HBA Legal named industry innovation leader

Date: May 1, 2019


HBA Legal has been named one of the most forward-thinking and innovative legal firms in the country.

The Australasian Lawyer Innovative Firms Report 2019 features HBA Legal alongside just 28 other law firms.

Inclusion on the list is considered a sign of being at the forefront of change and innovation in the legal industry through pioneering technology, the implementation of inventive team structures, and/or a fresh approach to service delivery.

HBA Legal co-founder and Managing Director Brett Ablong said it was exciting to be recognised given the criteria for being awarded was in direct alignment with what HBA strived to achieve when it was founded around eight years ago.

“When we created HBA back in 2011, we committed to do away with the shackles of bureaucracy and traditional thinking so often seen in the big firms which has enabled us to create true business partnerships with clients where we focus on the clients’ business goals and we see significant success to that end,” Mr Ablong said.

“We do this ‘HBA Way’, following NewLaw principles, which pivot on flexibility, accessibility and innovation.  And our One HBA business model removes borders to draw on the skill and experience of our people across the country, wherever they sit in relation to the client and regardless of which partner they report to.”

Co-founder and Chair of the Board Nathan Hepple said there are no partner or team ‘silos’ at HBA.

“I came from traditional-thinking type firms where I’d observe the partners operating in a way that was very much every man or woman for themself with very little collaboration and comradery across teams to get to outcomes that were best for the clients and indeed the wider firm.

“I am incredibly proud to say we are the complete opposite of that approach at HBA and I’m confident our clients and our people would testify to that.”

But Mr Hepple stressed that’s not where the differences end, with the firm also challenging the status quo in regards to legal fees.

“Corporates are facing the more for less challenge and the people in those organisations are under increasing pressure to reduce costs, constantly.  Probably rightly so, those people are often fearful because of the reputation law firms have for producing large bills at the end of a matter.

“So for HBA to be able to offer a top 10 ASX listed company, for example, the comfort of certainty over its legal spend in any given year, by us operating on fixed fees or monthly retainers… it’s something that has proven very attractive to our client base in the defendant insurance litigation space,” he said.

Mr Hepple said technology and innovation were in HBA’s DNA.

“For example, Brett and I had long identified that claims in the insurance sector were not being dealt with efficiently and, in a nutshell, were costing insurers and businesses far more than they should.  So, we created Paratus.

“Today, Paratus is the only company in Australia to offer a full claims, legal and risk management service in one package and Paratus’ clients see a considerable reduction in the costs and challenges associated with their claims management.

“Lots of claims businesses will pride themselves on keeping lawyers at bay to reduce costs, but we know that targeted use of lawyers is actually the key to reducing costs.

“Experience has shown, time and time again, that early intervention and rapid legal and risk review at key points along the way is how clients save money: this legal eye is built into Paratus service and fee,” Mr Hepple said.

Paratus’ General Manager Sean Hayes said: “We are so proud that Paratus is genuinely making waves in the local and London claims markets: we offer a far more efficient way to process claims, and therefore reduce client costs. It’s a really exciting time for our business.”

Alongside HBA Legal and Paratus is Newcastle-based Pillion. Together the three businesses make up the HBA Group. Pillion is the engine room of innovative technology driven solutions offering solutions for firms to increase efficiency via custom-made technology products.

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