UK top 100 law firm Winckworth Sherwood has become the latest to replace its customised on-premises Microsoft SharePoint document management system (DMS), selecting NetDocuments’ cloud-based service after a thorough review.

“As a well-established firm that has gone through technology transformations over the years, we pride ourselves in continuing to improve, reinvent, and innovate around the technologies we adopt and the service providers we choose to partner and do business with,” said Christel Aguila (pictured), head of IT and partner at Winckworth Sherwood.

“A pivotal factor for the firm was NetDocuments’ experience in delivering a native cloud-based solution which will enable the firm to achieve levels of security, agility, and usability simply not economically feasible with on-premises or hosted on-premises systems. The move to a more modern solution will give our legal professionals a secure, easy-to- use and innovative technology platform in order to deliver the quality of service our clients demand today.”

In 2010, ClearPeople announced the deployment and go-live of their Sharepoint-based DMS at Winckworth Sherwood. The DMS combined SharePoint with MacroView DMF and the firm’s own bespoke WS-eOffice system.

SharePoint has famously failed to make inroads as a legal DMS, with notable exceptions such as Clifford Chance and Lewis Silkin, as well as more recent examples such as Shoosmiths, which in 2015 also used ClearPeople to roll out its own bespoke SharePoint DMS.

Anthony DeCerce, founder and director of TDC Global Enterprises and former Clifford Chance CIO told Legal IT Insider: “People are disappointed that Microsoft didn’t fulfil its promise of a full featured Legal SharePoint document management system. While it seemed at one time that SharePoint momentum would grow and there would be a few good document management systems based on SharePoint, that never came to fruition.”

Firms that have swapped out their specialist SharePoint DMS in EMEA include Hjort and Simonson Voght Wiig in Norway and Glynn Marais in South Africa.

The rise of NetDocuments and reinvigoration of iManage make it less likely than ever that law firms going forward will turn to a SharePoint DMS. In 2015, Microsoft announced a deal with NetDocuments that saw the cloud-based document and email management provider fully integrate its services with Microsoft cloud technologies.

“Today’s announcement by NetDocuments demonstrates its commitment to using the latest Microsoft technology and delivering solutions to its customers that integrate with the productivity tools they use today,” said Nishan DeSilva, senior director, technology solutions & evangelism, legal and corporate affairs, Microsoft. “By integrating its cloud-based services with Microsoft technologies, NetDocuments customers can now take advantage of the enterprise-grade cloud capabilities and global reach of both Office 365 and Azure.”