Posted by Deborah Edwards, professional services director at Legal Futures Associate Insight Legal
The role of legal practitioners is becoming ever more complex. In the last 18 months alone, we have seen new protocols such as the EU GDPR regulation and HMRC’s Making Tax Digital initiative shake up processes within law firms.
With the upcoming revisions to the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s rulebook in November, further change is on the horizon and practice managers must ensure that their firms make provisions in order to adapt and remain successful.
Managing a large volume of cases simultaneously with regulation can often prove challenging. Amidst an ever-growing number of regulations, law firm decision-makers are being tasked with finding ways to help their practitioners apply both internal and external policies with ease in order to remain both efficient and compliant.
However, the industry is now responding to these requirements as it continues its shift towards a more digital approach to case management.
In a profession bound heavily by procedure, technology can play a fundamental role in helping law firms to achieve best practice, both internally and in the eyes of those governing the sector.
Remain compliant with integrated information
As with any sector, having information readily available and accessible is important for completing tasks correctly. For law firms, this requirement is only amplified by the additional need to remain compliant with regulations at every stage of a case.
Firms must now be proactive in providing staff with the tools to achieve this. For example, using a single system that stores and uses information efficiently, practitioners can not only improve their task workflow but enhance compliance monitoring to ensure all tasks are completed in line with both internal and external policy guidelines.
Taking this one step further, it is not only crucial that tasks are completed to the correct standard, but that they are also completed in a timely manner. Firms should therefore look to utilise tools that enable automated prompts and reminders.
This will prove extremely valuable for helping practitioners remain up-to-date with tasks as a case progresses, improving overall case management and ensuring important regulatory deadlines are not missed throughout.
Supporting a firm’s individual needs
Every firm will inevitably have its own unique internal procedures for its staff to undertake throughout the duration of a case.
Therefore, any modern supporting legal IT system should provide flexibility and enable customisable workflow to align with each firm’s individual needs. Doing so will not only allow firms to streamline their chosen internal working practices but also ensure that all procedures are met and that staff can deliver a high quality, tailored, efficient service for their clients.
With the needs of legal practitioners constantly changing with the tides of industry policy, having the freedom to build unique workflows to meet the specific needs of a firm is now the key to delivering effective case management for both its staff and clients.
This technology, in conjunction with comprehensive training, can make the difference needed to operate more efficiently and with greater control of internal and external processes at every phase of a case.
Firms which embrace these necessary steps will ultimately be well placed to continue their success in an ever-changing legal sector.