By Legal Futures’ Associate SOS Legal 
One of Yorkshire’s best-known law firms, Chadwick Lawrence, is growing. Following a series of acquisitions, the need for a single practice management system was needed to facilitate fresh business goals.
Since the launch of SOS Connect in July 2018, the firm has added a new revenue stream and reported significant improvements in efficiency, productivity, timesaving, file opening times and risk reduction.
Dan Bell, Head of IT for Chadwick Lawrence, takes us through his experience of working with SOS Legal and the benefits his firm is seeing as a result of using SOS Connect.
Project Highlights: SOS Connect Implementation
- It takes only 27 seconds for the new debt recovery department to open a file
- Data secure thanks to electronic slips used between case management and accounts
- Efficiencies and time saving reported across the business
- Improved data integration with single pane of glass reporting
- Smooth launch process: on-time, on-budget, with all deadlines met
About Chadwick Lawrence
Chadwick Lawrence is one of the largest firms in Yorkshire with nine offices throughout the region. We are committed to encouraging growth both within the business and the local community. To this effect, we have recently opened a new debt recovery department in addition to our other range of business and personal legal services.
Why SOS Connect?
We originally identified the need for a single practice management system in 2014. After a series of acquisitions, the firm was saddled with several different IT systems that did not integrate well.
Reporting was problematic because we had to draw information from many different sources. Some of our processes relied on a combination of paper and electronic files, which made departmental collaboration inefficient.
Agility was another goal. We wanted a system that would actively support our future growth plans, that could start delivering efficiencies and timesaving benefits fast and also offer the best in terms of data security.
For any major IT upgrade to be successful teams must embrace the new system. This may be entirely new for them, so we needed good staff training and application support as well.
Finding the best practice management solution
My background is in case management, so I have expert knowledge of a very strong product with which to compare SOS Connect.
We set up an IT steering group for a more stringent procurement process. We wanted to make sure this long-term investment was well directed. The software had to be right but also the vendor business had to be right; forging a successful partnership was very important to us.
Key requirements were:
- Proven record in project delivery
- Application support
- True long-term collaboration with the vendor
We started with a list of nine vendors, which we quickly edited down to three. In April 2018, we made the decision that SOS Legal was the best partner for us.
Highly effective partnership, business-wide solution, all deadlines met
SOS Legal worked with our internal project manager, who has a practice management background.
SOS Legal approached the many challenges with forward thinking to find solutions. They quickly established a solid middle ground every time, allowing us to move on and still deliver against all key milestones.
They really listened to what we wanted to achieve and were completely transparent on delivery dates. In fact, they never missed a single deadline which is impressive in itself.
When it came to the days leading up to launch – a typically stressful time for anyone heading up a major IT project – I was completely relaxed. Two weeks prior to the launch date there was minimal to do relating to this project because all the key tasks were complete.
Benefits from using SOS Connect
SOS Legal have set a very high bar for any other vendor.
SOS Connect takes each Chadwick Lawrence client through the whole customer journey from initial engagement, through billing to our marketing experience at the end, covering document management, reporting, invoicing and other finance elements.
In terms of operational efficiencies, our processes are now consistent and streamlined with file opening improved throughout the entire organisation, across our many legal disciplines.
In addition to the excellent technology, it’s our ongoing collaboration that sets SOS Legal apart. They have delivered a solution I would highly recommend; their project management was outstanding, and they went the extra mile when it came to on-boarding the teams.
This is a great example of a true partnership. At times it felt as if they were part of the internal team. I’m very confident that Chadwick Lawrence is now equipped for an agile approach to further business growth.