CWJ Solicitors: Switching to SOS Just in Time for Lockdown

SOSBy Legal Futures Associates Solicitors’ Own Software

Since 1951, Clarkson Wright & Jakes have been providing legal services to individuals and organisations throughout Kent and South East London.

Ordinarily, you’d think that switching to a major new legal software like SOS Connect right before a nationwide lockdown would be a recipe for disaster. SOS Legal installed SOS Connect across 80 users, for PMS & CMS, Conveyancing, Probate, Credit Control and Precedent H, and CWJ Solicitors considered it a godsend. After moving away from Envision and moving to SOS Connect, Senior Partner and IT Partner, Andrew Wright has this to say:

“We count ourselves as very fortunate that we went live before the lockdown. Thank goodness we didn’t delay!”

Andrew Wright, the Senior Partner and IT partner at CWJ Solicitors, takes us through his experience of working with SOS Legal and the benefits he sees as a result of using SOS Connect.

Project Highlights: A Nearly Seamless Implementation

  • Advice and support throughout the project lifecycle
  • In-depth training
  • Enables a nearly paperless office

Switching from an end of support Product

Once Thomson Reuters announced that their practice management product, Envision, was going end-of-life, Andrew knew that he had a limited amount of time to make a choice. Choosing a new practice management product would not be easy, but Andrew had a shopping list which included a solution with additional workflow and case management features as well as a strong support function

CWJ appointed independent IT and Management consultancy, Lights-On Consulting to review its whole IT set-up and, from that assessment, Lights-On went on to help CWJ select and move to a managed service provider effectively moving its whole IT to “the cloud”. Lights-On then helped CWJ identify, assess and select a new PMS and SOS Connect emerged as the clear favourite from that process. Andrew then, along with the support of Lights-On, maintained complete oversight of the SOS Connect implementation through to the completion of the project.

Invaluable Support While Going Live

Throughout the implementation process, SOS gave incredibly useful and relevant advice on switching to Connect. They helped CWJ revise their initial six-month timeline for something that would provide a smoother and more realistic on-ramp. They helped the firm move out of their collective comfort zone, all while providing training that allowed them to get up to speed on the new product by deadline.

The SOS team was always there for CWJ to reassure CWJ about the process, adoption and training and to give confidence that go live would be a strong one and that any glitches could be ironed out at or shortly after go-live which was, indeed, the case.

This advice turned out to be prescient. Not only were CWJ able to go live with SOS Connect right before lockdown, they were pleased to discover that SOS Legal kept on providing expert support and advice while ironing out issues in the live SOS Connect deployment.

Benefits from using SOS Connect

Because Connect has gone live so recently, there’s not much news to report – but in this case, no news is good news. Employees are quickly adapting to the new application with no major complaints. The most notable transition so far has been the conversion of CWJ to a paperless office. Converting to SOS Connect means that all but a handful of old files have been scanned into the management system and are now available to every user. This has been a tremendously lucky break now that 95 percent of employees are working remotely.

In addition, Andrew mentions that it has become much easier to search for documents, especially in big litigation files. It’s also effortless sending the documents out once they’re found. Converting a Word document to PDF is nearly automatic, and emailing it takes a touch of a button. Once a response comes back in, the email is automatically tagged and saved to the relevant file.

Switching to a new document system mid-pandemic is not something that you ordinarily want to try, but CWJ and SOS have made an excellent go of it. With help from SOS Legal, CWJ Solicitors has already begun to realise the benefit of switching over, and Andrew says that the best is yet to come.


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