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Shipping firm puts out SOS call

Shipping law experts Campbell Johnston Clark (CJC) has opted for SOS Connect from Solicitors Own Software to meet the firm’s integrated practice and case management software requirements whether in-house, on the move or at remote locations. CJC handles all aspects of the shipping sector, from ship finance to dry shipping and comprehensive casualty handling. The firm was formed one year ago to fill a gap in the market for marine law services which was being met predominantly by either the very large or very small specialist firms. Founding partner Alistair Johnston explains “CJC has been formed by a group of well-known partners and widely experienced staff with the goal to provide a highly personal and more cost-effective service in these economically challenging times for the shipping industry. We have five partners currently with a total of 22 people and expect to expand to around 10 to 15 partners”.

When the  firm was established in 2010 software from another provider was implemented due to time constraints, despite a preference for SOS Connect. “Unfortunately this alternative failed to meet our expectations,” as Alistair Johnston recounts, “and within six months we decided to switch to an implementation of SOS Connect. We realised that SOS was able to offer a one stop shop in supporting the needs of fee earners and the accounts, as well as performance reporting and everything in between.”

The ability to operate SOS Connect across different computing platforms was also key. “Our work involves a lot of travel and use of iPads, Blackberrys, laptops as well as office computers. SOS Connect enables us to access information, update files, time record and synchronise data anywhere. It is early days with the system going live at the end of July, but so far we are delighted and it is a significant improvement on my experience of previous systems. It is very user-friendly and adaptable, and we have found the people at SOS to be very helpful.” CJC is also making extensive use of the software throughout the firm for generic business processes, such as file opening, time recording and document management and well as for case management workflow.