Curlington Legal Case Study
16 December 2022 05:55
David is a sole practitioner with over 30 years of experience specialising in technology law.
David’s firm, Curlington Legal, is a boutique law firm based in Sydney that focuses on drafting and negotiating IT contracts, intellectual property licensing and advice for technology companies. Prior to Curlington, David was in-house as the Asia Pacific General Counsel for two US software vendors. Prior to that, he was a partner at Clayton Utz and head of the Technology, Trade and Intellectual Property team.
While David has extensive experience in technology law, he is often confronted with situations where he is acting for technology companies, but his clients also require advice on other aspects of their business.
Besides technology legal matters, David’s clients often have employment disputes and from time to time the need to negotiate commercial leases. Previously, David would hand these matters to an employment or property law specialist to complete. To grow his practice and provide a more comprehensive service for his clients, David needed to take on work outside his traditional technology field and give advice in less familiar areas of law.
As a sole practitioner, David also requires a research solution that was affordable, easy to use and provided access to the reference works and guidance he required.
David had experience with other research platforms but proceeded with LexisNexis® several years ago because it offered the right mix of research and platform functionality.
David explains how Lexis Advance® became a critical part of his practice. ‘It’s my own little knowledge management associate that backs me up in my practice.It allows me to extend my practice into areas where traditionally I would have passed the matter to a specialist in that field. I don’t profess to be a specialist in employment law for example, but with the LexisNexis resources, I can do about 80 per cent of employment issues that come up with my clients.’
The logical, clear layout and useful content in Practical Guidance also appeal to David. ‘Practical Guidance is different from a reference text because it’s arranged in the context of a workflow and built to provide very practical knowledge. I find the toolkits and checklists provide that little bit of guidance that gives me comfort that I am doing my job and properly advising the client. You can see that the people who contribute are some of the leading members of their field.’
To delve deeper into a particular matter, David takes advantage of direct links from Practical Guidance to the other LexisNexis publications he subscribes to. ‘When I get into a topic that I’m unfamiliar with, I can get a good overview and then drill down. It’s exactly how I like to learn. I like to cover a topic from a broad level of understanding and then drill down for more detail.’
David’s research library is an integral part of his firm. In addition to Practical Guidance, David’s legal publications include CaseBase® Case Citator, LawNow PlusTM, Halsbury’s® Laws of Australia, the Australian Encyclopaedia of Forms & Precedents plus relevant practice area collections and individual publications. David optimises his package of research and guidance throughout the year to ensure each publication is delivering value to Curlington Legal and his clients.
I don’t profess to be a specialist in employment law for example, but with the LexisNexis resources, I can do about 80 per cent of employment issues that come up with my clients.
‘I refer to the Australian Encyclopaedia of Forms & Precedents when I need to draft an agreement that isn’t in my personal precedent database or is a one-off type of agreement. It’s helpful to make sure you haven’t overlooked anything. I’ve also taken precedents or parts of precedents from the encyclopaedia and made them my own, so I have a particular look and feel for my documents.’
David also enjoys using CaseBase, Australia’s most comprehensive case citator to discover the most current status on a matter of law. ‘I use CaseBase when I find something that I think is the latest view and then just check to make sure that it hasn’t been overruled.’
David estimates that Practical Guidance has provided the means to generate additional fees of $50,000 in the last 12 months alone.
Practical Guidance has become an essential resource for Curlington Legal, as well as its customised library of premium reference works and related practice area publications.
Lexis Advance delivers on the promise of a streamlined platform with visibility across the firm’s subscription of reference works, publications and guidance. ‘I think Lexis Advance and in particular Practical Guidance is essential for my business. The ability to hit a topic at a general level and then drill down is such a blessing. Practical Guidance has been set up that way which makes it very effective.’
David is particularly pleased with the way Practical Guidance has helped him generate additional revenue by guiding him in areas of the law he is less familiar with.
‘Using Practical Guidance, I’m able to practise in additional areas of business I don’t traditionally delve into. Furthermore, intellectual property law as a practice is changing in recent years, where I’m doing more work outside the traditional technology field, so it’s helpful there as well.’
Recently, David was handed an employment claim from one of his clients. He relied heavily on LexisNexis Practical Guidance Employment as he had not handled a general protection matter before. ‘Practical Guidance helped me understand the process, what was meant to happen and when. The end result was very good for my client.’
Over the last 12 months, David has made use of the resources in Practical Guidance to act on several matters which he would normally hand over to a specialist practitioner. David estimates that Practical Guidance has provided the means to generate additional fees of $50,000 in the last 12 months alone.
For particular areas of law, David sometimes commences his research using freely available resources such as a Google search, free legal information or publications from other law firms. However, David estimates that relying solely on free resources would increase his research time fivefold. ‘Using free resources for a matter could take an hour or two, however, I would be able to pull this information from Lexis Advance in 15 minutes. That’s the value of having editors and the value of having someone who’s laid out the materials in an organised and logical fashion.’
David’s experience with LexisNexis over the years has been very positive. ‘Ten years down the track, LexisNexis has provided the efficiency for me to remain a sole practitioner, able to do work at a reasonable price for my clients and able to advise them in areas where I don’t have as strong a background or as extensive experience.’
‘LexisNexis streamlines research and information gathering. With LexisNexis, I’m doing the research in 20 per cent of the time it would otherwise take. That saves me time and those benefits flow directly to my clients.’
With LexisNexis, I’m doing the research in 20 per cent of the time it would otherwise take. That saves me time and those benefits flow directly to my clients.
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