How Josef helped Herbert Smith Freehills to solve clients’ regulatory questions

How do you make complex legal issues simple for clients?

This is the story of a team from a global firm who saw this challenge as an opportunity. By using Josef, they were able to solve their clients’ problems, simplifying difficult concepts so that they are easily digestible for all levels within a business.


There was a lot of scaremongering in the market around the risks directors and senior executives had in trying to comply with laws relating to whistleblowing.

The law was complex and how a directors or senior executives dealt with a whistleblowing complaint was not intuitive.

Mike Gonski, a Partner at Herbert Smith Freehills, empathised with this problem and sought to create a solution that was easy to access, understand and follow.

Mike’s team developed a decision tree that they thought was a little ‘simpler’ to follow but needed a solution that their clients could access anytime and anywhere.

“I was always taught: if you can't explain a concept to your four year old, you probably don't actually understand it. Josef gave me the tools necessary to achieve this for my clients.”
– Mike Gonski, Herbert Smith Freehills Partner


The Herbert Smith Freehills team developed a suite of bots on Josef to provide automated advice to clients on what they should do if they receive a whistleblowing complaint.

Using Josef, busy legal professionals with no previous automation experience were able to build and deploy bots (some in under an hour), reducing the time to market and effort involved in engaging experts outside of their team.

The bots were designed for different user types, providing tailored information and step-by-step guidance on what to do when a complaint is received.

Josef's impact

  • 100+ clients trained on whistleblowing

    from board directors to personal assistants

  • <1 hour to build each bot

  • 1 difficult concept

    simplified, for all levels within a business


Delighted clients

Mike delivered the bots together with training to many of his clients. Gonski’s team received positive feedback from clients on how the bots were making their lives easier.

“Directors would say to me, ‘How am I meant to comply with these laws when  my lawyers can’t explain it to me clearly?’ Josef made it easy for my team to simplify these difficult concepts,” Gonski said.

Delivering automation fast

Gonski and his team found Josef easy to use and could build bots very quickly, with some of the bots being built in less than an hour.

Josef is the first software I have seen where the lawyer is empowered to turn their process into a chatbot or an app … That is game changing,” Gonski added.

Staff satisfaction

The HSF team enjoyed the challenge of building the bots as well as collaborating with clients on how to optimise them.

“The only reason to come to work is to get to collaborate with our incredible clients and staff,” Gonski concluded.

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