Head of Marketing & Communication
It’s time for a change
What will the ‘New Normal’ look like for the legal profession in 2020? That technology will play a significant role is self-evident. We are facing protracted ‘social distancing’ measures in our personal life and workplace and to get through this we see that people in their social lives and organisations in their day-to-day business life are now, more than ever, adopting technology to help them adapt to the changes and do what they need to do.
Governments across the world are already beginning to consider their lockdown exit strategies. We should be doing the same and planning how to come out of the other side of this dark time stronger, more agile and ready to take their team, customers and business forward.
Making a case for better technology
What makes your business successful? What makes customers keep coming back, what communication platform brought them to your front door, be that physically or virtually?
Just as it was before the lockdown, every firm owner or managing partner must be able to take the pulse of their business. Now more than ever, you need to know your business KPI’s, so that you can make informed, data-driven decision to drive success and profitability because, thanks to technology, your competitors certainly will be.
Moreover, you need to look after your team by giving them the right tools to perform to the best of their ability whilst maximizing their efficiency.
Our clients tell us we have created a product that can do just that. We called it CaseLoad, because that’s we were told you want to help manage, but it does so much more than just managing caseloads.
It’s time for a change!
As with all industries there’s a lot of hype in the legal technology sector. Some seem to be positioning it as the panacea, the saviour for legal firms, saving time, saving money, make your team more productive. These claims can seem exaggerated and confusing leading to distrust and leading to yet more procrastination, more missed opportunities.
There’s a lot of hype but it’s not all hype. The truth is that a lot of the claims you hear could be true. Could be. The challenge is using the technology to its fullest. To do that you need great support from your provider. If you have legal software in place, ask yourself this question. ‘Do I use it to its full potential, or have I just learned the bits that I need to get me through my busy day?’
If you are prepared to change, if you are prepared to embrace the technology; learn how to use it fully, it really could be a game changer.
We see it all the time and to be fair were guilty of it in the past ourselves. Law firms who buy legal technology and then use it to about 20% of its capability. This is, normally, because they don’t engage with it fully to reap the multitude of benefits the technology can bring because they were not fully supported to get the most from it. We have taken care of that now with our incredible training and online support including ‘how to’ videos and webinars to ensure everyone can make the most of our software.
Of course, not all technology providers are the same.
At Denovo we love technology. We are extremely proud of our team of Star Wars t-shirt wearing geeks who are incredibly proud of the work they do, who love and embrace the advancements in technology; not just for its own sake but because they know how it can help our clients. You see, our team works in a collaborative partnership with our clients, using the latest technology to develop ideas for their busy practices and supporting them in using the technology, so they can get maximum benefit.
So, what makes CaseLoad special?
At Denovo we offer a whole practice management solution, incorporating legal accounts, practice management and case management, designed specifically for modern UK law firms of all sizes. Developed in partnership with law firms to ensure we tackled every pain point.
Smart Events have been designed with workflow style automations in mind, without the constraints of a path style workflow. We can bundle up a variety of automations into selectable options within CaseLoad. For example, we can create a new client smart event which when selected creates your TOB, Fee Estimate with correct charges and Money Laundering information it could then package them up into one pre populated email to the client and create a follow up reminder for 7 days’ time to follow up with the next action.
Given the automation you would typically find in a workflow but shrink wrapped into selectable options to be deployed as and when you see fit and not when a workflow dictates. We can bundle up a whole variety of actions/processes into smart events for you and tailor them to your needs. This is all done as part of the consultancy and set up process prior to you going live with Denovo.
Take the guesswork out of your daily tasks with enhanced event management. Go direct to the client or matter window, quickly reply by email from within CaseLoad events window.
Instantly update the event date or status if you are completing a planned event. Email the event or reply to your client straight from the planned events window.
This is a simple and powerful feature. Which takes the organisation of your correspondences and attachments to the next level.
With CaseLoad’s Office 365 Outlook integration you can unlock tools to sync and customise client communication. This means you’ll be able to track all client communication and events – from comments to emails – giving you a full record of correspondence for reference.
Everyone is constantly in the loop, sharing all key information and avoiding errors due to breakdowns in communication.
Importing emails has never been easier, using Casleoad to communicate means saving client emails go direct to the matter without having to search for it.
Onboarding new clients into Caseload has never been easier, capture your client data and all interactions will be much easier with document production templates doing the leg work for you.
Advanced features like postcode finder take the guesswork out of finding a client’s full address and is updated daily with new addresses.
Other matter analysis information means you can track sources and work types. On completion you can easily access the client or matter to quickly begin working on the case and producing documents.
Client Communication has never been easier. An array of options is now available at your fingertips to make sure the client experience is memorable for the right reasons.
CaseLoads Customer Relationship Management feature helps you to manage interactions with clients and potential clients, build customer relationships and streamline processes.
The ability to email and text the client direct from the matter means you can update them quickly and easily.
Deeper integration with outlook means not only can you import emails to a matter you can now reply by email instantly from within the matter events window, with or without attachments.
Make simple document automation at the heart of your processes, avoid copy and paste calamities with easy to access styled templates and options to record the time, create a follow up event reminder and even email direct to the client.
Client information and data pages makes the document smarter than ever before entering data once means It replicates across all communications with the client.
The Data Page functionality now means you have multiple data options to ensure you avoid repetitive processes when sending the client communication updating them on their case.
Mapped to style templates you can have all the information processed through to document production.
Now built in is a conveyancing transaction calculator which will populate your communication to the client with up to date fees based on the purchase price of a property purchase.
Electronic File View
Allows you to view all documents within a matter. Opening a matter and selecting the Electronic File View icon opens a full screen window which displays the first document within the matter. You can then scroll through the documents form oldest to newest.
The complete court diary facility is linked with all matter activities, providing automated reminders to ensure important dates (i.e. a court hearing) aren’t missed. A diary system that provides a powerful tool that can also set activities to be diarised straight to the representative or someone else’s diary – for example, set a reminder for a secretary to send out a chaser letter.
Integrated Time Recording means you can also update job charges within the appointment in CaseLoad.
Email & Text reminders to clients about upcoming diary can be sent manually or automated in advance of the court dates.
Time Recording & Billing
Time Recording in CaseLoad will not only help you to calculate time spent on specific tasks or a whole project, it also makes the invoicing and billing process easy. Regardless of how the solicitor bills clients, hourly or flat rates, the workflow is automated to track working hours, create invoices and generate reports.
Whether you’re producing a letter, having a meeting or sending an email, time capture becomes second nature when you have a system that works. CaseLoad Time Recording is a dynamic, streamlined system that simply delivers.
Lots of software providers can help you Time Record, but CaseLoad has added benefits for any size of firm – from Sole Practioners to Commercial Firms, Legal Aid to Private Client. We believe time matters, no matter what size of firm you are.
Is the fixed fee enough or are you delivering a service way beyond what the client is paying for?
Charge time accurately with a fixed rate for a document and the charge basis can even consider the size of the document. Additionally, further layers of intelligence can be added to this information that can consider differing rates for a fee earner such as a Partner, Assistant, Para-legal or secretary. The software will then apply the appropriate charge-out rate depending on the type of work.
Time Charges can then be applied to enable the firm to create fees/bills that are accurate and reflect the actual work carried out on behalf of the client, which can then be automatically presented to the Caseload Fee/Billing Production system. This will enable the firm to automatically create accurate billing when presented to the client.
Understand where your leads are coming from and start to measure your conversion rates with integrated leads management.
Interact with the lead using document production and email management, before converting them to a client which transfers all information over to the new client and matter.
Then measure the status of leads from your KPI dashboard, showing types of enquiries and what business is being won and lost.
Management/KPI Reporting & Dashboards
CaseLoad has the ability to provide you with fully customisable dashboard views, showing recent matter activity, KPI reports and other useful widgets. Access every performance report instantly from the Report icon, based on where you are in the software.
You can view and get access to your most commonly used features, keeping everything in one place saving time and streamlining your processes. Create multiple dashboards for specific topics, such as clients, matters, events or reports.
CaseLoad now offers rich business management content allowing partners and finance directors the ability to analyse firm performance in one environment. Exit the spreadsheet world and view performance data on screen in easy to read views. You can build in revenue and expenditure budgets to track monthly performance against targets. Easily drill down into each nominal activity to view recent account activity.
Viewing monthly performance and revenue trends is all available on one screen.
Matter Account View Filtering
Excel style filtering on all you matter accounts in one screen, all data fields can be sorted, filtered or arranged by depending on what you would like to see.
Quickly analyse clients onboarded in specific periods, check what work types are most common and see individual fee earner performances on any criteria in one screen.
Easily monitor cash flow performance with the Cashbook accounts section, which has access to client, firm and any other bank accounts you have in CaseLoad. See period movements on screen with current balances and track the debit and credit postings on each account.
You can now use DocuSign to complete approvals and agreements in minutes or hours—not days—from almost anywhere in the world. Quickly and securely access and sign documents. Easily upload and send documents for others to sign. Send reminders and check signing status almost any time.
Integrated to Caseload document production you can send documents out for signature in seconds, to single or multiple signers and even use Smart Events or workflows to automate a whole package of documents on the one action.
In addition to CaseLoad…
Our flagship Legal Accounts system is an easy to use, innovative accounting software product specifically written for law firms. It is fully compliant with both the Law Society of Scotland, England & Wales and Legal Services Commission rules, and the Legal Aid Franchising Quality Assurance Standards (LAFQAS).
Denovo Accounts will deliver to your firm the important Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) enabling the management of the firm to establish quickly and accurately the ongoing performance of the firm. Gain instant access to those KPI’s making sure that the Cashroom Partner knows instantly how much money should be in the Client Bank Account.
Intelligent reporting from the system will give you an accurate P&L Account, Balance Sheet, Aged Fees/Bills, WIP by Fee Earner, department, work type and so on. Additionally, intelligent reporting can enable the firm to set goals and monitor the performance by the firm overall, by department, work type and fee earner.
Our accounts processes ensure your data is secure, up to date and compliant with Law Society Accounts Rules daily. One less headache to worry about allowing you to run your practice more efficiently and freeing time.
Recent additions include Making Tax Digital compatibility and our software will always be updated with the latest regulatory requirements and enhanced features.
Our team of SOLAS qualified support staff regularly monitor Law Society accounts rules and updates to make sure the product remains compliant and a trusted platform for the law firm to handle their accounts system.
The accounts rules govern the way firms must manage their financial records and, in particular, client money. The rules not only provide a framework for firms but also set a benchmark for the standard of financial control that clients may expect from their solicitor.
If your cashier has moved on or retired, if you are starting up a new firm, or you are just looking for a way to streamline your Cashroom, we offer a flexible & affordable Cashroom service.
Our expert SOLAS qualified staff can run your day to day accounts functions while making sure that your firm is practising within the Law Society of Scotland’s Accounting rules and provide you with management information and Management Accounts allowing you to focus on your business.
We can also provide you with start-up advice and guidance making sure your accounts are on the right track at the outset.
The Law Society of Scotland regulates how firms manage client’s money. The Solicitor’s Accounts Rules are complex and technical, but mandatory. Our Legal Cashiering Service takes away that worry as we ensure compliance with the Accounts Rules. We only employ experienced and qualified Cashroom professionals.
We can tailor our services to meet your requirements and budgets. Removing the high costs of recruiting, ongoing employment costs and office space.
With our Legal Aid you are in control of monitoring claims to and payments from SLAB/LSC. Legal Aid allows the recording of each claim sent to SLAB/LSC, the amount received from them, the value of Abatements accepted and the value of Abatements remaining in dispute.
Management Reports comparing each aspect of SLAB/LSC transactions are available at your fingertips. For our law firms’ customers in England & Wales, over 18,000 rules built into our software help law firms comply fully for the purpose of Lexcel inspections.
Executry/Probate software is a flexible and powerful tool for recording, storing and manipulating the asset and liability details of an Executry/Probate – along with tools which aid the production of the inventory, the Executry accounts and other required Executry forms.
The Vault – Secure Document Storage for Lawyers
The Vault provides a comprehensive system for keeping track of all documents held on behalf of clients. The documents that you can add to the Vault are Wills, Powers of Attorney, Titles, Insurance Policies, Equities, Securities, Archived Files or any other important documents held for Clients.
And there’s more…
Amiqus are helping businesses tackle the conventional method of AML checking. Traditionally this requires the client to go into the lawyer’s practice with all of their documentation and dealing with the inconvenience of taking time off work and out of their day to travel in. You don’t want to frustrate a new client at the first stage before you’ve started to work on the things that matter. This is a hassle under normal circumstances, but at the moment, moving around as freely as that is completely restricted by our government.
For the firm it also means that they are waiting and can’t proceed with billable work. Using Amiqus allows a firm’s clients to complete their checks from the comfort of their own home and their lawyers can spend less time doing paperwork and more time doing what they do best: supporting their clients through big life events.
We recently joined forces with Amiqus ID to create an integration that saves time, reduces risk and speeds up the client onboarding process.
The integration allows Amiqus to communicate workflows, risk assessments, and client data with CaseLoad meaning that you’ll save yourself duplication of effort & time on the admin-front in order to dedicate it to your clients & provide the level of service that they expect.
We entered into a strategic partnership with one of the most innovative tech brands to enter the Scottish legal market in some time. Hey Legal is a mobile-first education platform, offering CPD and everyday learning to Scottish lawyers. Hey Legal aims to build a community around learning across a diverse range of topics.
Hey is a legal education company which will help lawyers to learn about every aspect of their careers, including:
- Health and Wellbeing
- Business Planning
- Self -Improvement
- Interviews with legal sector and business sector leaders
- Corporate Social Responsibility
We purchased two licenses for all of our new and existing partners to use for a period of 12 months – free of charge. The objective? To give lawyers the opportunity to save money and time, and to introduce new ideas and thinking into the law firms they work with through the diverse topics covered by Hey Legal.
An investment in the future
There is, of course, the concern of a potential economic downturn to consider when making any decision for the future. Inevitably, some firms will have to tighten their belts, looking to cut overhead costs where they can. At this point, many partners may begin to wonder whether paying for technology is the best use of the firm’s money when the focus might be elsewhere. We get it and we empathise with you. That’s why we are here, to help, not to make introducing tech difficult and impossible to afford.
Having the best case management system in place makes good business sense. It addresses changing customer demands, increases the efficiency of your team, and ultimately optimises business processes essential for business growth.
Your investment in the best possible case management software available is well worth it. Once you’ve streamlined your business processes, your quality of service will drastically improve, customer satisfaction will be greater, and, we would hope, business profits will soar.
In Part 2, The ‘New Normal’ Legal Practice – Making The Change, we will discuss how to make the change to better technology, the support and training available and the steps we can take together to get you ready to reemerge as a force to be reckoned with.
To learn more about CaseLoad email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0141 331 5290.