Business continuity in the face of disaster, courtesy of Insight

Insight LegalBy Legal Futures Associate Insight Legal

McCann and McCann are a leading Belfast city law firm. Since being founded in 1980, the firm has grown from strength to strength into a multi-partner practice which provides a comprehensive and expert legal service to the community.

When the Covid-19 pandemic arrived in our midst, the intuitive functionality and cloud delivery of Insight Legal helped the practice survive and thrive while other law firms floundered. Combined with its hard-working body of fee earners, administrators and managers, the firm’s use of Insight has set the business up for success both now and into the future.

The law firm

McCann and McCann, has an established reputation for expertly and dynamically supporting clients with legal services spanning conveyancing to family to medical negligence.

To uphold its core principles of providing advice and representation in a professional and efficient manner, McCann and McCann relies upon its specialised panel of solicitors, organised troupe of back-office employees and intuitive practice management software.

The requirements

McCann and McCann were long-time users of the AlphaLAW practice management system. When AlphaLAW was acquired by IRIS Legal Solutions and then subsequently by Advanced Computer Software Group, the product became legacy software rather than a go-forward product, with the software no longer undergoing development.

Martina Rooney, Accounts Supervisor at McCann and McCann, explains: “When progression of the AlphaLAW software stopped following the company takeover process, the system became restrictive. While competitive applications continued development apace, AlphaLAW was quickly stagnant.

“This is problematic not only from a usability perspective but is also big cause for concern regarding compliance and security. We were majorly worried that legal and regulatory changes wouldn’t be accommodated, and that security would become more of an issue over time, which is typically what happens in these situations.

“I started to investigate other options, and was familiar with Insight Legal, having worked with Deborah Witkiss and Tim Smith previously. After assessing our requirements and having demonstrations of the software, Insight was our system of choice.”

The solution

“When given a walkthrough of the system, we were amazed by what Insight can do,” adds Martina. “You get complete practice management functionality comprising integrated legal accounts and matter management with practice-wide oversight. Insight is extremely cost effective and we have the features we need to run our business optimally.

“The transition from AlphaLAW to Insight was painless and smooth equally, with credit to the Insight team for guiding us through the trial and live data conversion, installation and training stages to achieve our go-live deadline.”

The results

Staff in every department at McCann and McCann are realising improvements in daily tasks with practice management tools for partners, matter management for fee earners and legal accounting for cashiers within Insight’s all-in-one solution.

Since beginning with Insight in early 2019 and the Covid-19 pandemic emerging only a year later, the practice has also enjoyed a profusion of unexpected benefits due to its preparedness for suddenly imposed home-working requirements.

“When we implemented Insight, little did we appreciate that coronavirus was just around the corner,” concludes Martina. “The instant enforcement of home working for businesses by the government posed a huge challenge for the legal sector generally but not to us thankfully. That’s because Insight’s cloud platform allows working from anywhere.

“Some of our personnel were already largely home workers, myself included, and we slowly moved everyone else from office to home on a department-by-department basis. We couldn’t collectively switch to home because at that point in time, we still had physical files.

“If something positive has arisen from the Covid-19 outbreak, it’s our gradual progression to electronic working and a paperless office. Every new case we’ve opened since the first lockdown is an electronic file with all documents and emails scanned, drag-and-dropped and saved to the matter. Our working-from-home, paperless vision has been achieved with Insight.

“Our experiences during Covid-19 have cemented our appreciation of Insight. We had no doubts anyway but now we feel indebted to the software and staff at Insight. Our survival strategy and future-proofing guarantee is fuelled by them.”


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