Browne Jacobson selects Peppermint for case and matter management 

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UK top 100 law firm Browne Jacobson has selected Peppermint Technology’s SaaS case and matter management system for use by lawyers across the firm, we can reveal. Built on Microsoft Dynamics and the Microsoft Power Platform, it is envisaged that Peppermint CX365 will ultimately become a cradle to grave platform that gives the 1200-plus professional law firm a view of its entire ecosystem. 

Led by technology and operations director Abby Ewen, Browne Jacobson began the process of considering what it wants from a case management system by engaging legal technology consultancy 3Kites to ask fee-earners what they are looking for. Ewen and her team then created a requirements document for two shortlisted vendors. In early Autumn last year, the firm began the process of meetings and demonstrations, with both vendors put to the test of building workflows ‘on the fly’ with Browne Jacobson’s technology team. 

Speaking to Legal IT Insider, Ewen says: “I spent a long time building the business case for this and got it approved in around October or November last year. Interestingly, it’s probably the hardest technological decision I’ve made for many, many years. For the first time ever, I wrote a business case for our executive board that did not have a recommendation in it because I wanted them to decide between the two shortlisted companies, because this is a product for the legal teams.” 

Browne Jacobson last year replaced LexisOne with Aderant Expert and Ewen says: “Aderant was for the finance department. PeopleXD was for the HR department, InterAction for the marketing department. This is very much for the lawyers, so I wanted those practice heads to make that decision.”   

The Browne Jacobson board made the decision to go with Peppermint for a number of reasons, one of which was that Peppermint is very tightly integrated with Microsoft. Ewen says: “The integration into Outlook and Teams, which is where most of our lawyers live, means that they don’t have to go outside that environment to run matters, and that was very appealing. But also, architecturally, it fitted well with our Dynamics experience and our Power platform: for three years we’ve been building Power Apps and Power Platform flows. You could see it all fit together, and Peppermint are a very good Microsoft partner, which is appealing.”    

This is Browne Jacobson’s first system built in Azure and Dynamics 365 and Ewen says: “It’s going to be quite a steep learning curve, but we are in the design phase now. My tech guys are really excited about the technology. Peppermint takes the approach of teaching you to fish: during the implementation process they do the first couple of sprints and the next couple they hold your hand, and then after that you’re on your own, which is what we want. I can see this being a five, maybe 10-year development project, because as we find more things we can do, we will gradually build out the platform into everything that we do.”  

Historically, Browne Jacobson has used LexisNexis Visualfiles case management within its circa 300-strong healthcare team. Ewen says: “Case and matter management haven’t traditionally been used by everybody in the firm, so this is going to be very different. This is going to be us demonstrating to people who’ve never used matter management before all of the really good reasons why they should embrace it. Consistency; governance; standardisation; data collection; reporting; dashboarding; aggregated view of a client regardless of work type. All of that is there. It’s a massive change management project for us, almost more than it is a technology or business project. However, a large percentage of our revenue is generated from the public sector, which requires evidence of continuous improvement. Things like KPIs and all kinds of metrics will be made much easier by a fully integrated, consistently used matter management solution.   

“We’re envisioning this as cradle to grave process, or platform. Ultimately it will be matter inception, conflict checking, through to integrating with some of the finance processes in Aderant. Over time it will give us one view of everything in our ecosystem.” 

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