Innovation and Business Consulting

Experience the power of purpose, design thinking and innovation – the Hive Way.

Innovative thinking and doing is at the heart of everything we do at Hive – it’s embedded in our culture. We don’t just provide traditional legal services, we provide the power of innovation, design thinking and business consulting – in the Hive Way. These services are delivered by our multi-disciplinary and diverse Consulting Team which is comprised of designers, innovation and business development specialists, operations professionals and lawyers.  These professionals each share their multi-disciplinary skills and experiences, to provide holistic and pragmatic value to our clients.  We offer clients services that blend legal advice with operational, innovation and business advice and solutions.  When we see an opportunity for you to innovate, we tell you about it and work with you to show you how you can do it.

We help our clients (corporates, in-house teams, law firms, professional services firms, legal educators and regulators) to identify, design and implement better processes, services, programs, products and strategies by using our purpose-driven design thinking framework, HiveThinkP.

Tech is the way of the future and we’re tech fanatics. We draw on our understanding of the current legal technology available to assist our clients including matter management platforms ((Xakia) which was incubated at Hive), AI document review (ContractProbe), legal chat bots (Josef) and many others. A number of our team are certified Legal Bot Builders.

Our consulting services, and in particular our design sprints and training, can be delivered in person or virtually using collaborative platforms such as MURAL. They can also be included in our HiveGC+ arrangements or they can be provided as a standalone service

You can check out our case studies below to see how we are helping clients.

Because we think differently, we have developed our own purpose-driven design thinking framework that reflects Hive’s culture and purpose of improving the experience for our clients and our team. HiveThinkP (the ‘P’ stands for the power of purpose) is a framework which:

  • identifies the purpose and vision for a project
  • uses an empathy-based approach to ensure a human centred approach
  • assists with building the mindsets needed to sustain change
  • uses a multidisciplinary team to ensure the right skills are used for a project
  • designs outcomes which will ‘improve the experience’; and
  • ensures the outcomes can be measured.

We have also created some helpful chat bots (including Bee Purposeful) to help us prepare for HiveThinkP sessions and gather valuable data and information for our clients that will ultimately inform the design thinking process.


  • Legal Design Thinking services including:
    • Strategy design
    • Service design
    • Product design
    • Process design
    • Future design
    • Business model design 
  • Legal Design Thinking training
  • Legal operations assistance
  • Innovation program development and training
  • Business Development programs and training
  • Strategic business assistance
  • Assistance with value pricing models and processes
  • Assistance with effective remote working models

Case Studies

Designing human-centred patient privacy processes for HotDoc

We worked with HotDoc, a digital health provider, to evaluate their privacy policies and processes. They wanted to determine whether they were doing everything they could to provide a human centred approach to privacy compliance that is transparent and easy to understand. Hive developed a deep understanding of HotDoc’s business operations and approach to privacy compliance. We analysed HotDoc’s collection, usage and handling of data; identified privacy concerns among key stakeholders and users via a HiveThinkP session; and assisted in revising HotDoc’s privacy policies and terms of service.

We also worked with HotDoc to initiate an educational and awareness strategy aimed at helping its customers better understand their privacy compliance obligations and improve transparency of processes.

You can read more about this project here.

Improving access to justice through Human Centred Design training for the American Bar Association
The American Bar Association (ABA) Rule of Law Initiative (ROLI) team runs international development programs promoting justice, economic opportunity and human dignity through the rule of law.

In collaboration with legal automation platform Josef and the Centre for Legal Innovation, Hive trained the ABA ROLI team in legal design thinking and how to use technology to make legal assistance more accessible to victims of gender-based violence in the Middle East and North Africa. The training was highly interactive and delivered virtually.

By designing and delivering these training sessions, Hive is actively working on improving outcomes for some of the most vulnerable people in our global community.

You can read more about this project here.

Designing strategic direction for the Law Society of Tasmania’s Wellbeing Committee
We assisted the Law Society of Tasmania’s Wellbeing Committee to identify ways to improve wellbeing in the state’s legal community.

Using our HiveThinkP framework we designed and facilitated a program to assist the Committee to identify its purpose, vision, focus and the longer-term strategic direction required to generate sustainable change. Data and information were gathered by our chat bot Bee Purposeful prior to our sessions to enable the participants to reflect and prepare.

We also worked with the Society’s Committee tasked with identifying strategies to attract and retain early career lawyers.

Redesigning a contract approval process for Cancer Council Victoria

We worked closely with Cancer Council Victoria (CCV) to redesign its contract approval process with the key objective of improving user experience. The Hive team ran a HiveThinkP session with a range of key stakeholders from across each of CCV’s divisions. User experiences were shared, ideas for improvement were identified and prototype processes were developed and tested.

As a result, we created a contract approval process which has been designed specifically to assist each of CCV’s divisions to efficiently assess risk profile and determine who needs to review and authorise each contract. The process includes visual diagrams for guidance, is intuitive and user-friendly and provides useful information for all team members engaged in the contract approval process. We also facilitated training sessions with CCV to assist its team to understand the redesigned contract approval process and identify and assess relevant contractual risks.

Helping to clarify purpose and future direction of the Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner’s Consumer Panel
We worked with the Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner’s newly formed Consumer Panel, responsible for bringing the consumer voice to the regulation and delivery of legal services, by using HiveThinkP to clarify the panel’s purpose, vision and values in order to develop a human-centred strategic agenda.

“Melissa Lyon facilitated our inaugural Consumer Panel workshop with great skill and insight.  Her preparation and conduct of the workshop were extremely helpful to the Panel, enabling them to get to know each other, work together and establish a common purpose very quickly.  The Panel have gone on to become an effective and cohesive group and I feel that the workshop was an essential foundation to this success.”  Jennie Pakula, Manager, Innovation & Consumer Engagement, VLSB+C. 

Designing a visual privacy policy in collaboration with August Digital Design Agency
Hive Legal collaborated with August, a digital design agency to develop a visual animated privacy policy.

We combined legal and technology skills to create an interactive policy set at sea, incorporating animation transitions and digital storytelling to better convey privacy information through a user-friendly medium. Using our design thinking framework HiveThinkP, we identified the purpose of the project, August’s audiences and their motivations for reading the policy. User testing was used throughout the design and development process to tailor the policy to different users and a ‘plain text’ alternative was provided.

The policy was recognised as a finalist in the Australian Clear Communication Awards 2019 in both the legal and digital categories, has been recognised by the global design thinking community and has been described by commentators as ‘delightful’.

Assisting law firms and organisations with innovation and business strategies
Hive works with a number of law firms to design and facilitate strategy sessions to identify and develop innovation programs and strategic agendas. We do this by drawing on the multidisciplinary skills of our team and also our experiences of founding and growing one of Australia’s first NewLaw firms.  We have worked with senior leadership teams, individual teams/business units and entire teams.

We also provide training in Legal Design thinking, Business Development and Value Pricing at a firm, team or individual (coaching) level.

National Design Thinking Sprint to Redesign the Law Firm Business Model
Hive worked with the Centre for Legal Innovation to design and facilitate a national design sprint series (The Law Firm Business Model – Can we fix it?) to identify and propose key areas for change to legal firm business models for different stakeholders.  The series was attended by professionals across the entire legal ecosystem and was held in multiple capital cities throughout Australia. The series identified practical pain points and prompted the design of actionable, innovative and creative prototypes. The outcomes from the series also identified key areas of focus for the Centre’s world first Innovation Incubator Program launched in 2019, and now in its second round.

“Legal design thinking is often seen as complex and difficult. We wanted to do some myth busting with the design sprint series and show that it was possible to move from concept to creation in 90 minutes – and, we did! When we were deciding who we could collaborate with – people who had deep experience in the legal world but also the ability to create something new and different in this space – we looked no further than Hive Legal. This was a fabulous work experience with outstanding professionals that resulted in an amazing series…and more – it became the first of many collaborations with Hive Legal and is an ongoing professional relationship we celebrate every day!” Terri Mottershead, Executive Director, Centre for Legal Innovation at The College of Law.

Resources and Commentary

Legal Design Thinking and Doing video series
As part of her Distinguished Fellowship in Legal Design Thinking with the Centre for Legal Innovation, Melissa Lyon, 2020 Innovator of the Year (Australian Law Awards), designed and developed a 9-part video series on Legal Design Thinking.  Episode 1 of the series has been viewed thousands of times globally and is used by firms in their legal design training programs.

The videos can be viewed here CLI CLIC Videos.

Hive Legal Design work featured in ‘The Legal Design Book’
Our legal thinking design work and HiveThinkP is featured in Astrid Kohlmeier and Meera Klemola’s  ‘The Legal Design Book Doing Law in the 21st Century’ along with other field work from across the globe.
Developing Bee Purposeful
Combining our design thinking approach and our understanding of legal tech we have developed Bee Purposeful, a chat bot which assists us and our clients to prepare for HiveThinkP sessions.

You can read more about Bee Purposeful here.

Building a user centred approach to legal innovation projects

Melissa Lyon contributed to the Centre for Legal Innovations series on Legal Innovation – From changing mindsets to metrics (and everything in between) by sharing her experience in building a user centred approach to legal innovation projects.

Topics covered include:

  • What “a user centred approach” means
  • Why a user centred approach is important and impactful in contemporary legal practice
  • How and what it takes to build a user centred approach in innovation projects: mindsets, processes and tools

You can view the session here.



Our team

Melissa Lyon

Melissa Lyon

Executive Director & Experience Designer

Mitzi Gilligan

Mitzi Gilligan

Principal and Founder

Ella Cannon

Ella Cannon


Frances Dunn

Frances Dunn

Special Counsel

Stacy Otis

Stacy Otis

Operations Manager

Carlie Andrews

Carlie Andrews

Senior Associate

Stephanie Karas

Stephanie Karas


Jay Ong

Jay Ong