Client: META Advisors LLC
Law firms regularly talk about being responsive to client needs. Knox Design Strategy helps firms take responsiveness to a whole new level.
Working with development partners, SiteCraft and Muccillo Tech, Knox collaborated with Kelley Drye to build an online database from the ground up for one of the firm’s clients, META Advisors. META specializes in post-confirmation administration of bankruptcy estates, a complex specialty involving inputting and managing thousands of data points. The project’s goal was to reimagine the bankruptcy claims management and reconciliation process. It needed to be more efficient, less labor-intensive and less prone to human error.
In designing the new tool, we first studied the friction points in the day-to-day process, analyzing two key elements of the system – users and data. The user base was complex, and included both individual and commercial creditors, claims agents, trustees, outside counsel and others, often from multiple firms. Each user had different needs and differing requirements.
The previous manual process included collecting data in a number of Excel workbooks from different sources. Because it involved multiple people analyzing and manipulating thousands of rows of data, it was extremely vulnerable to human error.
Additionally, W-8 and W-9 forms required by creditors were collected via postal mail or a secure file upload that was not matched to the case or claim, and problems with this data were also handled by mail. This increased processing time significantly, and was not particularly secure.
Post-discovery, our iterative process involved developing clickable prototypes initially tested by users. Data is now uploaded directly into the system by creditors, along with their W-8 or W-9 forms. Creditors are notified of problems directly in the system. Postal mail submissions have been greatly reduced and data is now handled more securely — information never leaves the system. Creditors can also track the status of their claims online. There is greater efficiency overall and less legal and accounting time is required. Data is more accurate, and follow-up is both more timely and less frequent.
The system also has a robust claim administration component for the lawyers where they can review and manage the lifecycle and distributions for different types of claims in each case they manage.
The attorneys’ realization rate has significantly increased because the system is much easier to use. Users now receive automated notifications and track the status of claims online. With the combination of increased efficiency, greater accuracy and timely follow-up, creditors receive payment significantly faster.
And most importantly, Kelley Drye’s relationship with their client is stronger – they identified and addressed a need the client didn’t even know they had, and delivered a better solution with a clear bottom-line impact. Law firms don’t get more responsive than that.
A variety of W-8 and W-9 forms are available for download directly from the website. Descriptions of each form provide clarifying information to ensure users download and submit the correct form without ever leaving the claims management site. Online forms along with the uploaded PDFs provide the attorneys the tax information electronically because users save and upload directly into the system.
Auto suggestion includes the claim number, case and creditor names – all of which are populated as the user types into the search bar. Predictive search eliminates the need for exact keyword matches and helps the user narrow down options by providing a variety of relevant information. Once selected, a user can view various information about a claim and track a claim within their dashboard.