular with regard to private equity funds, real estate funds and debt funds. She advises a wide range of financial actors like regulated investors, insurance companies and asset managers. Sabrina has extensive knowledge with investments of German insurance companies and other regulated investors. She has assisted in structuring and implementing fund-of-fund structures, fund platforms for indirect investments and tax efficient structured products.
The smooth and extremely productive course of the BRYTER Remote Workshop showed once again that even in our industry the possibilities and the potential of using innovative tools is extensive. I am looking forward to further exciting projects,
said Isabella Schmidt, Associate at Simmons & Simmons.
Isabella is a lawyer based in the Munich office of Simmons & Simmons. She specializes on advising complex, cross-border M&A transactions with a focus on the life science and technology sector. She also advises on general corporate and commercial law as well as in real estate transactions. Furthermore, she represents clients in court on corporate disputes.
The combination of proactive engagement and smooth deployment of technology solutions was a key factor in the success of our first innovation workshop. The functionalities of BRYTER open up new opportunities for our lawyers to implement their product ideas and thus help shape the future of legal services. We look forward to continuing our close cooperation with BRYTER,
adds Alkan Dogan, Innovation Manager at Simmons & Simmons Germany.
As Innovation Manager Alkan Dogan is responsible for the development of the innovation department within the German offices of Simmons & Simmons. He is responsible for the firm-wide introduction and implementation of new innovation formats and the implementation of innovative measures to support the workforce. This includes in particular the automation of documents and the development of “Legal Products” for clients.