Linklaters is to switch its time recording system from Tikit’s Carpe Diem to Rekoop’s cloud-based solution, which was acquired by Intapp in January. The move, which means Linklaters becomes the second largest Rekoop/Intapp UK top 100 client after DLA Piper, comes as the Magic Circle giant adopts a ‘cloud first’ approach and road tests a number of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, led by director of information systems and strategy, Matt Peers (pictured on the home page.)
The Rekoop deal, which was signed by Linklaters at the beginning of June, was attractive thanks to its fast initial deployment, the fact that it is available on all platforms, and that it has a modern interface that is expected to reduce the time it takes Linklaters’ fee-earners to complete their time sheets.
Peers, who in the June Legal IT Insider reveals his in depth strategic priorities, told Legal IT Insider: “Our fee-earners would be happy to do their time sheets on the sofa at home but currently they can’t. People bill in different ways, whether it’s every six minutes or at the end of the day, and they need the flexibility to do that in the way they want to do it.”
Linklaters is an Intapp customer through its conflict check solution, which has just gone live at the circa 2,600-lawyer firm. However, the Rekoop deal within Linklaters was already in progress at the time of its acquisition by Intapp at the start of this year.
The acquisition reflected law firms increasing leaning towards cloud technology and Peers said: “We want a policy of leveraging cloud solutions as and where we can. So long as we have the right level of security to satisfy our clients’ needs, as a function we want a solution that is continually updated without the burden being on us.”
In line with this strategy, Linklaters will this Autumn begin slowly rolling out NetDocuments’ email management solution, which it formally signed up to in November 2015. Currently around 100 people are live on the new system, with plans to ramp up migration as of Q1 of 2017.
Peers said: “It enables proper collaboration around emails filed in a central store. It has predictive filing capability and that’s what our lawyers are looking forward to most.
“People are surprised at the fact it knows where emails should be filed,” he added.
While innovation is perceived to have been slow within large law firms, Peers is currently looking at a number of different AI solutions, where the firm has signed a master services agreement with RAVN, although as yet it has not used the solution and it is currently on ice.
He said: “We are looking at AI and where it will apply and where it won’t and we are testing AI.
“My vision is that we have a suite of products and a new way of working, so as and when you open new matter, you will be directed to the technology that best suits that matter. We need to work out how traditional methods of work fit with new technology.”
The firm is exploring machine learning-based search providers including IBM, Kira Systems and German-based SaaS provider Leverton. Peers commented: “We are an international firm and we’re trying not to just look at UKcentric options; we need to be more flexible than that.”
He added: “We don’t want to jump the gun and get ourselves completely in bed with an organisation that’s very small. I think there will be a suite of products. Inevitably vendors push for exclusivity but I don’t think that’s the way it will work.”