Since establishing Sydney based IP and Commercial Litigation law firm Silberstein & Associates (S&A) in 2014, Rob had a goal to limit the firm’s environmental impact and disrupt the prehistoric notions that law firms had to be places covered in papers and files. Rob established S&A as one of the first digital legal start-ups in Australia, being close to 100% paperless as possible (with the restraints being certain agreements and court documents requiring signing or printing in hard copy).
Client files are saved on a secure digital cloud-based platform and putting pen to paper to write file notes is discouraged, with all records typed and saved digitally. Consideration of draft documents is done using the latest in Smart Board technology, allowing Solicitor’s to write digitally on the documents, eliminating the need to print. Rob even requests clients digitally sign documents such as letters of engagement, where hard-copy signatures are not necessary.
This July, Rob has taken a further initiative in limiting S&A’s environmental footprint by getting the firm to participate in Plastic Free July. Although Rob is dependent on using straws to drink, due to a disability which limits his arm movement, he wanted to make an impact by ceasing his use of plastic straws. This is despite being part of a segment of people in society who actually have a genuine reason for using straws. Nevertheless, Rob thinks this dependence on straws is no excuse for littering the environment.
Rob encourages other businesses to disrupt the norm for file keeping and general work practices by going paperless. “I have four young children, and I want to set an example to them that we can make a difference. Embedding sustainable business practices into S&A was important to our management team. We live in a global business environment, and corporate responsibility shouldn’t just be a catch cry – it should be a call to arms to be accountable for the environmental footprint we leave. Saying “No” to plastic straws is just a small thing I can do to make a difference.”