Collaboration is the key to innovation

Pippa Shepherd, Head of Customer Engagement at – the one stop shop for legal services firms operating in estate planning and Will writing – looks at the power of collaboration and how a game-changing partnership with probate platform Exizent could revolutionise the ‘pre-to-post-death’ journey for legal firms

In an era of digital business and rapid technological change – accelerated by the pandemic – innovation is now key, not only for businesses to thrive, but for them to survive.

For most businesses, innovation is largely incremental, and given that most change is driven by existing customer and employee demand, this is perhaps not hugely surprising. Obviously incremental innovation is vital if businesses are to continue to improve their existing products and services but is it enough to make any real progress?

If companies want to truly innovate – explore new markets, offer solutions to real problems, build on emerging trends and shifts – they must think about disruptive innovation that is agile and radical and explores new territory that has not been tapped into before.

The key to true innovation is collaboration. And I don’t just mean within the business (although that is also important). I mean being able to see that your business alone may not have all the answers, and that to be able to continuously innovate and grow, you need to collaborate with other forward-thinking businesses. You need to think about how pooling skills, knowledge and expertise can enable you to really push the boundaries.

At we have always believed strongly in the power of collaboration. We are fully committed to the discovery and implementation of legal sector innovation and are continually looking at how the processes can be optimised through smart partnerships.

The most recent example of our collaborative work is our partnership with probate experts, Exizent. Exizent was launched in October 2020 to help those dealing with the administrative tasks following death. Its cloud-based platform aims to connect the data and services used by legal services firms, institutions, and executors to make managing the probate process easier.

Exizent were doing something that no one else was doing, and that got our attention. It was clear to us that a collaboration with them could be game changing and could create a partnership that had the potential to revolutionise the ‘pre-to-post-death’ journey for legal firms.

By integrating our two platforms, we both knew we would be able to offer legal firms dealing with probate an innovative solution that they simply would not be able to access otherwise. They would be able to use key information from a Will stored on the platform to seamlessly create a probate case on the Exizent platform, making the early stages of the process more efficient, accurate and secure.

We know that the legal sector itself is crying out for this type of collaborative innovation; according to Exizent’s Bereavement Index research (which surveyed legal firms dealing with probate), identifying and accessing the deceased’s assets, and tracking down their family, beneficiaries and the executor of their Will, were identified as some of the biggest pain points. Exizent’s research also revealed that 49% of law firms said a simpler asset discovery process would make probate easier. 41% said better technology would improve the process.

This collaboration offers a solution, because it means that, if a client has passed away, and their Will is on the platform, legal firms will be able to access the data needed to inform the probate process including contact details for the family and executor, information about the assets held and their beneficiaries.

Ian Bond, who is Head of Wills & Estates at Thursfields – a customer of both Exizent and said that partnerships like that between and Exizent will be ‘instrumental’ in driving the ‘previously unforeseen levels of both technological innovation and adoption’ that the sector has seen over the past year.

He said that, as someone who understands the separate propositions of both Exizent and, it is “extremely exciting as a customer to be offered the added benefits of one, integrated, seamless user journey that ultimately makes the whole experience easier and more efficient.”

And while the Exizent collaboration is a key one for us, it is not the first and certainly won’t be the last. Just like any good businessperson surrounds themselves with great people who will challenge their thinking and cover their weaknesses, all good businesses should be doing the same, which is why smart collaboration will continue to be a key focus for us going forward.


This article was submitted to be published by Arken.Legal as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Wills and Probate. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Wills and Probate.

Today's Wills and Probate