The circa 200 partner and lawyer firm, which has several offices across London, carries out a wide range of commercial, private client and not-for-profit work. The practice management system (PMS) swap-out was prompted by Axxia being end-of-lifed and with a priority that the new PMS should integrate with iManage.
Speaking to Legal IT Insider, Jonathan Thornton, managing partner, said: “SOS Connect seemed to address our business model very accurately and is more reflective of the type of firm we are and the level of responsibility we give people – more so than the bigger systems, which appear designed for international firms that are centrally managed.
“Elite is aimed at the international model, and I get that it needs to be but that’s not us: it seems to assume a much greater level of central control and monitoring and centralised teams and systems, which in our case are more devolved to the departments. We also didn’t need a lot of the features that those bigger systems have.”
A panel of partners and fee-earners received a demonstration of each system and Thornton said: “Our panel was absolutely unanimous that SOS was the most appropriate and represented the best value.”
In a prepared press release Thornton says: “We engaged Lights-On Consulting with a view to replacing our incumbent system but with the possibility of integrating it with our document management system.
“At the start of the process there was probably the assumption that because we are a ‘big’ firm, we would choose one of the larger legal software suppliers.
“However, it soon became clear that the SOS team spoke our language, as people who had evidently worked at the ‘sharp end’, in a solicitors practice.
“SOS Connect is a product designed by solicitors for solicitors. It is straightforward and honest about what it does and doesn’t do – there are not too many ‘bells and whistles’ so it is perfect for a fee earner working at the coalface.”
Graham Colbourne, managing director of SOS, said: “Russell Cooke Solicitors’ decision is testament to the fact that SOS Connect can be an ideal fit for larger legal practices. We look forward to working with the firm on the roll-out process.”