Adrian Bennett of Thorneycroft explains how his firm has benefited from installing Proclaim Case Management and Proclaim Accounts from Legal Futures Associate Eclipse 
Established in 1992, Thorneycroft Solicitors was formed with the intention of providing an expert, value for money service to clients nationwide. An ethos of integrity and superior service has led the practice on a consistent path of expansion, and it now numbers over 150 staff.
Growth has been carefully controlled to maximise quality and Thorneycroft proudly boasts one of the highest ratios of qualified to non-qualified staff in the industry. The Cheshire firm has offices in Macclesfield and Holmes Chapel.
The firm uses the Proclaim Case Management system from Eclipse, and has also implemented Proclaim Accounts to form a fully-integrated practice management solution. Adrian Bennett, Thorneycroft’s business manager, describes how the firm’s use of IT has driven success:
Whilst the firm deals with most types of legal work, our main specialism is in handling personal injury claims. Our strength in this sector has grown to the point where today we are recognised as one of the country’s leading claimant personal injury law firms.
Our success can be attributed to a combination of financial stability; choosing Proclaim as our case management system; and the continuity of both staff and referrers, which has given us an extremely solid foundation.
Thorneycroft experienced something of a tipping point in early 2004. We had the opportunity to take on far greater volumes of case than we had traditionally been handling, but we knew that to take full advantage a specialist case management system was required.
On looking at the solutions that were out there, Proclaim was always our preferred choice. It was a proven system that was already used by many of our case referrers, coming highly recommended by all of them. Our key requirement was the ability to process more claims, at a faster rate, and Proclaim was designed for this very end. In addition, the integrated toolkits gave us confidence that as we expanded, and as the market changed, we would be able to tailor our use of the system and implement bespoke processes to help us really further our competitive edge.
Our use of Proclaim has allowed us to manage claims much more effectively. The system stores all key case data in a centralised fashion, with all other relevant details easily accessible and clearly signposted. This allows all case handlers to access information quickly and efficiently. From here, an intuitive ‘one-click’ workflow style allows the near-instantaneous creation of relevant documentation.
As an example, when creating our initial ‘welcome pack’ for clients, containing key information such as our T&Cs and an overview of the claim, just one button press can create six separate letters, in just a little over ten seconds. Tools like this are huge time savers and really remove the administrative slog from casework.
We can also trigger automatic reminders upon creation of any document (or indeed based upon any pre-set criteria). So, we can schedule chase ups and alerts that key dates are approaching, all with no manual intervention – again, reducing that administrative burden but also negating human error. Automatic scheduling like this is incredibly helpful in terms of MI reporting, and empowers us to update work referrers instantly with news on the progression of their claims.
Proclaim’s data import/export functions are heavily utilised here at Thorneycroft. We work with a lot of referrers, and these relationships are invaluable. Using Proclaim, we can import case data in volume, at the press of a button, in whatever format (csv, xml, and so on). Our referrers do not have to use Proclaim to benefit from this – if their system can export data, then we can create the necessary templates to import it into the relevant Proclaim areas. This means that within seconds of receiving claim data we are able to act upon it and start work on the files. This sort of responsiveness is worth a great deal to us, and our referrers, and is proving to be a core differentiator in our market.
In addition, we use Eclipse’s FileView online case tracking tool, which enables our private clients and referrers to securely view live case progression information via the Thorneycroft website.
The new RTA claims process
Eclipse has implemented a seamless ‘A2A’ link between Proclaim and the Ministry of Justice’s new road traffic accident claims portal. This has vastly improved the speed with which we can manage these low-value claims, and everything is managed from within Proclaim, rather than us being forced to use the ministry’s separate website.
Going forward, using Proclaim we can enjoy a great deal of flexibility, confident that the system can be tailored in-house in line with market forces or new legislation. It can all be carried out by our own IT team; we do not need to bring in external assistance, which all helps to keep ongoing running costs low.
Solicitors and claims referrers look at the use of Proclaim as a quality assurance and – in my experience – Proclaim users tend to be serious businesses that focus on excellence. We are delighted with our use of the system, and have no hesitation in recommending it.