Willans LLP has selected SOS Connect from Legal Futures Associate as the legal system to meet its requirements as a contemporary, forward-looking practice.
The Cheltenham-based and Lexcel-accredited firm is hoping to complete the switchover to standardised and fully integrated software in early summer.
The fast-track implementation that is already underway is designed to further streamline efficiency and financial management while simplifying risk compliance, and above all, improving service and communication with clients.
Willans is a full-service law firm noted for giving expert, practical and personal service. It provides private and commercial advice to local, national and international clients.
Willans began searching for a replacement for the existing Cognito system used for accounts, Legaldocs for documentation and an IRIS (formerly Videss) system used for conveyancing case management at the Legal IT Show 2010. Several other suppliers were assessed.
Bridget Redmond, residential property partner, who was closely involved in the selection process, recalls: “We saw some very good products and demonstrations, but nothing felt quite right for us. We had discounted SOS at an early stage, mistakenly believing that they did not cover case management, and when we discovered that they did, we took a closer look at the end of 2010.
“Several of us instantly felt that SOS Connect was the right product for today’s style of working, especially with the close integration with Outlook and the automated integration of incoming and outgoing e-mails. Of equal importance though was the fit with SOS, the owner-managed company. The SOS team instilled us with great confidence that we are important to them and that our ambitious implementation timescales could be met.”
SOS will carry out the conversion of data from the old systems to SOS Connect, while tailoring of case management will be handled by Willans themselves, following training and mentoring. The plan is to implement the accounts, customer relationship management, generic workflows and case management for the residential property department in June, with wills, probate and trusts following.
“No-one knows what the full impact of the Legal Service Act will be,” says Ms Redmond, “but Willans will continue to focus on providing a first-class personal service to private clients and the high levels of expertise that our commercial clients have come to expect. SOS Connect will play a crucial enabling role.”
David McNamara, managing director of SOS, said: “A key advantage of SOS Connect is the provision of tools which either we or our customers can use to flex and adapt the case management workflows to meet individual needs. As one of the few independent software firms we also understand the importance of building long-term relationships and look forward to doing so with Willans as they move forward.”