By Legal Futures’ Associates DPS Software 
Shared Legal Services (SLS) from Wokingham Borough Council and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead began looking for a new case management system in early 2018. A key consideration for them was the ability to work remotely with the best security levels that were available.
“It was vital that we had a system that’s cloud-based” said Head of Law and Deputy Monitoring Officer at Shared Legal Services, Elaine Browne. “Being a shared legal service between the two councils at Wokingham; and Windsor and Maidenhead, it was important that we could access the same system from either office and that all staff were on an equal footing” she continued.
The story of SLS began back in 2011. The service was created to serve both Wokingham Borough Council and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. Having a shared legal service for the two authorities meant that they could benefit from the economies of scale that came with it.
This meant that SLS were able to make significant savings and also attract a number of additional customers, while offering a lower hourly rate than their rivals.
After using their previous system for many years, they realised that it wasn’t fit their needs as it wasn’t cloud-based, and their provider didn’t have an alternative online system ready to use. Trying to meet these needs, the Wokingham IT department launched their 21st Century Council initiative and SLS began using ‘Information at Work’ a bespoke, in-house system. This was based on an integration with Microsoft Dynamics, but again, did not meet their needs adequately.
Following these software troubles, SLS looked at the market for a document management system that was cloud-based and could meet the needs of a local authority legal department.
After searching widely, they came across Spitfire™ from DPS that was wholly browser based and had achieved the top level of cloud security available.
It took 3 months to assess The Spitfire solution and after this successful period the council placed the order.
The software was set up and SLS began using it in April 2019. Once they had Spitfire, staff could literally work from anywhere, which proved exceptionally useful in recruitment. Staff could now work from home securely and with no IT effort on SLS’s part. All the user needed to do was browse a web page and enter the correct credentials.
“It’s quite difficult to recruit solicitors to work in the public sector, so being able to say, ‘you don’t have to be in the office everyday’ is a big plus for us. It gives us an advantage over some private sector firms and also means we aren’t restricted to hiring locally.” Said Elaine.
By using DPS Spitfire, we’re now able to hire solicitors from the other side of London and even as far as Leicester.”
Having now used the system for almost a year, things are going well. “DPS Spitfire is a very intuitive and easy to use system, so our users have been able to pick it up easily. There are a few things that we’re working with DPS to improve, but we love the functionality and interface” Elaine continued. “It saves us a lot of time & we can only see it getting better in the future.”
Gavin Wilson, Head of Public Sector Business Development at DPS Software, said “We’re delighted with how things are going with our Public Sector product and DPS Spitfire in general. It is a relatively new product, but one that offers a great deal of value to both public and private clients alike.
The software is under active development so will only get better and make local authority legal departments such as the Shared Legal Services more efficient and productive.”
If you would like to free your public sector legal department to work remotely and boost your recruitment strategy with DPS Spitfire, please get in touch or call 020 8804 1022.