Legal IT news round up – all the latest wins, moves and product launches

Catch up on the latest wins, deals and product launches here including Thomson Reuters’ acquisition of CaseLines; Taylor Wessing and Wilson Sonsini’sSixFifty launch return-to-work solution; Aderant broadens scope of Expert Sierra to Include Canada; Taylor Vinters selects NetMotion; Margraves Solicitors upgrades to SOS Connect – goes live during lockdown; Df2020 launches COVID-19 employee risk assessment; Wilson Solicitors selects P4W, and vLex Justis brings AI-powered legal research to Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

Thomson Reuters Acquires CaseLines

Thomson Reuters has acquired digital evidence platform CaseLines, which is hosted in Microsoft Azure and since 2016 has underpinned the digitisation of the UK criminal justice system.

CaseLines enables users – who include governments, judges, courts and legal practitioners – to securely manage, organize, share and present evidence between the courts and legal teams both remotely and in person. It essentially eliminates paper and creates digital court files managed on one common platform.

Building on its success in the UK, the acquisition will further support a recent agreement between Thomson Reuters and Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General to provide CaseLines to support civil, criminal and family courts across the province.

“By bringing Thomson Reuters CaseLines to our province, a game changing technology that will make Ontario a leader in modern court systems, I sent a clear signal that we have put an end to watching Ontario’s justice system fall continuously behind,” said the Honourable Doug Downey, Attorney General of Ontario. “Together with our justice partners, we have moved our entire justice system forward by decades in a matter of months during the COVID-19 recovery, and we are not looking back. This procurement by the Ministry of the Attorney General is part of a broad and urgent strategy to build a more responsive and resilient justice system that supports the safe expansion of in-person and virtual court proceedings.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic is driving the courts to expedite their transition to the digital era,” said Stephen Rubley, president of the Government Segment of Thomson Reuters. “The CaseLines platform enables the courts to operate in a faster, more efficient manner, helping people get the justice they deserve. By developing new technologies and capabilities, of which we are at the forefront, our aim is to support our customers in creating an increasingly accessible justice system for all.”

“CaseLines has significantly transformed our Criminal Justice system in the UK. Paper documents have been replaced by the CaseLines digital system and the Judges are universally positive about the efficiencies this has created for everyone working in the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal. Without CaseLines it is very difficult to see how we would have been able to function during the coronavirus difficulties,” said The Right Honourable Lord Justice Fulford, Vice-President of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division), England and Wales.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Taylor Wessing and Wilson Sonsini’s SixFifty launch return-to-work solution

International law firm Taylor Wessing and SixFifty, the technology subsidiary of the law firm Wilson Sonsini, have released a legal technology ‘Return to Work Toolset’ for businesses to support the safe transition of their employees back into the workplace.

In response to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizations identified a need from many clients, for further guidance on the changes to effectively enable a safe return to the workplace for their employees.

The digital toolset is available online and features include: (1) an assessment to help businesses determine their back-to-workplace readiness; (2) various policy templates  to govern how businesses transition their employees back to the office; and (3) a questionnaire screening system.

“Employers have a duty to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their employees” said Kimball Dean Parker, CEO of SixFifty. “Fortunately, businesses can take proactive steps to identify potentially infected and exposed employees and develop protocols for ensuring employee safety at work,  Employers also need to take into account guidance and requirements from all levels of government, which are in flux and may vary by location, when sculpting their return to work strategy. We built our Return-to-Work Toolset with Taylor Wessing and Wilson Sonsini so that businesses of all sizes can leverage world class employment law expertise to help plan and implement their Return-to-Work efforts.”

SixFifty’s Return to Work platform was launched in the United States in May and has helped US organizations assess their Return to Work readiness, create customized policies, and then manage the protocols they put in place to ensure worker safety.  

“Ensuring the safety of our employees is our number one priority as we navigate our business through this pandemic,” said Jodi Lumsdaine Chapin, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Los Angeles based Revolve Group Inc. “I can sleep better at night knowing that I have real-time information at my fingertips to help us prepare for the safe return of employees, while creating confidence that as a company we’re adhering to the protocols we‘ve put in place.”

Aderant Broadens Scope of Expert Sierra to Include Canada

Aderant has announced further expansion of Aderant Expert as a cloud service to Canada. Expert Sierra can now be deployed in compliance with Canadian regulations.

Aderant says that the cloud-based option of Expert – Expert Sierra –has seen significant client growth in North America over the past two years and was immediately successful with its expansion to both the Asia Pacific region in late 2019, as well as the United Kingdom and Continental Europe in early 2020.

“Our success in the United States, Asia Pacific and European markets continues to create demand in other markets,” said Josiah Chaves, Aderant’s Director of Expert Sierra. “We look forward to helping our Canadian partners experience Expert as-a-service, reducing administrative overhead while ensuring security and performance of their all-important practice management software.”


Taylor Vinters selects NetMotion

After a successful trial, UK top 100 law firm Taylor Vinters has rolled out mobile performance management solution NetMotion firm-wide.

With offices across the UK, as well as in Singapore and New York, Taylor Vinters’ clients range from Fortune 500 technology multinationals to venture-backed businesses and individuals, driven by great ideas and passion. Specialising in areas such as corporate, commercial technology, IP, brands and commercial real estate, the firm’s 180 staff demand consistent, reliable and easy to use remote access for the services they require.

As many companies have realised, the issue of secure and reliable remote access has become an enormous issue for the firm as its employees began working remotely this year.

In response to these needs, NetMotion’s tailored approach to remote connectivity has provided Taylor Vinters with a simple-to-manage security platform that gives employees secure, invisible access to the company resources they need, while avoiding drop-outs and re-authentication caused by spotty Wi-Fi or cellular connections outside the corporate office.

By ensuring that sessions do not drop, NetMotion provides users a seamless, peer-to-peer encrypted ‘office from anywhere’ solution that prevents bad actors from moving laterally through a network – a weakness of legacy VPN products.

Steve Sumner, IT director at Taylor Vinters said: “As we evolve and adapt to meet the demands of a different way of working, ensuring that our workforce can seamlessly interact with each other and our clients is critical. NetMotion plays a pivotal part in this, giving us visibility and reliable connectivity.”

“Taylor Vinters, like so many companies operating in the legal sector and across other industries, needed to evolve their Agile working strategy to ensure employees are able to work seamlessly as if they were still in the office. That is a major challenge – and exactly what we are able to solve,” said Achi Lewis, EMEA Director, NetMotion Software. “Once our customers are able to experience what NetMotion can deliver for them, they are ready to trust us to deliver our solution company wide.”

To view the Taylor Vinters’ success story in full, click here.

Margraves Solicitors upgrades to SOS Connect – goes live during lockdown

Margraves Solicitors, a longstanding customer of SOS Practice Manager, has shared its experiences of upgrading to SOS Connect during COVID-19 lockdown, as part of which it says it will become 98% paperless in three years.

The move was led by Justin Lingard, who was an associate solicitor with Margraves for around two years before the firm incorporated as a company and commenced trading on 01 August 2020. Lingard is now a director of its successor practice Margraves Ltd, a boutique with around fourteen employees spread between one main office and two satellites. Started in 1994, the firm specialises in wills and probate, trust law, employment law and conveyancing.

Project highlights include becoming 98% paperless within three years and fully standardised on SOS Connect within one year.

The centralised repository for the firm’s data enables performance and KPI reports; time sheets and pre-filled template documents.

Margraves went through a formal selection process and says that following the official selection of SOS Connect, the upgrade process itself was extremely speedy, especially given that it took place during March 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic lockdown. Despite this, the upgrade and implementation only took three months and went live on June 1.

All training, setup, and custom implementation was performed online and remotely. As Margraves was previously only running the SOS accounts system, implementation involved the creation of a tailored case document management system that would replace their existing filing system while incorporating existing data.

Although implementation involved the tailoring of the case management software and was fully remote, it went off with barely a challenge. As a result, the firm has immediately seen increased efficiency, a decline in physical paperwork, and more. Margraves Ltd is already planning an expanded rollout designed to handle probate and conveyancing work using tailored apps from SOS Legal.

Df2020 launches COVID-19 employee risk assessment

Continuing the back to work theme, Df2020, a Microsoft IP partner that automates repeatable knowledge, says it has supported one of its partners to launch a Covid-19 employee risk assessment for a corporate client.

Each employee is rapidly guided step-by-step by a digital agent at the start and end of their working day. If an outcome is that the employee is experiencing Covid-19 symptoms they are immediately instructed by the agent to self-isolate and an alert is raised with management. A reminder is automatically sent to employees that have missed the deadline for taking the self-assessment.

An audit trail is automatically generated as evidence of corporate policy and governance being applied in practice.

Df2020 says that this type of Azure service can be easily deployed typically within two weeks and that the guide advice can be easily updated to keep pace with government rules.

Wilson Solicitors selects P4W

Wilson Solicitors LLP has chosen P4W as their practice and case management solution. Wilson Solicitors are based in Tottenham, London and specialise in Civil Legal Aid; specifically, Immigration, Family, & Public Law.

The 100-user firm have been an existing Advanced client for over 20 years and, following their recent acquisition of Tikit, will now be able to utilise the extended functionality in P4W including the comprehensive Legal Aid Module. This will automate the complex administrative processes to keep their firm compliant with LAA regulations. Russell Blakely, Partner at the firm, comments: “We needed to automate accounts processes and become fully paperless. We were looking for a system that had an intuitive user interface, supported legal aid billing, as well as innovation and automation. It was clear that P4W had this combination.”


vLex Justis brings AI-powered legal research to Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia

A new collection of case law from superior courts in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia is now available on vLex Justis, an AI-powered research platform.

The Southeast Asia collection brings over 125,000 new cases to vLex Justis, in a combination available on one service for the first time. This resource enables comprehensive research in the jurisprudence of the region as well as comparative research between Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia cases and those from over 130 other jurisdictions, including the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Masoud Gerami, Managing Director of vLex Justis, said: “The popularity of the Singapore Law Reports, and the depth of research that it has offered to our users globally, has led us to assemble this important collection from these three key jurisdictions, and to make it available alongside our extensive library of legal information from around the world. From the opportunities that this product will present to the practitioners and researchers in the region, to enhancing the resources available for comparative research, we are very excited by the potential of this new initiative, and regard it as another important step to advance our vision of global coverage.”

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