By Legal Futures’ Associates SOS Connect
Justin Lingard served as an Associate Solicitor with Margraves Solicitors for around 2 years before the firm incorporated as a company and commenced trading on 01 August 2020. Now a Director of its successor practice Margraves Ltd, the firm is boutique with around fourteen employees spread between one main office and two satellites. Started in 1994, the firm specialises in wills and probate, trust law, employment law and conveyancing.
Although the firm is a longstanding customer of SOS Practice Manager and an important stakeholder for SOS Legal, it was not running a current version of its practice management software, and Justin knew that it was time for an upgrade. What does it look like when an existing SOS Legal customer upgrades to SOS Connect?
Justin Lingard, Solicitor and Director of Margraves Limited, shares his thoughts and experiences on the process of upgrading the firm to SOS Connect.
Project Highlights: Eliminating Cost and Environmental Impacts
- The firm became 98 per cent paperless within three years
- Fully standardised on SOS Connect within one year
- Easy for partners and paralegals to pick up
- Easy integration into existing processes
Why Upgrade to SOS Connect?
As Justin puts it, the drive to choose a new practice management system stemmed from the need to, “know what’s going on in the firm by collating efficient, accurate data, and that’s something we weren’t able to do in a confident manner previously. Not for the want of trying by various members of staff, but because the data wasn’t centrally held.”
In short, the firm needed a centralised location to store and categorise all its legal data. Rather than storing their information in siloed Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, they wanted a single repository that would also allow solicitors to monitor each other’s contributions to the overall database.
Some additional features of interest included:
- Performance and KPI reports
- Time sheets
- Pre-filled template documents
These would allow their workers to increase their efficiency, log their hours with more accuracy, and ensure that all cases were being filed and completed in a timely manner.
Although Margraves had been a longstanding customer of SOS Legal, their choice of SOS Connect as a practice management system was not foreordained. They undertook a serious review process, and as Justin said, “it was apparent that SOS Connect fitted what we were looking for and we found the customer service to be excellent throughout.” Even after looking throughout the market, it was apparent that SOS Connect was still the best choice based on their selection criteria.
Implementing SOS Connect during COVID-19 Lockdown
Following the official selection of SOS Connect, the upgrade process itself was extremely speedy, especially given that it took place during March 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic lockdown. Despite this, the upgrade and implementation only took three months and went live on June 1.
All training, setup, and custom implementation was performed online and remotely. As Margraves was previously only running the SOS accounts system, implementation involved the creation of a tailored case document management system that would replace their existing filing system while incorporating existing data.
Although implementation involved the tailoring of the case management software and was fully remote, it went off with barely a challenge. As a result, the firm has immediately seen increased efficiency, a decline in physical paperwork, and more. Margraves Ltd is already planning an expanded rollout designed to handle probate and conveyancing work using tailored apps from SOS Legal.
Benefits from using SOS Connect
Even though the SOS Connect implementation at Margraves Ltd is still in its infancy, the firm is already seeing concrete benefits. Justin says that he appreciates it because of, “the evolution that it opens up in terms of being able to work from home, to scan documents and attach them to the file and have everything contained in one place so that information isn’t spread around different systems.”
In addition, the ongoing support efforts at SOS Legal have drastically streamlined the process for all that implementation and training were performed remotely. Every issue has found an extremely quick response. Justin says, “The staff know their stuff, know their product and, I’m very pleased with them and I can recommend them as an organisation.”
To summarise, even one of SOS Legal’s long standing customers can find new efficiencies and transition to a mobile workforce by upgrading to SOS Connect. What will happen when you try it for yourself?