Five of the Best: latest legal IT new product news from around the globe

This week we have new product announcements from Business Integrity, Thomson Reuters Serengeti, Eclipse Legal Systems plus two from LexisNexis.

• International: Business Integrity announced the release of ContractExpress for SharePoint 4.6. In addition to several feature updates and improvements, the latest product release includes integration with DocuSign Inc, a leading eSignature solution.  The DocuSign DTM platform integration provides significant benefits to the vast number of Business Integrity customers who leverage ContractExpress for contract creation. ContractExpress with DocuSign allows users to have a completely digital contract automation solution, without any need to “print, sign and scan” documents. The enhancement further streamlines the process by helping organizations go fully digital for both speed and process simplification within the signature phase of contract creation. “We are always looking for ways to further automate the contract creation and execution process in order to drive efficiency. DocuSign reduces average document turnaround times by eight days, with 86% of documents completed in one day and we can now leverage that gain in ContractExpress,” said Business Integrity CTO, Andy Wishart.


• US: LexisNexis has teamed with Microsoft to integrate Outlook and Office 365 productivity tools into LexisNexis Firm Manager. The gist is synching calendars and contacts, and in some aspects case files,  with a cloud based tool for managing a law firm – from case management and collaboration to invoicing. In close coordination between the two companies, development is already underway for three initiatives. The first initiative provides an integration that will be a bi-directional synchronization between Microsoft Outlook calendar and contacts and those stored in the Firm Manager product. For example, if a new law firm client is added to the practice management system, the contact and any calendar items will appear in the Outlook client of the attorney working on that client’s matter, and vice versa. The second initiative will be an app that will enable users to save documents generated in Microsoft products to the LexisNexis Firm Manager application and attach these documents to the relevant matter or client contact, as needed. The third initiative will provide the ability to save emails and email attachments directly to a LexisNexis Firm Manager contact or matter. These integrations provide additional simplicity and ease-of-use enabling independent law firms to keep their legal matters on track, from anytime, anywhere and on any device.


• UK: Thomson Reuters has stepped up its plans for the international expansion of Serengeti Tracker with the introduction of servers at its state-of-the-art data centre facility in the UK.
Serengeti Tracker, a web-hosted software solution, is one of the most widely used systems (competitors include Datacert and Tymetrix) for legal matter management, ebilling and analytics supporting best practices across corporate legal departments, increasing control, reducing spend and improving collaboration – internally and with external legal counsel. “This is a significant investment in our technology infrastructure that will further accelerate the international expansion of Serengeti Tracker,” said Jan-Coos Geesink, managing director, Thomson Reuters Legal business in the UK & Ireland. “We’re already setting up our global customers for Serengeti Tracker within our UK data centre where they can feel confident that their security and data hosting needs are being met through our leading-edge technology.”


• Australia/APAC: LexisNexis just announced the launch of Lexis Affinity 6.0, the latest version of its Affinity practice management system. Lexis Affinity 6.0 provides access to client and matter information, as well as time and fee recording on a range of mobile devices through the Lexis Affinity portal. Together with Affinity’s improved Outlook integration capabilities Affinity 6.0 offers firms across the Asia-Pacific region the opportunity to improve workflow efficiency, productivity and client delivery. Key features include: Mobile access to key client, contact and matter information while on the move + Mobile time and fee recording + Enable BYOD approach to mobile device support + Secure architecture: no data stored on device The new version also offers improved Microsoft Outlook integration with seamless drag-and-drop filing, quick access to favourite/recent matters and Affinity search functions accessible in Outlook.


• UK/International: Eclipse Legal Systems has announced the latest iteration v3.3.1 of its Proclaim productivity and management solution. The latest version will be provided free of charge to all Eclipse clients, under the firm’s standard maintenance agreements. Proclaim v3.3.1 carries a brand new look and feel, sporting ‘flat design’ to provide an enhanced user experience. Users will benefit from even clearer signposting of ‘next actions’, in addition to a cleaner working space and even the choice of a range of colour schemes. The feature-rich nature of Proclaim has been further enhanced, with new functionalities including: ‘Infinite additions’ enabling system designers to easily create additional data fields on-the-fly’ + Multi-user access, empowering legal teams to work on the same matter at the same time + ‘Paragraphs’ a document building tool that provides fee earners with the option to pick context sensitive paragraphs from a pre-defined library of text, when creating bespoke or complicated documents (for example, commercial contracts)+  Enhanced desktop billing; including the ability to electronically draft bills, all within a user-friendly and intuitive ‘bills guide’ interface.