Case Study

Blakes SharePoint Intranet

Replatforming an Intranet for one of Canada’s seven sisters

About Blakes

For more than 150 years, Blakes has served many of Canada’s and the world’s leading businesses and organizations. The Firm has built a reputation during that time as both a leader in the business community and in the legal profession – leadership that continues to be recognized to this day. Blakes was named “Law Firm of the Year: Canada” for the third time by Chambers and Partners and “Canada Law Firm of the Year” for the fourth consecutive year by Who’s Who Legal.

Blakes Logo


Blakes had several legacy intranets serving different stakeholder groups within the firm:

  • Multiple legacy intranet platforms including LawPort & a custom intranet built intranet
  • Poor search experience making information difficult to find
  • Outdated and irrelevant content across legacy intranets
  • Confusing information architecture
  • Interface design that was not aligned with internal brand position
  • Unable to manage content in two languages (French & English)


V51 conducted a planning process that included interviews with over 50 users in 5 offices across the country and the formulation of an intranet strategy that culminated in:

  • Extensive configuration of SharePoint
  • Integration with firm’s Master Data Directory using Timer Jobs
  • Creation of a robust Firm Directory using the User Profile Service and faceted search Web Parts
  • Mapping user’s location on Floor Plans leveraging enterprise location and coordinates
  • SharePoint Variations to support the translation of the entire Intranet in multiple languages
  • Team Sites to support team collaboration and knowledge sharing
  • Publishing sites to enable firm administrators to document and distribute firm policies and procedures to targeted audiences
  • Meeting & event workspaces to manage the firm’s 20 plus calendars
  • Roll-ups of calendars into a single view with faceted search filters

Highlighted Results


Brand Alignment

A modern user interface brings employees together across all offices with an engaging and welcoming experience for accessing corporate information.


Improved Usability

High scores in formal usability tests confirmed the portal’s ease-of-use for common use cases.


Portal Consolidation

Thousands of pages and over 100,000 documents were migrated into the new portal providing a user-friendly interface for all lawyers and staff.


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