A new online platform that aims to bring family law into the 21st century is being trialled this summer.
Siaro has been developed to allow lawyers to securely capture all relevant client information on divorce and separation cases before their initial consultation through a ‘guided pathway’ questionnaire.
Once submitted, the information is supplied to the lawyer in an easy to understand dashboard format. The system will automatically alert the lawyer of key issues from potential conflicts to health issues and possible domestic violence. All assets, liabilities and property information is processed to give a clear understanding of finances. The lawyer is also able to instantly populate court forms with this information and create chronologies at the click of a button.
Siaro has been designed as a distributed system allowing for multiple users to securely access client information. So if both separating partners are using Siaro, their case information can be viewed simultaneously by a mediator, arbitrator or even a judge.
Created by family lawyer and co-founder of Family Law Partners, Alan Larkin, the Siaro system draws on Larkin’s years of experience dealing with clients and ensures that all essential information for a case is captured, saving time for the lawyer and offering an improved experience for the client.
By gathering all the facts of the case before first meeting for the lawyer, Siaro transforms the often unsatisfactory initial consultation from a fact-find exercise into an opportunity to give the client informed and useful advice.
Clients can fill out their Siaro profile in their own time – free of charge. The questionnaire captures information about the client, their partner, children, relationship, property and finances and also allows them to upload relevant documents. They are guided through the process with help pop-ups to ensure they understand what they are being asked and also importantly why they are being asked the questions.
With so much pressure on how legal services are delivered and a general acknowledgement that ‘change is coming’, Siaro says it aims to help family lawyers be at the forefront of this change.
Roger Smith OBE, former director of JUSTICE and the Legal Action Group, who has written extensively about human rights and legal aid, said: “It is a very simple idea but one which would seem to have tremendous possibilities in cutting costs while potentially raising standards.”
Siaro is set to be trialled throughout Summer 2016 and pre-launch has already received a positive response from the industry; being featured in the Legal Education Foundation’s Digital Delivery of Legal Services to People on Low Incomes Report and nominated for the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year: Access to Justice to IT Award.
If you are a family law solicitor or barrister and would interested in taking part in the Siaro trial you can contact them at email@example.com.