• 3E win for Elite in NZ
The New Zealand Crown Law Office has chosen to implement Elite 3E, becoming the second legal organisation in the country to do so, following Aukland law firm Hesketh Henry in May this year. Crown Law's practice manager Diana Pryde, says she is eagerly anticipating the improved matter management processes Elite’s integrated financial and practice management system will provide once it is implemented. “The flexible case and calendaring capabilities of 3E will allow us to efficiently organise, track and manage information needed throughout the entire lifecycle of every matter,” says Pryde.

Acting as the Government’s legal arm, Crown Law undertakes work for government departments and associated agencies. The office has over 200 staff, half of which are lawyers. Based in the capital Wellington, the office primarily practices public and constitutional law as well as providing support for Crown Solicitors that work on its behalf undertaking prosecutions. The decision to implement a new system followed a review by an external consultant into Crown Law’s existing business software packages. The resulting report recommended Crown Law not only replace its legacy financial software, but also urged it to change its practice management system.

“Essentially our two systems were no longer fit for purpose, and the lack of integration between the two was proving detrimental to our day-to-day performance,” says Pryde. “While we were reporting monthly, it was a manually intensive process and we had difficulty extracting timely management information. We needed much quicker and more accurate updates as to where we stood in terms of fees collection and work in progress.”

Elite was one of three systems successfully short-listed after Crown Law issued a tender for an integrated practice and financial management system. “In reality there weren’t a huge number of viable solutions available. Our evaluation team, made up of lawyers, secretaries and finance staff, undertook a very thorough evaluation of the final three.”

• Caseflow and Interlegal part company
Brian Smith, lead architect and designer of the Australian Caseflow case management system, has resigned as a director of Interlegal to launch a new company, which will be focussed on the continued growth of Caseflow. Smith said the time had come to separate the Interlegal business in order for both Interlegal as a services business and Caseflow the product to achieve their maximum potential. The new company Caseflow Pty Ltd is now the owner of the Caseflow software and will take responsibility for the development, maintenance and support of the product. This will see Interlegal continue to provide first-level support and training for its' Caseflow clients.
 
Bruce Fallaver and Andrew Calladine will continue to own and run the re-aligned Interlegal and have marked the new phase of their business by signing a landmark seven year Caseflow Reseller Agreement. This will secure the ongoing relationship with the Caseflow product and allow the company to continue to provide exceptional project delivery services to their clients. Caseflow Pty Ltd will be based out of new premises at Level 3, 695 Burke Road East Hawthorn. One of the first objectives of the new business will be developing new relationships with Legal IT suppliers with the aim of signing additional resellers in Australia. On a broader scale, the company will also be preparing the product for a major international launch in 2009. Caseflow has a great client base and an outstanding underlying technology. There will now be a dedicated focus to expand its Australian presence and compete in offshore markets.
www.caseflow.com.au

(Interlegal began life in Australia as an Elite partner however when that deal ended, they became an Interwoven implementer.)

• Reckon signs Corporate Services and BillBack purchase deal
Reckon Ltd has announced that it has signed the share sale agreement to allow it to buy Corporate Services and BillBack from Espreon for $24 million. The acquisition is conditional on the completion of a scheme of arrangement between Vectis and Espreon. That proposal remains subject to regulatory approval of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, court orders and shareholder approval. See earlier postings on The Orange Rag for background.

• Two new regional LinkedIn groups
An Australian/Asia Pacific Legal IT Professionals group, consisting of IT Directors, CIO's and technology department personnel from law firms that operate in Australia/Asia Pacific has just been formed on LinkedIn. Peter Campbell, the CIO of Sparke Hellmore, and Miles Ashcroft at Freehills, will manage the group. For details visit www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=36514

In addition to this group, an APAC Legal KM Professionals group has also been set up, with Simon Gilchrist of Gilbert+Tobin taking responsibility for getting it going. For details visit www.linkedin.com/groups?about=&gid=816107

• Australian Lawtech winners
And, finally, we've just had the results in from last week's 3rd Annual Lawtech Summit & Awards that took place at Byron Bay, NSW. Here they are…

– LAWTECH AWARD FOR INNOVATION IN LEGAL IT  – LIIFT (MINTER ELLISON SA)
 
– LAWTECH AWARD FOR BEST PRACTICE IN KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT – KELLS THE LAWYERS
 
– LAWTECH AWARD FOR SECURITY AND RISK MANAGEMENT – ABL (ARNOLD BLOCH LEIBLER)
 
– LAWTECH AWARD FOR LEGAL IT TEAM OF THE YEAR – SMALL TO MEDIUM FIRM – ANDERSSEN LAWYERS BRISBANE
 
– LAWTECH AWARD FOR LEGAL IT TEAM OF THE YEAR – LARGE FIRM
* NO AWARD GIVEN FOR THIS CATEGORY AS THE JUDGES FELT NONE OF THE NOMINATIONS FILLED THE REQUIRED CRITERIA
 
– LAWTECH AWARD FOR MOST INNOVATIVE IN-HOUSE TECHNOLOGY PROJECT – AUSTRALIAN GOVT SOLICITOR

The awards are run by Chilli Marketing – and we like the fact they declined to make an award in the large firms category. www.chillimarketing.com.au