In the spring of 2020, one topic dominated boardrooms across Europe’s financial services sector, and it wasn’t (just) COVID-19. In March 2021, the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation came into force, requiring firms to increase transparency by introducing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into their investment processes and customer disclosures. Corporate compliance teams faced the urgent challenge of how to ensure that their firms could meet the new obligations and standards for selling products within or into the EU.
Ashurst is committed to delivering value to its financial services clients, helping them prepare for, and manage, regulatory change efficiently and effectively – which is why Ashurst Advance Digital chose BRYTER as a core component of the firm’s new ESG Ready product.
We spoke with Rob MacAdam, Head of Digital Products in EMEA for Ashurst Advance Digital, on why they decided to use BRYTER and the impact this has had on client service delivery.
Quickly capitalizing on new opportunities
With such a rapidly developing and changing regulatory landscape, it’s critical for professional services firms to respond quickly and ensure that their clients have access to actionable information to support regulatory change processes.
“In developing digital solutions for our clients, one of our biggest challenges was finding a way to build them quickly and efficiently so that we can deliver value and outcomes to our clients as early as possible. BRYTER is the perfect tool as it enables us to build, iterate and test rapidly and simply,” says Rob. “BRYTER’s intuitive and visual no-code functionality makes it easy to bridge the gap between our legal technologists and key stakeholders – bringing our clients and lawyers into the solution design process.”
For me, the key benefits of BRYTER are its usability, versatility and speed-of-deployment. BRYTER is genuinely no-code.
In the context of the new EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation this was critical. As Rob explains, “The new regulations come into force early next year, and financial services firms need to begin preparing now. We have been able to ideate, develop and go to market with a highly valuable digital product in a short space of time. Being able to get the subject matter experts involved from day one has been essential in enabling that to happen.”
Improving the Return on Investment
Traditionally, and in the absence of no-code platforms, building digital solutions has taken a lot of time and money. BRYTER’s no-code app builder dramatically reduces the time required to do so. “One of the direct benefits of the BRYTER no-code platform is that it immediately speeds up our product development timeline, as we can build products from directly within our Ashurst Advance Digital team without needing to find funds for expensive IT and development resources,” explains Rob.
BRYTER empowers us to build more digital products faster, and at lower cost.
He adds, “The time between onboarding and actually using BRYTER to develop real-life use cases was short – fully living up to the out-of-the-box promise of no-code platforms.”
Integrating with complimentary tech tools
Law firms rely on a range of technology tools. Therefore, one of the greatest challenges in finding the right technology solution is finding one which can seamlessly integrate with the rest of the tech stack. “BRYTER’s out-of-the-box platform offers numerous functionalities and integrations which can be amplified with complementary legal technology products. We have a very powerful tech stack at our disposal; this is important as in many cases the best solution is a consolidated one that seamlessly connects two or more best-of-breed digital tools,” says Rob.
The interoperability of the BRYTER platform is one of the reasons we decided to make BRYTER a key piece of our global tech stack.
The impact: meeting client demand
Ultimately, digital product development at Ashurst is entirely client driven, and what has become clear over recent months is an increasing demand for digital solutions.”During the pandemic we have definitely seen an uptick in appetite for digitally-powered legal services and knowledge delivery tools. I think this is down to two key factors: (1) organisations are shifting their operations remotely and therefore requiring more remotely accessible expertise and service delivery solutions, and (2) national government responses to the pandemic have created urgent new challenges and opportunities that are best met with digitally-powered solutions, for example, the UK Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme”, explains Rob. “During the pandemic, we have definitely seen an uptick in appetite for digitally-powered legal services and knowledge delivery tools.”
This is especially the case in relation to the new EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation. “It’s not very long until the new regulations come into force, and it’s becoming a growing focus for many financial services firms as they take steps to prepare. The ability to enable corporate clients to self-assess and receive customized guidance and legal advice in relation to the new regulations was certainly one of the factors that convinced us to bring BRYTER into the firm and leverage it in our ESG Ready tool.
However, ESG is just the tip of the iceberg: we believe there are many other areas where BRYTER’s decision automation technology can create a lot of value for our clients, lawyers and business services teams.
Moving forward together
Ashurst, and Ashurst Advance Digital, are committed to creating and delivering unrivalled value for their clients, and to do this they need the right technology toolkit. BRYTER’s no-code platform empowers clients, lawyers and legal technologists to collaboratively participate directly in the building process, enabling them to instil market-leading expertise into applications that clients can leverage anytime, anywhere.
To see how else Ashurst has harnessed legal tech for high-achieving ends, read about their 2022 hackathon in partnership with McLaren. You can also book a demo of BRYTER today to see it in action yourself.