Category Archives: ROI

Business Analytics and Reporting to help you run a better law firm – Bi24

C24, Wright Hassall

Improve the performance of your legal practice – fill gaps in the capability of your practice management system.

CASE STUDY:  Wright Hassall, solicitors implemented Bi24, which is C24’s business analytics and reporting solution for law firms, connected to Wright Hassall’s key data feeds across management reporting, practice management systems and marketing applications.

The Outcomes:  Easy access to data and insights has changed the way teams work at Wright Hassall, providing users across the entire organisation from Managing Partners to support staff with the ability to perform ondemand, self-service reporting whenever they need to. Data can now be pooled between different applications to drive greater insights across work in progress cases and ensure better returns on investment for marketing activities.

One of the most important developments is the ability for the firm to create dynamic client facing dashboards that assimilate information into one place; showing the client’s current billing position, work in progress, outstanding payments due, hours worked and activities undertaken. This enables Wright Hassall to keep their clients up to date and provide them with regular reporting so that they are aware of payments due, which is increasingly important in a post-recession era where maintaining healthy cash flow is a business reality.

Additionally, Wright Hassall are now able to extend their reporting capabilities out to customers of their clients, for scenarios where updates on legal matters are required to be reported to a client’s wider customer base. For instance, Wright Hassall can provide reporting via portals to the tenants of their property management clients with updates on tenancy agreements, disputes and queries. This enables Wright Hassall to differentiate itself by becoming a data services provider to its own clients, in a way that suits the business models and growth objectives of its key client base.

IT Director, Martyn Wells, highlighted the change in the business through the introduction of better reporting practices. “Data is now driving behaviours within the firm. When partners are creating their forecasts and business strategies for the year, they are now proactively seeking out data insights from the Bi24 tool to inform their strategies”, commented Wells. “We are also seeing how better reporting through Bi24 can allow us to stay competitive in an age of fixed price fees, enabling us to continually assess costs and margin positions for better business decision making. Data is now supporting us in achieving our ambitious growth targets.”

DOWNLOAD a copy of the full CASE STUDY REPORT here >>

For more information about other proven technology solutions that can improve the operation of your business, contact Allan Carton at Inpractice UK.

Tackle the Problem: Help fee earners get focused effectively on their own financial performance

Unlock CashThis is a big problem for many law firms, but here is one of our  solutions to enable you to address it effectively; capable of producing big returns for your practice.

Focused on results from the initiatives we introduce in law firms that include technology, client relationships, development of people and process improvement, we are very aware of the obstacles to performance improvement that result from fee earners not fully understanding the impact of their own day-to-day financial management of cases and clients.

Very significant benefits can be achieved if all fee earners understand the financial implications of their day-to-day actions.  However, this is an area often overlooked in developing the business and personal skills of lawyers … and support staff in contact with clients.  Appropriate communication with clients is a critical part of any improvements, so it’s not just about the numbers.

Fee earners have the potential to make the greatest impact on the financial performance of any law firm. If they aren’t aware of the financial implications of how they interact with clients and are not comfortable with having financial discussions with clients, how can law firm management teams expect them to demonstrate the right behaviours?

The Solution:  Inpractice UK has partnered with the co-authors of the Law Society toolkit on financial stability in law firms, Armstrong Watson, to help fee earners improve their understanding of financial management.  The key aim is to help them get fully in tune with what and why senior management want them to evaluate their own performance (and that of their teams where appropriate) and introduce very specific steps to help achieve better results; often the beginning of a continuous improvement process.  There will be some quick wins immediately but much more to gain by carrying plans agreed here through, longer term.

As the SRA CPD regime is changing, we are finding that more law firms are getting a better grip on training; being pro-active to identify gaps in competence – then planning a blend of the most cost-effective training to develop people with knowledge and skills better aligned to improve the performance of the practice.

In this area, there are very significant benefits to be achieved by arranging training that is very specific to your practice in small workshop sessions in-house.  Fee earners can then be introduced to very specific opportunities to improve (and the potential direct financial benefits that can be achieved) in the context of your practice and their work.

Armstrong Watson currently provide this in-house training to partner and fee earner teams within law firms to:

  1. Make them more financially aware,
  2. Increase productivity and recovery rates,
  3. Reduce lock up to free up cash.

If you think your people could benefit from these interactive workshops please contact Andy Poole at Armstrong Watson on 07828 857830 to discuss how this could be designed to work most effectively for you – no obligation.  Quote our partner reference: INP10.

If you want to speak to us first for more background, please complete this contact request form or call us on 0161 929 8355.

Well done Blacks for making this happen! Listening to Clients & Referrers – the platform for 14% increase in profits.

Blacks Employment TeamOur clients, Blacks solicitors in Leeds have achieved double digit growth with profits up 14% from increased turnover of £10.2m for 2014/15.  There have been 15 new appointments during the year to boost its team and bring numbers up to 193.

Increases in quantity and size of the deals the company is doing, as well as investment in the firm’s infrastructure and workforce is said to be behind the growth; all initiatives developed from our work on client and introducer listening, leading into effective engagement of people in developing and implementing new business plans and initiatives.

Increased revenue, profit and motivation to meet objectives are the key results we look for.

Chris Allen, managing partner at Blacks, who is well known for his innovative approach to the legal sector, and the use of social media, said: “Our growing reputation means that more organisations are turning to us for advice. These year-end figures reflect the exceptional service provided by the staff here at Blacks.”

To find out more about how we at Inpractice UK can help you produce these kind of results for your business, contact Allan Carton on 0161 929 8355 or at solutions@inpractice.co.uk.

Courtesy of TheBusinessDesk

The term “Cloud” Computing just conjures up the wrong impression when talking about hosted IT services.

This is what “the Cloud” really looks like. Ultra secure and organised – not fluffy at all. Compare that to a few computer rooms I’ve seen in law firms!  You might have seen one too? Users have to adapt and get the timing right, but this is the direction of travel.

This Cloud is not fluffy

Have you been in one of these?  Cold and uninviting, but great for your computer systems.

VIDEO: Why law firms like yours ARE moving IT to the securely hosted and pro-actively managed “Cloud”

Paul Stothard, Tees LawWe help law firms develop their use of technology, whatever that requires; always operating on the basis that IT is more about the people who use it than the technology itself; we say it’s two-thirds people and one-third technology.

Just one aspect of what we do is to help legal practices decide whether moving IT infrastructure to a secure, hosted data centre, managed pro-actively by a third party is the right move now, to free up internal IT people to focus on developing systems, training users and providing local support where it is needed.

For some firms, it is the right thing to do now; for others, it is not now and there are a wide variety of very flexible options that include “managed”, “hybrid” and “fully  hosted” solutions that ought to be considered from a number of suppliers that are established or are introducing new leading edge solutions in the legal sector.

The question we are asked most frequently is “are other firms like us really doing this?” as it’s not something lawyers talk to colleagues in other firms much about.  If you haven’t seen it, you don’t know it’s really happening, which is understandable – and there is scepticism. However, the reality is that this IS happening and it works if you choose the right supplier for you at the right time for you and manage the transition effectively.  Technology and suppliers have improved and the early days of pioneers in this area are now long over.

Back in September 2013, we provided feedback from our survey of users of hosted IT systems confirming that almost 20% of all law firms use a hosted practice management system … and that number has grown significantly since then.

Here is a good video from Paul Stothard, CEO at Tees Law, solicitors (c. 220 people) which outlines why – at the right time and in the right circumstances, and provided the transition is managed effectively to ensure that people come with you – the mid range law firms we work with are making this move.  Check it out below.

For a free discussion to begin to explore options to develop your IT systems, which may include a potential full or partial move to a managed or hosted environment, contact Frank Manning, Andrew Simmans or Allan Carton or call +44 (0)161 929 8355.

Any preliminary discussions are free and will give you valuable insights into suppliers, solutions and approaches to effective implementation.

What would you do with an extra 2 hours each week?

On average, people waste 25 minutes a day on IT, but generally don’t do or ask others to do anything about it – so you don’t know!

These headline findings from a survey of Greater Manchester businesses conducted by Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and JMC IT don’t come as a surprise, but they confirm the opportunity for many firms to increase your profits by investing some time and money in getting IT working effectively.

Bear in mind that improving use of IT is two thirds about people and just one third about the technology itself.  It starts by recognising the benefit – and the need for the good of your business and your working environment – to do something about it; so these conclusions are very pertinent.

Those key findings:

  1.  The majority of those asked thought that their IT systems and service were not unduly impacting their work performance, yet they only rated these systems and service six out of 10 or less.
  2.  Nearly 50% of those polled did not report some or all of their IT issues.
  3. If IT issues were eliminated, respondents said they felt they would save, on average, 25 minutes a day. For just 5 lawyers capable of earning an average of £110 an hour, that equates to time to earn add £50,000 in fees or an extra 2 hours a week each to spend with clients and in developing new business.
  4. 1 in 5 people have reported a virus or malware attack in the last 12 months.
  5. Nearly 20% (1 in 5) of those asked have irretrievably lost data as a result of IT issues in the last 12 months alone.
  6.  Fewer than 50% of respondents had their primary IT system replicated in another location to enable continuity of work, yet over 80% said that connectivity was essential in their job role.

For a free preliminary discussion to find out whether and how you can do more to get the best out of your use of IT, call me (Frank Mannning) on 0161 929 8355 or contact me here

Improving Legal Process – More stories from the field from BLP and others

Mark GreenhouseTwo stories I thought you might like to be aware of that demonstrate how law firms are increasingly getting focused on improving processes, aiming to deliver better value to clients:

Legal Talk Network – Talking Legal Evolution – Innovations’ Pace In the Legal Industry – this one is from the States and reviews a number of the recent legal conferences that have taken place.  From about 9 mins 30 secs in there is a good conversation about Legal Process Management, Mapping & Improvement, how it affects larger firms and will permeate down to small firms.  It is a podcast so you’ll need speakers turned up/headphones on.

BLP Integrates Key Elements of City Law Firm Innovation – this story talks about the opening of an office in Manchester, to develop a shared service hub and the introduction of a number of services including Legal Process Improvement.  It mentions that the team at BLP have mapped 60 workflows and are offering to do the same for clients.

Also – remember we posted this on Addleshaw Goddard and Clifford Chance while back too, so there is a clear trend in this direction.

We can help you get your people on the right track to tackle processes in your practice, where radical improvements are very possible; so if you want to know more, please contact me here >>

Mark Greenhouse