HabrakenRutten Advocaten in Rotterdam has grown from three to thirty employees in less than two years. In order to handle this growth, the law firm brought in Visser & Visser to optimise their work processes and much more.
The panoramic view of Rotterdam is breathtaking from the 25th floor of the Millennium Tower. The office of HabrakenRutten Advocaten offers far-reaching views in every direction. “From this height, you can literally see the city growing beneath you”, says Henk Raven, partner at HabrakenRutten Advocaten, referring to the wealth of modern architecture. The dynamism of this city is perfect for this young and fast-growing law firm. The firm advises clients in the construction, real estate and infrastructure sectors. They literally have the market at their feet.
At the beginning of February 2016, three lawyers moved into the office in the centre of Rotterdam. The company now has thirty staff and the workplace has been expanded to 1000 square metres. “We spent many years working for (inter)national full-service law firms and have therefore contributed to almost every large-scale construction, real estate and infrastructural project in the Netherlands. At the beginning of 2016, we felt it was time to combine our knowledge and experience in a law firm which specialises in construction, real estate and infrastructure. This became HabrakenRutten Advocaten. We take on complex, multidisciplinary cases and this demands capacity, knowledge, experience, high-quality premises and professional workflow management. We have therefore made significant investments in these areas in recent years.”
The law firm turned to Visser & Visser for the digitalisation of their administration. “Our network recommended Visser & Visser as they are so service oriented. We really appreciate the fact that this accountancy firm understands that our time is precious and must be used to serve our clients as efficiently as possible. As a result, we want to minimise the time spent on internal processes. Visser & Visser have simplified and optimised our administrative and financial processes to a considerable extent. This saves us numerous hours every week, hours which we can now devote to our core activities.”
Overview of hours, turnover and costs
As a result of the optimisation of its work processes, the law firm has gained real-time insights into hours, turnover and costs with a single click of a button. The same applies to comparing the actual financial performance with the budget. Everything takes place using sophisticated online tools. Raven is enthusiastic. “We always know exactly where we are at any given moment, as well as the expectations for the coming period. This information is indispensable in a company which deals with dynamic investments which influence your cash flow.”
Figures on a daily basis
According to Raven, efficient administration is essential for the continuity of the law firm. “The world around us is changing as a result of digitalisation, internationalisation and the litigation culture. In brief, the provision of information is faster, our clients are investing internationally and society increasingly needs to put things in a legal framework. All these developments mean that we need to focus on our work 100%, while still needing constant insights into how we are doing and where the opportunities lie. Our figures are updated on a daily basis. It's a reassuring thought. These days, I no longer lie awake at night thinking about all the tedious processes I have to deal with.”
Raven emphasises that automation alone is not enough to ensure smooth sailing in the legal profession. “We're playing high-level sport here. That means we need to make good choices and bring together the right people. Not only are Visser & Visser helping us to transition into the organisation we would like to become, we can also turn to them with fiscal issues, questions about our personnel policy or any practical questions we may have. For example, they might also simply ask whether we really need to be so demanding in such a dynamic world. That kind of honest, good advice is indispensable. Certainly during times of growth.”
Innovative and refreshing insights
Dirk Verheul, client advisor at Visser & Visser: "Every hour spent on internal matters costs time and money! Our specialist department for the legal profession provides lawyers with innovative and refreshing insights into their practice. By means of practical solutions, knowledge and advice, we help law firms to grow their business.
Our service starts with streamlining the administrative processes to make them smart and efficient. This immediately allows lawyers to reduce their indirect hours, freeing up time which could be better spent on current cases. We also give advice on the basis of figures which are compared against the sector or the budget. Finally, we focus on tax issues, valuations, financing or the transfer of a practice, for example."