Monthly Archives: January 2011

Damian Griffiths joins Inpractice UK: New Merger Team

We have widened our offering to the legal market with a new senior level appointment and the creation of a specialist merger team.  Newly appointed consultant Damian Griffiths is an IT specialist who has considerable experience in developing IT solutions and directing the implementation of IT mergers for some of the UK’s leading law firms.  Damian’s experience includes critical roles with three of the UK’s largest law firms, with operations worldwide; as IT Director at Eversheds and Addleshaw Goddard and external consultant to DLA Piper UK LLP.

The Inpractice UK merger team also includes founder and director of Inpractice UK Allan Carton, technology expert Andrew Simmans, Richard Blasdale, a specialist in IT systems selection and implementation and Rita Maguire, a HR and personal development consultant.  The team will advise law firm clients on all aspects of a merger; from a high level strategic approach to the practicalities of consolidating databases to facilitate mergers on any scale.

Allan Carton explains that the creation of the team is a direct response to the changing landscape of the legal market:  “The impending changes heralded by the Legal Services Act have got law firms considering their options.  Many now realise that they need to extend, develop and improve their business operations in order to compete successfully with new commercially-capable organisations looking for opportunities in the legal sector, such as Co-operative Legal Services on private client services.”

“Inevitably those firms that have emerged through the recession relatively unscathed are now looking to the future –and for many M&A activity is a definite marker on the horizon.”   But whilst well-considered mergers can be a match made in heaven on a theoretical or brand level, the nuts and bolts of a seamless transition from two separate organisations to one presents more of a challenge.  “The Inpractice UK merger team brings together individuals with a wealth of experience in all aspects of mergers between two legal practices – from cost control to the nitty gritty of managing system capacity,“ Allan explains.

“Each member of the team has a line of proven project successes behind them and we anticipate that our tried and tested methods and advice will enable legal practices to get a firm grip on the practicalities of the merger process from the outset.”

For more information, contact Allan Carton or Damian Griffiths.

Tackle e-data security; differentiate where it matters

Another way to reduce costs, manage risks and make your practice a more attractive proposition when you are competing for business.  Just picking up on an increasingly important  issue raised by Rupert White in his LSN blog on solicitors becoming too casual about how they handle confidential electronic data.  He quotes the recently reported example of A4e, a law firm in the Midlands, that was fined £60,000 for allowing a laptop with 24,000 clients’ details on it to leave the premises unencrypted.  It was later stolen in a burglary.

Should more legal practices be working towards certification in the global ISO 27001 information security standard following the lead of Irwin Mitchell and a small number of other law firms that are taking this initiative, which should be of particular interest to the larger firms and others regularly tendering for business to clients becoming increasibly nervous about data security.   Irwin Mitchell reduced the number of security incidents from 25 a year ago to seven in the same period this year, after becoming certified.

Go here for a summary of the ISO 27001 standard, which makes good business sense  for the right law firms.  For more information on how to tackle certification to the 27001 security standard at your legal practice, contact Allan Carton on 0161 929 8355 or at acarton@inpractice.co.uk