Legal IT: Wins, launches, hires and industry news

With the latest legal IT industry news we bring you wins from BigHand and Eclipse Legal Systems, hires from Morae Legal and product launches from Zylpha and Capensys, with news of positive financial results from nQueue, a €1.2m EU grant for a four-year legal informatics programme and an entry into the legal vertical for Acorn Recruitment.

Wins and deals

As part of Anthony Gold Solicitors’ recent restructuring exercise, the small-to-medium sized London firm has invested in BigHand’s task delegation tool, BigHand Now, to remove paper-based processes, increase the visibility of tasks across teams and improve the prioritisation and allocation of work.

Until 2015, Anthony Gold was operating with a traditional fee-earner to secretary ratio, with authors sending their dictations, bookings, matter setup, printing and postal work to secretaries and any general administration work to the back office. With continuous growth in mind, the firm undertook an exercise to streamline this process to become more efficient and gain maximum benefit from the wide range of skills within its administrative team.

John O’Connor, head of IT at Anthony Gold, said: “Law firms, especially small ones, that haven’t driven efficiencies, have found life very hard of late. That trend, coupled with the recent Jackson Reforms, helped us realise that we needed to be more nimble and more efficient. We’ve embraced technology to help us.”

The deal follows the announcement that Cripps has rolled out a suite of BigHand’s latest products, namely BigHand Now and BigHand SmartNote, as the South East firm plans shortly to roll out BigHand Capacity Manager in order to help it adapt to the changing legal services landscape.

Eclipse Legal Systems has announced the implementation of its Law Society endorsed Proclaim Case Management Software solution at Kain Knight, the UK’s largest firm of costs lawyers.

Kain Knight will be implementing a ready-to-go Proclaim Case Management Software solution to provide fee earners with a comprehensive desktop application that will automate a number of aspects within the business, resulting in enhanced turnaround times for clients.

Furthermore, Proclaim’s capability to manage electronic file transfer will enable the practice to offer a seamless Proclaim-to-Proclaim file transfer service to its solicitor clients who are also Proclaim users, resulting in reduced settlement times and quicker case progression.

Matthew Kain, managing director at Kain Knight, said: “As the UK’s leading costs drafting firm, we require a case management solution that can handle complex costs disputes across a range of practice areas. Proclaim will be critical to our future success thanks to its inherent flexibility, enabling us to scale the system as and when we need to, whilst maintaining tight control of our financials and aiding us in continuing to provide the exceptional client service we are renowned for.”

Who’s in, who’s out

Morae Legal, a full-service legal consulting and solutions provider, has hired ten senior legal and consulting executives, as it moves into new state-of-the art premises in Houston and Chicago.

The company has also announced the launch of its information and discovery management service, which will be led by one of the new executives, Jeff Seymour. The service provides Morae Legal clients with end-to-end management of information or component point solutions, including discovery, to meet specific needs.

Former general counsel Roland Castaneda and Rick Wittenbraker join the company as executive counsel. Kevin Blodgett, Danish Butt and Carolyn Southerland join the company as managing directors, and Teju Deshpande, Malini Ireland, Bill Young and Mark Woolfolk join as senior directors.

Product launches

Zylpha has launched a new version of its widely acclaimed MoJ (Ministry of Justice) Portal integration.

The software, which incorporates a host of new features and functionality, automates the smooth transfer of case management information for RTA (Road Traffic Accident) and EL/PL (Employers’ and Public liability) Portal submissions. This significantly speeds up the document submission process, whilst reducing costs and eliminating the manual input errors associated with the double handling of data.

The latest version now has intuitive new workflow screens with additional context sensitive user guidance to aid navigation and enhance user experience. There are also options to chain consecutive portal functions where appropriate, thereby saving time and ensuring improved accuracy. Scheduled status updates are also now included at each stage with clear visibility of timeout dates to reduce risk.

Capensys has announced the launch of Sentinel, a security awareness program, in partnership with MediaPro. Sentinel promotes a culture of “Security Warriors” – employees who are dedicated to protecting the firm’s security.

The Sentinel program provides a structure to expand employee knowledge, change employee behaviour, and build a risk-aware culture. The framework provides an overall strategic process to create a measurable security awareness program.

Sentinel includes a full offering of services and resources to meet the most stringent security audit requirements including online modules and webinars; evaluations to measure and track learning; guides, posters and presentations customised to the firm’s needs; communication templates; and consulting services.

Industry updates

One of the UK’s leading multi-specialist recruitment agencies Acorn Recruitment has launched a legal recruitment division.

The Welsh-headquartered agency has been consulting with law firms throughout Wales, as well as in London and the South West before ultimately launching its new, specialist legal recruitment service.

Acorn’s group marketing director Dan Langford said: “Over the last few months we have held meetings with senior representatives of many leading law firms in various parts of England and Wales to help establish the scope of the legal recruitment market, the issues they face generally in growing their business and specifically in terms of recruitment and skills, and also how they feel their recruitment efforts might be better-supported.

“The feedback has been excellent not only in informing how best we target and develop our own legal recruitment services but also in terms of how warmly we were welcomed by the law firms when we mentioned we were setting this up. We can’t thank the lawyers and HR teams we have met enough for their insight, objectivity and support.”

Acorn operates from 39 branches across Wales, the South West, North West and South East of England, and has international offices in Australia and Ireland.

Leading cost recovery solutions provider nQueue has announced record results for 2015. The company gained more new clients than ever before in a year and beat its revenue projections by more than 7%. The fourth quarter also capped a string of six consecutive quarters where the company exceeded new bookings expectations.

nQueue’s new clients come from all areas of the United States and internationally and illustrate strong support for both of the company’s product lines, BillBack Cost Recovery and ScanRoute Scanning and Routing.

“The continued success of our cost recovery products is likely the combination of the marketplace’s preference for Embedded technology and our reputation for superior customer service,” said Rick Hellers, nQueue’s CEO and President.

The EU has awarded more €1.2 million for a four-year research legal informatics programme that pools expertise at universities in several European countries plus China, Australia, Japan, South Africa and Argentina.

University of Huddersfield scientist Professor Grigoris Antoniou is to head one of the most important elements of the multi-national research project that aims to make a major breakthrough in the burgeoning field of legal informatics.

The project is being co-ordinated by the University of Luxembourg, which was the venue for the official launch of MIREL, which stands for Mining and Reasoning with Legal Texts.

This describes how legal informatics can be used to search for data, and then arrive at an interpretation for clients, such as companies seeking to ensure that products or new developments are fully compliant with regulations in the territories where they operate.