Wiggin LLP Project Management
Below is an example of project management support for product development
Media, technology and IP law firm Wiggin LLP recognised that many businesses would need support navigating the revised off-payroll rules (also commonly known as the IR35 rules) that came into effect in April 2021. The IR35 rules make sure that those contractors who work on similar terms as an employee pay broadly the same tax and National Insurance contributions as employees.
Wiggin was keen to develop a product to provide both existing and new clients with support around the new rules.
The result is the IR35 Manager – a holistic compliance solution to support businesses with the challenges around accurate employment tax status assessment. The product has subsequently been adopted by a number of multinational media conglomerates and achieved independent recognition with finalist spots for ‘Best Client Service Innovation’ at the Lawyer Awards 2020 and ‘Future of Legal Services Innovation’ at the Legal Week Awards 2020.
Developing the IR35 Manager product
Wiggin identified a software house to provide the technology capabilities, but the more technical aspects of product development required specialist services. Wiggin turned to long-standing, trusted advisors Lights-On Consulting to provide support with overseeing the IR35 product’s development and the project management.
How we helped
The Wiggin team was conducting ‘business as usual’ client and practice work and needed impartial, knowledgeable support to speak on their behalf. Lights-On acted as the intermediary between Wiggin and its developers, identifying what each party wanted from the IR35 product – and what was capable from a software development point of view.
Lights-On supported Wiggin with the following:
- Project managing the project scope
- Project managing the specification
- Facilitating weekly governance calls with Wiggin and the software company
- Acting as the main point of contact for the development company
- Facilitating the introduction and use of a testing company
- Interpreting the software requirements specified, and ‘translating them’ for the software supplier.
What’s next for the new IR35 product?
Due to the nature of IR35 rules and their wide application to freelancers and contractors, Wiggin has established a need to expand the product remit. Originally, the focus was on the media sector, but future updates will support other industry sectors. This has led to a requirement for extra development, which Lights-On has successfully facilitated.
We are also providing on-going support for the product roadmap to ensure the IR35 product aligns with any changes made by HMRC.
Wiggin needed someone to translate the product requirements, provide knowledge of the resources required to support all areas of the development of the product and ensure that the product delivered what was expected from the product specification. Lights-On was able to provide this independent, experienced support and we are delighted that the product has been such a success story for Wiggin.
“Lights-On has partnered with us in the software development of IR35 Manager, our IR35 compliance platform, bridging the gap between our legal expertise and our developers’ software capabilities. They have been an important part of the team, both in terms of implementing our vision and providing valuable practical support on the ultimate roll out of the platform to market.”
Ceri Stoner, Partner, Legal Project Lead, Wiggin LLP