Posted by Legal Futures Associate OchreSoft 
Jackson Barratt & Gass is a long-established Cheshire law firm specialising in private client work. Lexcel and CQS-accredited, as well as a Law Society Excellence Award winner, it is acknowledged as one of the region’s foremost providers of residential conveyancing.
It is somewhat atypical of High Street firms in that it has ridden the wave of legal market change with strength and confidence. It has embraced business development and leveraged IT and web technologies to move beyond its traditional geographic boundaries as well as introduce new delivery models. As a result, not only is it tapping into a wider ‘catchment area’ of end users but it is also connecting more widely with new referrers of work.
We talk to Jackson Barratt & Gass’s Rick Barrow about the firm’s strategy and the contribution Intelliworks has made to its successful implementation.
What was the background to the adoption of Intelliworks?
We knew that growth would come with certain consequences:
- Profitability – how to handle more work efficiently without scaling up the headcount
- Customer satisfaction – how to keep taking on more work and be sure of delivering the same high standards every time
- Quality and compliance – how to manage risk and regulatory issues within a busier team without more resource
- Business focus – how to remain fully engaged with sales and marketing activity while having to address the issues above
For us, the answer lay in workflow – in putting systems, controls and procedures in place that would secure us the necessary step-change in performance.
How would you describe the move to the Intelliworks platform?
Smooth, simple, straightforward – in fact, the opposite of the classic workflow project where you are basically given nothing more than a toolkit and expected to get on with it and hope it all works. We were live in the first month of signing, with properly engineered, content-enabled workflow ready to go ‘out of the Cloud’.
What has Intelliworks delivered for the firm?
Intelliworks has given us the means to rise to the challenges we’d identified. We are now doing more with less – we’ve consolidated some roles, reduced dependency on secretaries and are running ‘leaner and meaner’ with its obvious impact on margins. We’re doing things quicker and better – previously time-intensive tasks are now reduced to a click but still done to the same high practice standard.
Compliance is still a priority but as the Intelliworks system continually updates itself from a regulatory perspective, we are confident in enforcing and monitoring an inherently compliant way of working.
It’s also allowed us to sharpen our competitive edge beyond just service and price promises. For example, we’ve enjoyed great success in engaging some 20+ local estate agents using IntelliworksTM Virtual Firm for on-line case tracking.
What’s the final verdict?
On a day-to-day basis, as a managed cloud application, it’s helping us to streamline our internal processes without a) a huge investment in on-premise software, support and development and b) the heavy burden of having to manage regulatory, forms and legal content updates ourselves.
It’s allowed us to better connect with our clients and sources of work, and enable the delivery of consistently high-grade services to more people more quickly. We can be confident in this new era of compliance and OFR – Intelliworkshas been commended during inspections for its risk management capabilities while also equipping us with the data and analysis we need for evidentiary purposes.
Overall, this is one of our most important strategic relationships as there’s a real sense of collaboration to develop and refine new process workflows and ensure we keep getting maximum returns from the technology.
- Transferred 2 full time fee earner roles, on retirement, to 1 equivalent role
- Production time of Declaration of Trust down from 30 minutes to 1 click
- Significant time savings experienced from IntelliworksTM SDLT submissions versus HMRC website
- IntelliworksTM singled out as risk management good practice in the recent Lexcel re-inspection
- Fee earners can now handle client calls and all document production themselves
- Virtual Firm is engaging local agents, but also reduced the volume of routine case enquiries significantly
- Power reports are providing quick access to data for Lexcel, CQS, PI renewal forms and panel applications