Woodford Stauffer

‘An essential tool with accurate data that 99% of clients find easy to use. It’s saving both time and money’

About Woodford Stauffer

Woodford Stauffer is widely regarded as a firm apart and one that punches above its weight. The firm was founded in 1990 by three partners, including current senior partner Verity Stauffer. Verity and her co-founders wanted to offer City-quality legal services to clients in and around Farnborough. The firm was created with three core values:

  • Real, specialised legal expertise
  • Outstanding client service
  • A commitment to building and maintaining lasting relationships

Like all successful firms, they’ve adapted to change and grown with time, but held steady to those core values throughout the last 32 years.

The problem

Like many SRA regulated firms, Woodford Stauffer has been dealing with a rising tide of regulation as efforts to tackle financial crime increase. This stepped up further with the recent SRA AML Report published in October. Complying with these obligations to verify the source of a client’s funds and wealth is becoming more complicated as it becomes more critical. Emma Fairbairn, Partner at Woodford Stauffer explains how these checks were previously done manually:

‘We were carrying out Source of Funds checks manually through the collection of bank statements and our own paper-based questionnaire and this was taking up a significant chunk of time for us.’

The Armalytix solution

As the complexity and importance of regulatory checks has grown, technology has increasingly developed to help tackle the challenge. This is particularly important in conveyancing, where additional time spent on checks directly impacts productivity and the bottom line. Smart firms like Woodford Stauffer have embraced this new technology to bring efficiency and enhanced profit to their business. Working with Armalytix has allowed Woodford Stauffer to make a significant difference to their day to day, as Emma says:

‘This saves us a huge amount of time, the reports are informative, the clients seem to be able to complete the details online easily and the Armalytix chatbox is super – it stops clients calling us with queries! The speed, efficiency and ease of use for the clients is really important to us. It is ultimately saving us both time and money – it probably saves us at least 1-2 hours per conveyancing purchase transaction. We have found the data accurate and I would say 99% of clients have found it easy to use’

Making things simple for clients

The importance of making the journey intuitive and easy for clients should not be underestimated. Downloading, collecting or screenshotting bank statements, answering the necessary questions and providing evidence are not pleasant experiences. The support provided to help clients through the digital journey is an important part of the work done by Head of Customer Success at Armalytix, Sheryl Hodgson:

‘We work closely with all new partners to ensure that the end client is set up for success. This involves working with new business teams, updating existing processes, training and various touch points in the law firms onboarding process. I am a firm believer that investing time with partners at the start of their journey with us pays huge dividends to both parties in the long run. Understanding the technology, the reporting data and how Armalytix aligns itself with the risk-based approach required is crucial and an often-undervalued part of the implementation of new processes and technology. Supporting Woodford Stauffer with their implementation has been a really positive experience for both parties, so much so that Emma Fairbairn and Practice Manager Richard Pimbley both attended our recent innovation day.’

Continued improvement and effectiveness through innovation days

As part of the ongoing relationship and with a desire to make Armalytix better for both firms and clients, Armalytix held an innovation day with Woodford Stauffer and other partners. It was an opportunity to get together, share success stories and shape the future of Source of Funds.

Held at the Abode Hotel Chester, we looked at how to make the Source of Funds search faster, more effective and most importantly increase the adoption from clients. Collaboration like this shows the mutual commitment of Armalytix and forward-looking legal firms to ensuring AML checks are more effective and at the same time improve the experience of firms and clients alike.

The chance to share experiences and insight into how things can work better was engaging and important for everyone involved and created an excitement about what’s next. As Emma says:

‘We both found it very useful and can’t wait to be involved with the next steps and see Armalytix evolve.’

By The Armalytix Team — 12 January 23

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