Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP has deployed Repstor for Teams to support its transition to Microsoft’s online communication and collaboration site, which the Am Law 100 firm says is on course to become the primary workspace for client matter management and file sharing as well as a quasi-intranet replacement.
Repstor will provide the client matter-centric management for content, as well as privacy and information compliance controls.
Nelson Mullins is headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina, and is one of the largest law firms in the US with 26 offices across the country. While it had identified the transformative potential of Microsoft Teams before the pandemic struck, like many firms, the barrier was a lack of inherent support for matter-centric ways of working and organising content.
“We had been a Skype environment previously, and wanted to move to Teams for all aspects of communication anyway having rolled out Microsoft 365 across the firm. But the difficulty was that Teams doesn’t have matter-centricity built in,” said David Worth, Nelson Mullins’ CIO. “To get buy-in from our attorneys and prevent chaos as they tried to organise and find the right Teams for collaboration by client or matter, we needed a more intuitive and controlled user experience.”
Repstor for Teams, which runs natively in Microsoft 365, provides optimized matter-centric capabilities and controls for Teams.
“As well as offering all the controls and functionality we needed as a law firm, and that user-friendly experience to keep our professionals happy, Repstor brought that depth of experience of working with law firms, that understanding of our needs, and that ability to talk our language,” Worth said.
He added: “Importantly, Repstor also readily integrates with NetDocs and other DMSs, with Aderant, our practice management system and Intapp, our ethical walls solution. In other words, they were going to be able to cater for everything we needed.” Nelson Mullins switched to NetDocuments in 2010.
Nelson Mullins’ wider goal is to make Teams the place where client matter management and file-sharing happens, giving professionals a single window on their work and reducing email reliance.
“Although the initial motivation for moving to Teams is for communications – chat, conference-calling, and screen-sharing – we soon realised the scope to do so much more with it, and Repstor will help us realise that,” Worth says. “We’re an Outlook shop and traditionally attorneys’ work is dominated by email, but Teams is shifting that paradigm.
“I also see Teams become a quasi-replacement for intranets, supported by Repstor technology. With direct integration with our DMS, and even our financial system, our people will be able to ‘live’ in Teams and do everything from there.”
Once fully implemented, Repstor for Teams will be used by 1,600 professionals across Nelson Mullins’ national operations. “People are beating down my door to get access to this, and that demand is ubiquitous from across the firm – something I haven’t witnessed before in my 30-year tenure,” Worth notes. “Rolling out Teams, by practice area, will be our biggest project for this year.
“This is a chance to transform knowledge sharing across our 26 offices. When this is done our professionals will have one place to share knowledge and experiences, and will be able to find and consume what they need when they need to. I see Teams, optimized by Repstor, as the first real collaboration platform for law firms. It will be attorneys’ first real opportunity to collaborate with clients too, without the need to build an extranet which would be a lot of work. It will make them more nimble, able to address clients’ needs more swiftly.”