More on Travers Smith’s selection of Aderant Expert

Legal IT Insider catches up with Matt Chandler, head of accounts at Travers Smith, to find out more about the firm’s Aderant Expert selection.
As we reported on 17 April, in a big UK win for Aderant, Travers Smith has selected Aderant Expert as its new practice management system.
The UK top 50 firm, which has offices in the City of London and Paris, has been using Timeslice for decades and was the UK vendor’s flagship law firm site. We reported in 2004 that Travers (then Travers Smith Braithwaite), already a longtime Timeslice user, had just exchanged contracts to implement Timeslice’s latest gen Lawman practice management system.
Matt Chandler, head of accounts at Travers tells us that the firm conducted a big review of the market – including looking at where its current offering sits in the market and its future development – before looking to move forward with a new practice management system. In the running as part of the pitch process, which was led by Paul Longhurst at 3Kites Consulting, were Thomson Reuters Elite 3E, Aderant Expert, LexisOne and SOS Connect.
Chandler says: “Aderant shone through as the best fit. We’re UK based apart from a small presence in Paris. We’re a mid-sized firm and don’t have the complexities of international offices and multi-currency. Aderant was a good fit. One key feature was its off the shelf capability. We don’t have huge internal resource, so we liked the fact that it came with all the functionality off the shelf without requiring a huge team to develop it internally.”
He adds: “We’re going to bring in more recent modules: we’re going straight to paperless billing and time recording in the first phase. In the second phase we may look at expenses management – that was the main one we parked.”
Travers is already a client of Handshake, which was acquired by Aderant in 2017, although Chandler says the offering is not yet “joined up”, partly thanks to the fact that Aderant Expert is owned by finance whereas the work with Handshake is a legal IT project.
According to Chandler, deciding which department led the Aderant Expert decision-making process wasn’t a difficult decision. Lead by Chandler and Travers’ finance director Paul Johnson, the steering committee also included IT director Ann Cant. Chandler says: “We are very collegiate and work well together. Ann and Dave Cassidy helped us through the tendering process and the input after that was more around finance functionality.”
The decision was probably made easier by the fact that the IT team is engaged in rolling out a new document management system after its selection of NetDocuments, announced in January.
Engaging in a simultaneous document and practice management system overhaul isn’t for the faint hearted and doesn’t come cheap. Chandler said: “We have a programme of working smarter and our strategic business decisions need to be invested in. Being honest we have a legacy of under investment and we’re playing catch up.
“The firm has already been very profitable, and this coincides with a real drive in strengthening the calibre of people in the firm and the weight they carry.”
Chandler joined Travers last year in what is a newly- created role for the firm and there have been similar hires across other departments.
This article first appeared in the April Orange Rag – you can sign up for your free monthly newsletter here: