puzzle-world-1170892-639x488Peppermint Technology will announce later today (25 July) that specialist maritime and insurance law firm Bentleys Stokes & Lowless has become the latest UK firm to select its cloud solution, as we bring you all the latest IT wins, deals, launches and industry news.

Wins and deals

At Bentley Stokes and Lowless, which becomes Peppermint’s 37th UK client, partner William Chetwood said that the ability to respond fast and to operate across time zones with a 24 x 7 service are of ever-increasing importance. He said: “Peppermint’s cloud platform has a number of important advantages.  It allows us to concentrate on what we do best, solving legal problems, and leave Peppermint to deal with what they know best delivering software applications.

“At the same time, we get the very latest CRM, accounting, document management, matter management, sophisticated reporting, time capture and billing – everything we need to support clients and manage the business.”

The firm was drawn to the fact that Peppermint’s software, which is built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SharePoint, has been written expressly to integrate with Microsoft products such as Outlook and works as one application, with all information in a single database.

In other news, leading South East law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore has selected Converge Technology Specialists to provide disaster recovery as a service.

The 110-lawyer firm has a disaster recovery and business continuity plan in place and selected Converge Technology Specialists to give it complete confidence that in the event of a disaster, minor or major, it can recover critical business systems and continue to provide the best service to clients.

Anthony Graham, head of information systems at Thomson Snell & Passmore said: “It is reassuring to know that we have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place that we can trust, particularly with the increasing threat of cyber-crime and other activities which could potentially interrupt delivery.” 

kCura has announced that Cognicion a subsidiary of Hunton & Williams, has chosen Relativity as their primary platform for e-discovery.

“The power of Relativity is easily matched by its customisability, allowing for a level of fine-tuning that is crucial in e-discovery,” said Chris McDaniel, chief revenue officer at Cognicion. “We believe in streamlining the e-discovery process for every unique case, and the robust nature of the platform allows us to do that.”

Cognicion also selected Relativity because of its familiarity with law firms and corporations, and the fact that it’s an open platform for the industry to develop applications that further extend its functionality. The team plans to leverage the complete Relativity Analytics feature set to quickly and easily identify essential data in a case.

Larken and Co, a leading East Midlands-based legal practice has switched from a stand-alone digital dictation system to BigHand’s SaaS solution BigHand Professional to enable cloud-based working.

The firm’s previous digital dictation provider was unsupported on the cloud and Sally Smith, practice manager at Larken and Co said: “We had been using our old system for almost a decade, and it became more difficult to integrate into our new ways of working. We needed a solution that could enable our Fee Earners to easily work across our offices in Newark and West Bridgford. BigHand Professional suited our requirement to move all of our data to the Cloud, something that we wouldn’t have been able to do if we stayed with our old system.”

You can read more about Larken’s adoption on our Legal IT Newswire service.

Smooth Law, a paperless claimant legal services firm set up in July 2015, has signed up to Eclipse’s Proclaim Practice Management Software solution.

You can read the case study here.

Product Launches

Zecter Group has launched a digital mailroom solution designed to support the management, amendment and distribution of information.

The solution encompasses a series of services, designed to eliminate the handling of inbound paper, email, fax and web communications as well as tracking and categorising received information.

Zecter’s digital mailroom is specifically designed to support law firms’ future operational strategies and offers a reduction in overheads, increased staff efficiency and improved customer service, as well as the ability to handle peaks and troughs more effectively. 

Wesleyan Bank, a provider of commercial finance solutions to lawyers and SMEs, has launched a new digital service to make it easier for businesses and professional practices to apply for finance to spread the cost of their tax bills.

Wesleyan Bank’s Tax Portal is a simple online application which allows businesses and legal professionals to easily apply for funding to cover their company’s HMRC tax bill, 24/7, 365 days a year.

The system enables lawyers to obtain an instant quote for spreading the cost over six or 12 affordable monthly instalments. Once approved by Wesleyan Bank, the proceeds of the loan can either be paid directly to them or to HMRC.

The self-service Portal has been developed as a result of extensive research from both Wesleyan Bank staff and end user groups and builds on the company’s philosophy of using leading technology to enhance the customer experience.  

Hires

@Legal Discovery has hired Amy Bowser-Rollins as the director of process management. Ms. Bowser-Rollins will be based out of the company headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia.

“Amy is a tremendous addition to the @Legal team. As a well-respected thought leader in the industry, Amy will help us build upon our overall user experience for our clients,” said Haresh Bhungalia, CEO.

Industry News

SproutIT has won the Mimecast UK Technical Services Partner of the Year Award 2016.

Gillian Crewdson, channel director, Mimecast, said; “This award is a testament to the excellent customer and technical services that Sprout IT provide to our joint customers. All of Sprout IT’s engineers have passed the Mimecast Technical Certification Program and we thank them for their continued commitment to Mimecast and our partnership.”

In other news, UK law firms’ losses to cyber fraud have jumped by 40% in the last year alone as the costs of email hacking continue to rise, says Hazlewoods, chartered accountants and business advisers who specialise in the legal profession.

The value of funds lost to cyber fraud at law firms in the six months from November 2015 to April 2016 totalled £2.53 million, up 40% from £1.81 million in the same period a year earlier.

Much of the fraud occurs as a result of phishing attacks and hacking the email accounts of the firms’ employees, or more commonly, their clients.

After gaining access to an individual’s email account – generally through a ‘phishing’ email – the fraudsters then email an employee at the law firm asking them to transfer funds to a bank account. If the employee transfers this money, it is generally withdrawn from the fraudulent account almost immediately, making it virtually impossible to trace or recover.

Andy Harris, director at Hazlewoods, said: “Cyber fraud is now a clear and present danger for every law firm. The consequences of losing client funds to email hacking can threaten a firm’s existence.”

And Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions business today announced that the keynote speaker for its second annual user conference will be Mel Robbins, a recognized authority on employee engagement and motivation. The 2016 event, ELM16, will be held September 20-22 at the Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World® in Orlando, Florida. See Legal IT Insider’s events page for more information.