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Following a merger and ‘end of life’ notice from its current software provider, Attwaters Jameson Hill was compelled to reassess its technology requirements. The timing was actually fortuitous as the growing competitiveness in the legal sector was calling for a smarter approach to delivering legal services that could only be supported by the latest technology.
Coincidentally around the same time Attwaters Jameson Hill took part in focus group research into what law firms want from practice management software run by Peppermint Technology. Responses from the research participants were unsurprisingly based on the current knowledge of what technology could offer, but what Attwaters Jameson Hill could see was how Peppermint’s Legal Service Platform could surpass current market expectations. Two years on and Attwaters Jameson Hill continues to unlock the Platform’s potential and make service and operational improvements they previously hadn’t even considered.
As an early adopter of new technology, whilst also managing the merger, Attwaters Jameson Hill faced its challenges. Some of the firm’s 100+ staff adjusted and embraced the changes better than others. However, the familiar look and feel of the Microsoft based Platform provided a common and consistent working environment which was useful in aiding user adoption.
The firm reports that a significant advantage of the Peppermint Platform is that it is one Platform and not multiple apps all “cobbled together”. The latter is common in legal firms which results in disparate systems that are complex and costly to maintain. This single platform approach is less complex, more adaptable to change and ensures everyone is using the same data and familiar tools.
The Peppermint Platform is now an integral component of everyday life at Attwaters Jameson Hill, and it is only on reflection that IT Partner Jonathan Clarke begins to realise the numerous improvements it has enabled across the firm.
One such improvement concerns bill creation and monthly billing, which was previously quite a cumbersome task. This is now a slick operation that can easily be performed by Partners and Fee Earners without administrative intervention from secretaries or the accounts team. This small change in practice has reduced the effort required by two thirds. Not only does this save time, it also results in improved cost recovery and cash flow resulting from the regular communications with clients regarding case progress and costs.
Further cash flow improvements have resulted from better WIP management. This is enabled by easy to access business intelligence dashboards which can be configured to report and drilldown on any piece of data within the Platform in real time.
The File Review process has also been improved and simplified using the Platform’s workflow functionality. Without the need for any ‘bolt on’ software, File Review reminders are created then, once completed, recorded and reported instantly. This is essential to ensuring risk management and compliance for the Lexcel accredited firm.
In addition, the move to the Peppermint Cloud has reduced the systems maintenance costs of the firm. The firm estimates it would require at least one more full time employee for an on-premise equivalent. The Cloud also provides the firm with assurance of cost and flexibility to adapt and grow quickly without the headache of an IT project.
The key advantage of Peppermint to Attwaters Jameson Hill going forward is that the firm’s ideas and plans are no longer restricted by technology. The intuitive development environment enables the firm’s IT staff to develop and tailor the system in house, without expensive consultancy fees, so they can react and deliver improvements quicker.
Wilsons Solicitors LLP
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