A North-East law firm has beaten global competition to win a national award for innovation after developing a game-changing product.

Muckle LLP has won a Legal Practice Management (LPM) Practice Excellence Award for Innovation, after teaming up with Sunderland University and Innovative UK to develop a new product that automates part of the firm’s debt recovery process.

The technology, which was developed in-house at Muckle, rapidly speeds up a number of back-office elements behind debt recovery and the new system can set up a debt 15 times faster than it takes a human to perform the same task.

Muckle, a Newcastle-based law firm for businesses, was the only North-East firm shortlisted at the LPM awards, judged by peers and industry experts, and beat a global law firm to the top spot at the award ceremony held in County Hall in London.

Judges were particularly impressed by the ‘story’ behind the technology and the law firm’s culture of embracing innovation, most recently through its knowledge transfer partnership agreement with Sunderland University.

This partnership, which is supported by Innovate UK, has been a key part of developing the award winning debt recovery system which improves efficiency and collection success rates for clients.

Julie Parr, director of business improvement at Muckle, said: “We’re delighted to win and be recognised nationally for leading debt recovery and legal innovation amidst such tough competition from multi-site and global law firms.

“The recognition of our peers is a fantastic endorsement for our broader vision for new technologies that will help us to transform a number of our legal services.

“With nothing more than an idea and a desire to do things differently for the benefit of our clients, we have developed something new that will take our debt recovery team, which is already performing at an industry leading standard, to the next level.

“We’re no longer talking just about human intelligence, we’re also using artificial intelligence to complement our service, giving our debt recovery team more time to develop bespoke strategies and deliver an even more personal service to clients with excellent debt collection success rates.”

Working closely with debt recovery manager Beverley Oliver, Julie Parr devised the automated system which was subsequently developed by the firm’s in-house data scientist Allen Roberton.

Legal 500 UK currently ranks Muckle top in the North for debt recovery and the system has helped to improve their collection success rate to an impressive 91 per cent.

Managing partner Jason Wainwright said: “I’m so proud of Julie and the team for their hard work, creative thinking and determination to embrace change and continually improve the service our clients receive.

“Muckle has always been about breaking the mould and challenging traditional methods to drive a more efficient service for clients and better results for businesses.

“Innovation is at the heart of everything we do and this award recognises just one of a variety of projects we’re currently developing to continue to enhance our legal services.”

Professor Jon Timmis, deputy vice-chancellor (commercial) at the University of Sunderland, said: “The success of our relationship with Muckle reflects the importance of KTPs to the university and the partners we work so closely with.

“We are delighted to hear about Muckle LLP’s LPM Practice Excellence and, as a university, we remain committed to working on projects which ultimately have a beneficial impact on the North East and beyond.”

 

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