Insights Into Visualizations, User Demographics and Usage of The StructureFlow Application
What is Smart Structuring?
Organizations today are inundated with data that’s often teeming and siloed away in aging infrastructure. Not only is it difficult to make sense of that data, but it’s even more difficult to relay information to stakeholders and clients in a way that creates value while still being sensitive to coherency and time.
We understand that professionals in complex industries like law and finance work with detailed information and convoluted processes, structures and transactions. That means clear and easily-digestible information is all the more critical.
At StructureFlow, we have been partnering with some of the world’s leading law firms on structuring projects since 2017, enabling organizations to leverage data and intelligent technology to ingest, understand, analyze, visualize, and facilitate corporate structures and transactions. We’re committed to:
- Helping professionals extract real value from their data, by rapidly building and iterating precise visual models of structures and transactions
- Helping teams and parties collaborate effortlessly, with the ability to share projects internally and externally to ensure all stakeholders are aligned
- Helping organizations identify unseen risks and unlock more opportunities.
Having worked with so many different and noteworthy organizations around the world has enabled us to garner incredible insights about:
- The TYPE OF STRUCTURING WORK taking place at top-class law firms and;
- How VISUALIZATIONS have helped them address and resolve many of their pain-points.
The aim of this whitepaper:
This whitepaper aims to share some of our learnings through the last 5 years, specifically helping law firms and innovation specialists identify new and unexplored opportunities in their businesses.
We will cover:
- The types of visualizations created within law firms
- Structuring Professionals: Who are the individuals and teams using the platform within the firm, whether it be across practice areas or seniority levels
- Usage and Frequency: How the platform is being utilized and its most popular functionalities
Note: All information in this document is anonymized and aggregated across our customer base.
“StructureFlow makes us a better law firm. We are able to communicate information more succinctly and more accurately. And our experience is that clients respond to that.”
Global Head of Banking & Finance, Norton Rose Fulbright
The types of visualizations created within law firms
StructureFlow is a versatile and agile platform that helps users visualize information and processes, no matter the complexity.
In our many successful partnerships with leading law firms, we have noticed a broad range of the types of visualizations taking place. From visualizing investment structures, to corporate structures, to showcasing all the variegated steps involved in tax or transaction processing – visualizations are pivotal in helping professionals map out detailed steps involving multiple stakeholders across numerous organizations.
Diagram 1: Example visualization of a Private Equity data flow
Though StructureFlow makes it incredibly easy to map out complex matters within minutes, professionals have found value using it to portray even much simpler processes, as seen in the example below, (diagram 2).
Diagram 2: Example visualization of a company share options scheme.
Why is this important?
Because what might appear simple to you – the professional – is not necessarily as easy to grasp for your clients.
The professional of 10+ years in the field will know instinctively what a company share options scheme entails, but StructureFlow is empowering best-performing lawyers and organizations to visually model corporate structures and transactions in ways that allow clients to get on the same page, more speedily and accurately than ever before.
“You can turn it around quickly. You can edit it quickly. You can get it out the door to the client quickly, so you really see the impact it’s had on our team and making their lives easier. We’ve seen a lot of different teams adopt it for setting out, for example, how a court process works.”
Corporate M&A Partner at Burness Paull LLP
From our interactions with thousands of lawyers over the last five years, we have been able to build up a ‘structure bank’ of all the different types of visualizations we’ve seen created across the wide spectrum of organizations we’ve worked with, including, but not limited to:
- Group Structure Chart
- Global Group Structure
- Tax Structure
- Financed Property Group Structure
- Corporate Acquisition
- Management Buy-Out Structure
- Group Restructuring
- Transaction Steps Plan
Banking & Finance
- Trade Financing
- Asset Financing
- Development/Project Finance
- Pensions De-risking Transaction
- Ownership / Leasing Structure
- Litigation Process / Decision Map
- Commercial Litigation
- Regulatory / Compliance Investigation
Flowcharts & Process Maps
- Process Map / Timeline
- Company Org Chart
Structuring Professionals: The individuals and teams using the StructureFlow platform
As evidenced below (diagram 3), we have lawyers using the StructureFlow platform across a variety of practice areas.
We’ve seen transactional teams become some of the most avid users of the software, for example, in conducting due diligence on what is being sold, bought or restructured. StructureFlow is also used to create strategic plans to help map out a series of events when it comes to structuring a deal or acting as a record when a transaction is finalized upon completion.
Diagram 3: Aggregation of StructureFlow customer data indicating the breakdown of teams using the application
How lawyers use StructureFlow
Through our usage statistics reports, we have often seen high adoption rates in core transaction teams, (i.e. corporate, tax, banking and finance). These are teams that by nature have to work together on highly intricate projects, with many roles, processes and goals being involved in the mix.
These complicated workflows often serve as a hindrance to deals progressing to completion. StructureFlow has helped these teams visually model entire workflows to their final stages, simplifying the complex and clarifying the obscure, so that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same end-goal.
While many practitioners find the application helpful in demystifying ‘what may be’, (i.e. the different options available and decisions that could be made), the very opposite is true too.
Usage of the platform amongst practice groups such as litigation and disputes is growing fast. Lawyers specializing in these areas use StructureFlow as an effective means to look back at what has already happened in the past.
In our findings, usage has been roughly equally widespread across seniority levels. We do want to make a note that when we first partner with organizations, it is not always immediately obvious until later just how many team members are typically involved in these structuring workflows at time of onboarding.
Diagram 4: Outline of seniority levels and general related duties
We’ve found that:
- Junior members of the team and support staff are typically responsible for creating the structure charts
- Afterward, more senior members of the team step in to validate information for accuracy and ensuring that all legal requirements are met, (see diagram 6).
- Finally, Partners have ultimate responsibility on the matter to complete final sign offs on the project. Very often they too are using StructureFlow to make final tweaks and adjustments, (a feat previously only possible when enlisting “PPT specialists”.)
- Partners are also responsible for communication with the client, an area where we see the application used regularly in board meetings and client discussions that most GCs are accustomed to over video conferences.
Who Uses StructureFlow
Diagram 5: Aggregation of StructureFlow customer data indicating the breakdown of seniority of professionals using the application
Usage and Frequency: How the platform is being utilized and its most popular functionalities
More users are becoming accustomed to working in this new way
Since the launch of StructureFlow, one of the most popular areas of adoption we’ve seen of the app is its Export Report functionality. This function enables teams to be able to create firm, branded reports at the click of a button, which are ready to be shared with clients as a high resolution PDF. This is a convenient stepping stone towards inviting clients onto the platform and enriching the level of collaborations between firm and client.
The variance of stakeholders, both internally and externally, to law firms is driving the sharing rate of all StructureFlow projects up to an incredible 40%. It means users are not only becoming accustomed to working in this new way, but more lawyers and clients are becoming more comfortable working in the Cloud and sharing their StructureFlow projects with others.
Diagram 6: Example of a company-branded StructureFlow project in its shareable form
“The use case of StructureFlow is very clear. It’s obvious to everybody what it does; it’s not difficult to explain. It’s probably the most successful legal tech deployment that we have.”
Head of Knowledge and Innovation, Slaughter and May
Why is this a big deal?
We’ve heard from hundreds of professionals first-hand regarding the challenges they face when it comes to legal tech adoption, and it is, in full disclosure, one of the primary concerns most firms bring up at first introduction.
And we completely understand.
No organization wants to be responsible for buying technology that’s destined for a short shelf life, doomed to be obsolete within a few short years. However, we know our platform has a unique offering in what it does for law firms and organizations.
Our findings on the volume of the type of work that is taking place at firms have been incredibly insightful:
Ease of adoption
At StructureFlow, we believe that the success of the product is determined by a number of factors.
1. Firstly, the product itself is not asking users to do things in a drastically different way to what they are used to, making adoption painless and stress-free. It’s not, for example, like implementing an eDiscovery solution from scratch.
Users are often pleasantly surprised to find they can structure projects in ways they are already accustomed to while taking advantage of operational efficiencies across the workflow, including rapid diagram creation.
2. Secondly, the platform is used for a variety of different purposes across the entire lifecycle of a matter – whether that be initial due diligence, designing and mapping out a deal, validation and fact-checking with a client, or high-level strategic discussions.
3. Lastly, an experienced customer success team also helps to facilitate adoption, and we have learnt what really works when it comes to getting users to get comfortable and adept at using the platform.
This means firms attain the best ROI from their investment, whether that be:
- looking at efficiency gains in time saved,
- improvements in delivery of client services, or;
- removing some of the many pain-points and frustrations lawyers experience in doing this type of work every day.
“It’s a great piece of software; it knows what it’s for, so the tools are set up to do the thing you’re trying to achieve…The advantage it gives is that it reduces 10 pages of text explaining different parts of the structure into a single diagram.”
Senior Associate Real Estate, Slaughter and May
Seat Based Licence to Usage Based Licence
Diagram 7: A diagram indicating the level of success a new adopter has experienced
Things that StructureFlow customers consider to be important in a structuring solution:
Leverages the power of visualization to accelerate communication and facilitate understanding.
Facilitates trusted seamless digital collaboration between multiple parties.
Creates a single source of truth, built on structured data models, facilitating interoperability and smart processing.
Simplifies and automates traditional structuring processes and analysis.
Enterprise security by design using best-in-class global standards and protocols for regulated industries.
Specifically designed for corporate structuring professionals to facilitate end-to-end workflows.
Request a demo with one of our product experts today
If you’d like to trial StructureFlow for your own firm, register your interest, and a member of our team will be in touch soon.