Whether catering for high end clients from its office in St John’s Wood, north London, or serving the needs of the wider population from its Ipswich base, Attwells Solicitors LLP is determined to provide a modern, efficient service with the focus centred on customer care.
A customer of Legal Futures Associate for accounts since its formation as a result of a demerger in 2007, Attwells has upgraded to the latest version of SOS Connect for the accounts and added case management too, to standardise on one legal system.
Lexcel-accredited Attwells provides a wide range of services, including property, business, employment and dispute resolution. Conveyancing services cover the more expensive end of the market around St John’s Wood as well as a much larger area from Ipswich to Birmingham serviced from Ipswich. There is a strong belief in serving the community, as senior and founding partner Nick Attwell explains: “We have made a commitment to offer free advice to help people understand their legal rights in these difficult times.”
In search of a replacement for their previous case management system, Attwells visited the Legal IT show in London last year. IT manager Stephen Attwell said: “We were not very happy with the case management system we had and decided to review alternatives at the show. I was surprised by how much the marketplace had consolidated. We looked at SOS Connect in more detail, and liked the flexibility it offered to fit our case management needs – especially for conveyancing. I was also very keen to run everything off a single database, which the standardisation on SOS would enable.”
The switch to the latest version of SOS accounts was made on time last November and the case management system followed in December in a smooth changeover.
The lawyers at Attwells offer conveyancing as a personal, fixed fee service and deliver rapid results for clients with flexible communication. The introduction of SOS Connect for case management provides a solution that Attwells can easily adapt themselves to meet the needs of their different conveyancing marketplaces.
“One of the distinct advantages of Connect is the provision of scripting tools which we can use ourselves to develop and adapt workflows, whereas in the past we needed in-depth programming skills to make changes. In fact one of our solicitors, who understands our internal processes and the finer points of our requirements, found SOS Connect’s tools very easy to use and was able to do much of the scripting work herself, under guidance from SOS,” said Stephen Attwell.
Despite a strong focus on conveyancing, Nick Attwell does not feel threatened by so-called Tesco law and alternative business structures. He said: ”I have seen a lot of people come into the market and try to commoditise conveyancing. I believe they will continue to fail until the law changes. At Attwells everyone who carries out conveyancing is a qualified solicitor as we find we still need highly skilled people to handle the nuances and exceptions. We use case management to automate as much as possible in order to free up people to concentrate on client care.”
The firm also has strengths in employment, handles a lot of landlord and tenant litigation with a no-win, no-fee service, and has recently opened a matrimonial department.
David McNamara, managing director of SOS, said: “Law firms are all individual and are tackling the challenges brought on by the opening up of the legal the market to new competitors, in many different ways. SOS Connect is a product of its time and combines great functionality with flexibility so law firms like Attwells have the systems to support their new business models, and achieve their aspirations in response to these changes. SOS Connect provides the foundation for automating as many tasks as possible and streamlining operations for greater efficiency which in turns puts customer care at the centre of Attwells’ business.”