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Upgrades and deals from Aderant, Thomson Reuters, DocsCorp and more

As the countdown to Christmas begins in earnest, here are some of the biggest wins and deals within the legal IT sector in the last few weeks of 2015.

As the countdown to Christmas begins in earnest, here are some of the biggest wins, deals and product launches within the legal IT sector in the last few weeks of 2015.

After 30 years in the enterprise legal management market, Mitratech is now offering a stand-alone contracts management solution through its GettingContractsDone (GCD) product. Originally developed as a partnership between the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and Bridgeway Software, GCD was in incubation status until Mitratech acquired Bridgeway earlier this year.  Now, Mitratech has fully launched GCD and expanded its investment in the growing contract management market by tripling the resources focused on GCD.

Highlighted features of GCD include self-service web form; integration with Microsoft Office for Windows; version history tracking; powerful search capabilities; viewable alerts from one location and intuitive navigation.

“With Mitratech’s increased investment in GCD, we are able to expand on our mission to enable legal departments to be the best-run function in their organization by now offering a best-in-class contract management solution to those small and mid-sized legal departments that need a simple and cost-effective solution to generating, executing, and storing contracts,” said Mitratech’s CEO Jason Parkman.

A new strategic partnership between Thomson Reuters and Handshake Software will bring improved legal search results to knowledge management by combining knowledge management solution West km 5.0 with Handshake Software’s SP Bridge, which extends SharePoint Search to a firm’s enterprise platform. Using Handshake’s rich Relationship Toolkit, SP Bridge extrapolates and relates information from multiple systems, creating a powerful set of search results and refiners.

West km will identify and extract legally relevant metadata, such as judge, jurisdiction, court, attorneys and law firms, while users can use the SP Bridge search interface with which they are already familiar to quickly and intuitively find the most relevant answers from the firm or organization’s existing work product, as well as other relevant information from the firm’s line of business systems.

“The combination of West km with SP Bridge means users can better leverage their existing intellectual capital to find the most relevant answer, and ultimately, produce better work product more efficiently,” said Craig Larson, vice president of productivity solutions, Thomson Reuters. “Speed and accuracy are becoming more important as organizations produce greater volumes of output. This partnership delivers the most on-point results, improving quality and efficiency, and leverages the unique characteristics of legal content to help get the most out of investments in enterprise tools.”

RAVN Systems has announced the launch of an online portal for their implementation of a RAVN ACE Contract Robot, allowing clients to automatically extract key pieces of information from Title Deeds.

RAVN’s Contract Robots are powered by RAVN ACE, an artificial intelligence solution which automatically reads, interprets and extracts specific information from documents. It converts unstructured data into structured output in a fraction of the time it takes using traditional manual effort – and with a higher degree of accuracy. The online portal puts the client firmly in control of uploading documents and receiving the desired output.

One of RAVN’s clients, Berwin Leighton Paisner, are currently using the online portal to increase efficiencies and allowing them to focus on higher value work for clients.

Hoowla has enhanced its case management software for the legal property market in Scotland. Hoowla’s conveyancing calculator automatically calculates Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) and Land Registration fees when generating conveyancing estimates and quotes for clients. The Scottish legal system differs to England and Wales by applying different charging structures to conveyancing transactions via the Registers of Scotland. Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) replaced UK Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) in Scotland earlier this year.

Hoowla’s conveyancing calculator lets you create compliant, professional conveyancing fee estimations, all in under a minute. It fit’s around your firm’s charging structure and your messaging and brand sits front and centre in your quotes.

Hoowla said in a press release: “There are no setup costs and the tiny annual fee makes it a no brainer if you’re looking to empower staff, save them time and increase business through your website.” The calculator is free for customers using Hoowla’s full Legal Software.

DocsCorp has announced that contentCrawler, its integrated analysis, processing and reporting framework, now integrates with NetDocuments, a cloud-based document and email management system.

Administrators will now be able to automate OCR and/or compression services across all NetDocuments cabinets to convert image-based documents into text-searchable PDFs and to reduce the file size of large documents for faster downloading and emailing.

Dean Sappey, DocsCorp President and Co-founder, said: “We are delighted to announce our first true cloud integration. NetDocuments customers will now be able to take advantage of our automated processing capability to ensure that every document in every cabinet is 100% searchable and therefore accessible from any device. The next 12 months will see more exciting announcements from DocsCorp as contentCrawler moves further into the cloud to provide our NetDocuments customers with more options.”

QuoStar, the business consultancy and information technology firm, has this week announced the release of Legal Ignite, a custom-built cloud platform. Backed by QuoStar’s 10 years’ experience in cloud and in-depth knowledge of the legal industry, Legal Ignite will help law firms of all sizes to benefit from the security, scalability and convenience that cloud computing can provide.

Firms can use their existing software or opt for QuoStar’s chosen partners, for everything from time recording and practice management system through to CRM, email security and case workflow. Other hardware and other IT related services can also be delivered on a simple operating expense model.

Legal Ignite is hosted in the UK’s most secure data centres, which are operated to military standards, have ISO 27001 and other security accreditations, and provide 100% guaranteed uptime.

QuoStar’s CEO, Robert Rutherford said: “With competition in the legal sector more fierce than ever before, firms need to employ IT systems that help them work faster, smarter and more efficiently. Cloud computing can offer all of these benefits and more – but it’s vital that firms choose a mature, custom-built cloud solution that has been developed with the specific needs of the legal sector in mind.”

Aderant has announced enriched functionality for users of Aderant Expert Expense Management, including significant new features to help law firms accelerate their work-in-progress (WIP) to cash cycle, streamline management and reimbursement of expenses, as well as improve control over firm costs. These new capabilities are part of an expansive upgrade of the Aderant Expert unified suite of legal applications helping mid-sized and large law firms.

Enhancements to the Expense Management module in Aderant Expert include firm-paid credit card distribution and reconciliation; the ability to request, approve and manage employee advances; ensured compliance with firm travel and expense policies with rules-based warnings; flexible, automated approvals based on firm-defined rules pertaining to expense type, thresholds, approvers and more; added audit capabilities embedded within Aderant Expert; and enhanced accounts payable functionality for direct reimbursement of employee expenses.

The Expert Expense Management solution also provides firms with enriched mobility features for easier access. Employees can submit and manage photos of receipts while on the go, and approvals can be completed online from any browser or mobile device.

Eclipse Legal Systems has implemented its Proclaim Case Management solution at new start-up firm, HD Law.

The Bradford-based practice specialises in litigation involving the Consumer Credit Act 1974, in general recovering compensation for those who have fallen victim to mis-sold financial products or products purchased using credit.

It has opted for an entirely bespoke Proclaim Financial Claims Software solution, which will facilitate a secure approach to individual client files, bringing with it a high level of efficiency to the firm’s operations and enabling staff to seamlessly share cases with an established Leeds-based practice. Furthermore, Proclaim will help to streamline processes for HD Law by collating all incoming documents, ensuring every piece of client matter is stored, ready for extraction, in the relevant case.

The firm has also implemented Eclipse’s Task Server tool which will eradicate hours of administration time by carrying out various time-consuming yet vital tasks.

Adam Hizzett, Director at HD Law, said: “From previous experience with Eclipse and Proclaim I knew the software was the market leader and definitely the best placed solution for our business. As a new start-up it’s essential we are able to establish ourselves and maintain the impeccable standards we promise to our clients. Thanks to Proclaim, I can be confident moving forward that our claims processes can be handled expertly within the system, allowing us to focus on expansion and outgrowing our competition.”