11 August 2023

Case Study

The summary

Affinity Water is the UK’s largest water-only supplier, serving 3.8 million people in parts of London, East and Southeast England. As a highly regulated entity, Affinity Water must demonstrate compliance with its legal obligations in a verifiable way and ensure effective processes are in place. Affinity Water needed a solution that would provide a single source of truth for their compliance obligations, streamline compliance management for the future and help embed a culture of compliance within the organisation.

The process

To address the multi-faceted aspects of compliance, Affinity Water needed to work with a law firm with deep expertise in utilities – particularly the water sector – and could apply knowledge and experience from multiple teams. Our legal team, led by Michael Barlow, Partner, introduced Affinity Water to Burges Salmon’s Innovation team, a multi-disciplinary team comprising innovation and technology specialists who use their skills to create innovative solutions, enhance efficiency and improve client service delivery.

The teams worked collaboratively with Affinity Water to understand their pain points, current tools and approach, and to think creatively about solutions while utilising the firm’s extensive water sector knowledge. Leveraging this collective knowledge, the Innovation Team developed a proof of concept which enabled Affinity Water to seek board approval to develop the solution.

Throughout the subsequent development process, the Innovation Team took a client-centric approach, anticipating and adapting to Affinity Water’s needs, whilst responding to their specific requirements. By adopting an iterative and collaborative approach, we were able to design and develop an innovative, interactive Compliance Tool hosted on Burges Salmon clientspace, the firm’s collaboration platform.

The outcome

The result is our Compliance Tool, a single source of truth for effectively managing and monitoring compliance against specific legal obligations. The tool has digitised and partly automated the compliance process for Affinity Water: tasks can be assigned, users can log completion and data visualisations can be downloaded to help the organisation keep track of progress.

Key features include:

  • One-stop-shop: the secure platform provides a centralised home for compliance obligations, ensuring everyone operates from the same information and can clearly identify their roles and responsibilities.
  • Task management: automated task allocation, workflows and regular email reminders enable users to work collaboratively and action tasks accordingly.
  • Interactive dashboard: data visualisations offer the ability to monitor and manage compliance, access progress updates and identify where further action is required.
  • Intelligent reporting: reporting capabilities provide a clearer picture of overall compliance, driving engagement and accountability.

Ultimately, this tool supports Affinity Water in providing safe drinking water to millions of customers every day by assisting in ensuring adherence to fundamental regulations.

The collaborative journey does not stop here. Now that the tool has launched, the intention is for this collaboration to continue, reflecting on each compliance cycle to scope out potential future improvements, with our lawyers providing advice as required to support our client’s evolving objectives.

Emma Sorrell, our Innovation Manager, said: “We’re pleased to have been able to develop this innovative tool with Affinity Water and provide a meaningful solution that supports its business objectives. The solution is designed to grow with the client and increasing regulation, enabling constant evolution. We look forward to continuing this collaboration with Affinity.”

If you wish to know more about the Compliance Tool please contact our Innovation team or your usual Burges Salmon contact.

Key contact

Emma Sorrell

Emma Sorrell Innovation Manager

  • Corporate

Innovative service delivery

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