Hot off the press, Sunrise Software today (18 July) announces that Farrer & Co has selected Sunrise IT Service Management Solution (ITSM) to enhance its IT support to the 400-employee firm as we bring you all the latest legal IT wins and deals, product launches and industry news.

Wins and deals

The deployment at Farrer & Co of the new ITSM solution, which will take place over the summer, will see Farrer & Co adopt Service Desk Institute (SDI) best practices and implement measurable incident and problem management processes to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the service management support to the business.

Sunrise’s cloud/SaaS ITSM offering was selected by Farrer & Co following a competitive analysis and will be used by the internal IT service and facilities management teams. The solution, which is underpinned by Sunrise’s service management platform Sostenuto, will provide Farrer & Co with an easy to use, accessible and intuitive platform to log incidents and implement both problem and change management processes; something they had not achieved with their incumbent solution.

Neil Davison, IT Director at Farrer & Co, said: “As a team we have a strong focus on improving the level of service that we are providing to the organisation. Within the fast paced industry that we operate in, it can be hard to take that step back and look at the bigger picture to truly analyse how we are performing and where attention needs to be focussed. Beforehand we had no process in place for problem management or identifying whether the same incident was being logged on multiple occasions. This meant that potentially longer term problems were at the risk of being overlooked. We needed to find a way to better automate and track incidents logged and gain better visibility into our operations.”

Farrer & Co will also be implementing internal Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in order to ensure that the team’s time is managed effectively and efficiently when dealing with incoming queries.

In other recent UK wins, Eclipse Legal Systems has been selected by West Yorkshire firm Williams & Co to implement its out-of-the-box Proclaim Case Management Software solution.

Jeremy Garside, a partner at Williams & Co said: “Having used Proclaim at my previous firm, I knew of its capabilities in enhancing and standardising matter management. For Williams & Co to continue building strong client relationships, we needed a robust legal software solution that could automate our administrative tasks and in turn, enable us to focus solely on our clients – Proclaim will be crucial to this.”

Iken and Quill Pinpoint have announced a newly-formed partnership offering integration between their two software environments – case management and legal accounting respectively.

The single-interface system will streamline the processes involved in managing matters and accounts for local authorities; the latter now having to comply with the SRA Accounts Rules as an essential regulatory requirement of handling client monies.

Andrew Chester, founder & CEO at Iken, said: “As the pressure to generate external income grows within local authorities, we’re seeing more Iken users migrate to ABS models and we’re pleased to be able to support them on this journey with an extended range of software and outsourcing service solutions.”

U.S. eDiscovery provider iCONECT last week announced a multimillion-dollar agreement with FMMC Private Yield Fund (FMMC), a private investment fund managed by Fraser Mackenzie Merchant Capital. This agreement will support the ongoing development of iCONECT’s flagship XERA document review platform and its continued expansion in the legal eDiscovery field, as well as its entrance into healthcare and finance industries.

iCONECT’s XERA document review platform is already a key component of document review workflows for some of the world’s largest legal cases. The FMMC funding will assist with further expansion of iCONECT’s already extensive network of worldwide eDiscovery hosting providers.

“We believe that the FMMC approach is key to our future growth and will allow us to continue to understand, anticipate and simplify solutions for our clients,” said Ian Campbell, president & CEO of the company.

Morae Legal, an end-to-end legal consulting and solutions provider, has partnered with Contingency Management Consulting Group (CMCG) to provide corporate legal departments with a full range of risk analysis, crisis planning, crisis program testing and response services.

Through this partnership, Morae Legal now provides vigorous planning, training and drilling services along with its already robust crisis response and claims management services.

“CMCG brings deep experience and important credentials in risk assessment and crisis planning. Combined with Morae Legal’s knowledge and background in crisis response and claims management, corporate law departments will be able to more effectively predict and mitigate crises and be in a better position to manage an incident, should it arise,” says William Alesio, managing director at Morae Legal.

eDiscovery and litigation support search firm TRU Staffing Partners has partnered with the SANS Institute to bring participants from the SANS CyberTalent programs direct access to its talent agents, job postings, scholarship programs and valuable market intelligence.

“There is a critical need for information security professionals, which is why we have developed the CyberTalent unit within the SANS Institute,” said Jim Michaud, director of CyberTalent Solutions, SANS Institute. “We are excited to partner with TRU and its TRU Cyber division to help participants in the SANS CyberTalent programs find employers looking for talent with their specific skills.”

Product launches and upgrades

LexisNexis has released its latest LexisNexis Firm Manager online practice management software, which it says takes the software from being a small firm solution to a viable choice for larger firms.

For lawyers who are just starting out or looking to manage smaller firms in a more centralised, mobile and secure way, there is an introductory Starter option. The Starter package includes features and benefits needed for solo attorneys to effectively manage and grow their practices, such as easy client invoicing and time expense tracking, to ensure all billable time is accounted for, as well as Google Calendar™ and Microsoft® Office 365®™ calendar synchronization across all devices.

For larger law firms in a position of growth or who want insights to make better informed business decisions related to productivity and billing, there is a more robust Essentials package. Essentials includes all of the functionality included in the Starter option, as well as advanced features needed for growing firms, such as: role based permissions, productivity tracking, forward-looking matter and budget planning, custom client checklist and matter intake templates, as well as Quickbooks™ and Quickbooks™ Online integration.

Wes Gillette, director of product management for Firm Manager, said: “Whether a solo attorney is looking to get more control over the practice as a whole, or a larger firm wants to chart productivity and grow its business, these new package options provide a tailored range of features and benefits to meet these needs and, most importantly, help attorneys stay focused on what they do best—practicing law and getting paid for it.”

Mitratech, a leading provider of enterprise legal management solutions, has launched the latest release of eCounsel, formerly a flagship product of Bridgeway Softway, which Mitratech acquired in July 2015.

As part of a number of upgrades, eCounsel customers will now be able to use Mitratech’s eBilling product Collaborati, which is used by over 11,000 law firms and vendors.

“Mitratech remains committed to building the world’s best enterprise legal management software for corporate legal departments of all sizes. Extending Collaborati to our eCounsel clients will help these clients capitalize on one of the single biggest opportunities to drive efficiencies and cost savings for their legal department,” said Mitratech CEO Jason Parkman.

Oyez Professional Services has launched the Oyez Gateway digital submission portal, a single independent platform that allows submissions to all relevant Government authorities.

Oyez Gateway was developed to overcome the shortcomings of government portals by allowing legal practitioners to collaborate and incorporate digital submissions into their current workflows using a common process across multiple government agencies. Ultimately this will lead to more efficient, lower cost submissions and the adoption of workflow collaboration will reduce the risk of submission rejections.

The Oyez Gateway also offers the elasticity of a UK cloud hosted service. It’s a significant advantage for firms that are looking for maximum efficiency. It allows system users to be added, removed or updated instantly. Enhanced security and reduced demand on internal infrastructure and IT resources are also benefits. Case Management integration is currently in development.

Industry news

Following its launch to lawyers in May, LOD’s (Lawyers On Demand’s) new online marketplace, Spoke, is now open to in-house teams and law firms to search and hire the widest selection of flexible lawyers in the UK. With Spoke’s lawyer on-boarding phase beating targets, hirers can now search the 600+ lawyers already registered on the platform and hire them on simple day rates.

Spoke beat its target of registering 500 lawyers by the summer and has had hundreds of applications from a wide range of lawyers with diverse expertise and experience. Only 25% of applicants are currently accepted to the platform, ensuring the high quality of lawyers that are available on the site.

Simon Harper, co-founder of LOD and creator of Spoke, commented, “We exceeded our target of registering 500 lawyers on spoke.law by the summer, while maintaining the high quality of lawyers available on the platform. Spoke is about opening up the flexible legal market and from today legal teams can intelligently and easily search a wide range of lawyers and hire them on simple terms. We’re now looking forward to working with teams as they use Spoke, find the lawyers they need and feed back so we can make their experience better and better.”

In other news from a cool parallel universe, Google has hired a general counsel to oversee its driverless car unit. Kevin Vosen joins as the project’s first GC, having previously worked as chief legal officer at The Climate Corporation, which makes weather monitoring applications for farmers. The appointment follows a fatal crash of an autopilot Tesla in May and a minor collision between a Google self-driving car and a bus in March.