Monthly Archives: August 2010

Survey – small legal practices

Jures, a research company and think-tank dedicated to the legal services market are seeking to gauge the issues that concern small law firms and how confidently they view their future.  If you take part in their “Taking the Pulse of the High Street” survey, they are offering respondents a free CPD webinar worth 2 CPD points.

You can take part in the survey here OR if you prefer that a researcher goes through it with you on the telephone, please call Grania Langdon-Down on 01372 469705  – either way, it won’t take more than 5 minutes. 

Jures are aiming to get responses from as wide a range of small practices as possible – from practices with 5 partners/members or fewer – from experienced solicitors in different types of practice, specialisms and locations to see what are their main concerns and how confidently they view the future. 

To collect your CPD points, please email Grania@jures.co.uk separately when you have completed the online survey.

All responses to the survey will be treated in the strictest confidence.  The survey is also available via the Sole Practitioners Group (SPG) and BLD websites.

Hosted PMS suppliers and users … in a nutshell

There is a wide variety of hosting options available now to enable legal practices to introduce “Cloud Computing” using practice management and case management systems (PMS and CMS)  as “Software as a Service”. 

They include:

Specialist hosted solutions providers, who host the firm’s entire IT environment, which includes a particular PMS that is capable of running in a hosted environment. Specialist hosting providers active in the legal sector include e-know.net (www.e-know.net), Intercept IT (www.intercept-it.com) and K-Cloud (www.k-cloud.com) with other providers like Onyx Group (www.onyx.net) edging into the legal market.

PMS suppliers like DPS (www.dpssoftware.co.uk), Quill Pinpoint (www.quill.co.uk), Pracctice (http://www.pracctice.com/) and Iris (www.iris.co.uk/legal) who host their own applications and manage them directly for at least some of their clients, but who may also have clients using their software hosted by any of the specialist hosting providers mentioned above.  Quill, Pracctice and DPS started ahead of the game by investing in hosted solutions early on.

Some PMS suppliers can offer a comprehensive hosted solution from a specialist hosted service provider that incorporates their PMS.  For example, e-know.net with Lexis Nexis to host their Axxia PMS, Visual Files and InterAction, K-Cloud with Pilgrim and Intercept IT with SOS “Virtual Practices” (www.soslegal.co.uk).

Firms can rent rack space in a hosted environment provided by the likes of InTechnology and Civica where the hardware and applications can reside, to be managed either by the IT staff at the law firm or by the provider of the hosted environment, with variations possible in the extent of responsibility that each party takes on board.

Go here for more about who is hosting which practice management systems for which legal practices.