South West law firm Stones Solicitors LLP has selected SOS Connect integrated case and practice management software from Bath-based Solicitors Own Software (SOS). SOS Connect, which will be rolled out to 115 users across its Exeter and Okehampton offices is part of a £250,000 investment which has already seen the introduction of server virtualisation and integration with outsourced back office services.

The firm's Chief Operating Officer Adrian Richards said: “Stones reacted very quickly at the first signs of recession by rationalising offices and then adopting a new business strategy. The focus was on achieving agility to adapt the business in response to pressures the legal market will feel from the consequences of the Legal Services Act. We recognised the need for very slick IT systems to maximise efficiency”.

The firm undertook a review of several of the leading legal software products and ultimately selected SOS. “We were impressed by the functionality of the software and in particular the knowledge demonstrated by the project team. It was clear to us that it could be instrumental in helping us meet our need to make fundamental changes to our operating practices that formed an essential part of our strategic plan,” said Richards. “We liked the look and feel of the product and felt comfortable about developing a long-term relationship with SOS, which is very important to us.”

The integration with SOS Connect will enhance further the work that has already been undertaken in streamlining the back office procedures as well as the development of workflows and standardised business process.  As Richards continues: “SOS Connect will allow our lawyers to be lawyers, by taking away routine administration and letting them concentrate on providing legal advice but without taking away their individuality. Above all clients want value for money. SOS Connect will assist us in making us attractive to clients on both pricing and efficiency in service delivery.”

SOS Connect is expected to go live for document, case, matter and email management, time recording, billing and legal accounts, marketing and business reporting in the autumn of this year. (Stones have declined to identify the legacy systems they are replacing – and they are not listed in the Insider archives.)