Blackadders’ IT team is responsible and committed to supporting the firm in adhering to regulatory compliance requirements, and improving its competitive position through a long-term IT strategy using the latest cost-effective information technologies.
The development team has historically focused on small-scale projects involving the integration of legacy applications into the firm’s practice management system. However, the firm wished to further utilise internal resource to deliver complete functional systems using the latest Microsoft technologies. Blackadders selected to work with FloSuite Legal to achieve these aims.
Having undertaken a review of internal business processes, the firm identified that there were opportunities to make significant improvements within Private Client. The key targets for improvement were: to enable a greater element of management control, to reduce cycle times, to achieve efficiency gains and to improve the overall client experience. The new solution would also have to integrate with the firm’s practice management system.
Wendy Miller, a senior application developer at Blackadders, was tasked with leading the development of the Executries system, working in conjunction with the Executry Project Team, consisting of Private Client Partner Donald Gordon, the Director of Executry Services Moira Shepherd, Director of IT Graham Thoms, and a Technology Partner. This team worked in conjunction with FloSuite Legal personnel and other Blackadders staff.
The project team worked with FloSuite Legal’s consultants to design and deliver an Executry Solution, developed using FloSuite Legal’s BPM/Case Management Framework. The project has been viewed as a major success, and was short-listed for a prestigious legal award.
FloSuite Legal can now provide the Executry solution as a pre-configured starting-point for any Executry implementation, which can be customised using FloDesigner, our solution configuration environment encapsulated within Microsoft Visio.
• Manages the Executry process (testate and intestate) after matter creation, and the key milestones of Investigation, Exhibition, Realisation and Finalisation.
• Ensures a standardised process is followed for each Executry.
• Manages Executry contact information, such as executors, beneficiaries, legatees, charities, etc.
• Creates and maintains a central and comprehensive database of organisations communicated with, e.g. financial institutions, insurance companies, utility companies, etc.
• Assembles documents or pre-populates letters as appropriate and stores them within the practice management system.
• Pre-populates regulatory forms such as C1, C5, IHT200, etc.
• Automatically sends emails to relevant internal parties, such as share and property valuation requests.
• Automatically produces an inventory and three-columned final account (giving date of death and realisation values).
• Alerts fee earners when responses from various parties have not been received within specified timescales.
• Integrates, and simplifies, fee earner posting with the practice management system.
• Is an integral part of the firm’s ‘buddy system’, allowing colleagues to easily understand and respond to a client’s/respondent’s requests during periods of absence.
• Allows fee earners to effectively manage pending and available tasks.
• Produces management reports of ongoing Executry matters and records a full audit trail.
Partner and Head of Private Client, Donald Gordon, said:
“In association with FloSuite Legal, the Private Client partners, Director of Executry Services, our Executry specialists and our IT team, we have recently developed a complete and flexible case management system for Executry administration. This system has already proved its worth in the efficient running of individual cases, and the management of the Executry section as a whole – and this is in addition to a quicker throughput of fees for the work that we do.”
Blackadders is delighted with this new solution and has seen clear business benefits since its implementation, including efficiency gains of, on average, around 50% in the processing of Executries.
The solution’s built-in business rules and ‘best practice’ processes have also enabled improvement to the ratio of fee earners to support staff, and reallocation of resources from other departmental areas.
The key benefits of the Executry System are as follows:
• Provides Private Client department with a clear view of all on-going Executries, their milestones and current estate values.
• Provides the fee earner with an up-to-date balance of the gross estate and its breakdown for each Executry.
• Provides Executors with a detailed update at specified periods with minimal effort to the fee earner.
• Improves departmental efficiency.
• Eliminates duplication of data for letter generation.
• Reduces risk by maintaining a complete audit trail.
• Built-in business rules and ‘best practice’ processes enable improvement to ratio of fee earners to support staff and reallocation of resources from other departmental areas.
FloSuite Legal and Blackadders worked closely to deliver a complete Executry solution built on the FloSuite Legal Framework, which integrates with the firm’s existing practice management system. The solution has transformed the way in which the Executry function of the Private Client department operates and generated significant business benefits for the firm, whilst improving the service delivered to clients.
• A PDF copy of this case study can also be downloaded here Blackadders Case Study