Good news here for clients (and for law firms) as we now have reliable backing for use of e-signatures in commercial transactions at least. The linked note from this Joint working party probably provides the clearest concise summary you will find of the current legal position on e-signatures across different areas of law, so you can decide how far you are willing to go in introducing more efficient (for you) and easier ways (for the client) of getting the job done.
I strongly recommend that you download the guidance note from the link below and share it widely in your practice to help initiate or progress improvements in process.
A joint working party of more than 20 City law firms, co-chaired by Linklaters, has come together today to endorse the use of digital signatures in a business context. The joint working party of The Law Society Company Law Committee and The City of London Law Society Company Law and Financial Law Committees has produced a guidance note to help parties who wish to execute English law commercial contracts using an electronic signature.
The aim of this initiative is to make document signing faster, easier and more convenient by offering signatories the ability to sign documents directly from a smartphone, tablet or desktop. Electronic signatures have the potential to put an end to the time consuming practice of having to “print, sign, and scan” multiple documents and allow a signatory to access a document securely over the internet and insert his or her signature in the appropriate place. Read more here >>
To explore how best to implement this guidance in your processes and working practices, contact Allan Carton at Inpractice UK on 07779 653105 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to have a preliminary confidential discussion to explore options for free and without obligation.
Introducing effective client relationship management to generate new business from existing clients and introducers is always a challenge as success or failure depends on the desire of the lawyers and their supporting team to make it work. They have to understand their role and the opportunity to produce results from doing things differently to make it work.
Some key simple rules here to help get off on the right foot and keep the momentum going:
Take a snapshot of where you are now. Otherwise nobody remembers where they started and how far they’ve come.
You need to plan to be persistent enough to make it work. Without a plan, objectives and milestones to help you refocus, other short term initiatives will take over.
Start with getting some data to work with cleaned for use; and processes to keep it clean.
Must be led from the top with agreed business objectives … that’s where we make a start. Consider client listening to create a different dynamic to open up client relationships.
Define your business drivers, current pain points to address and what you want to achieve.
Identify and target short term wins. Make sure your people succeed and talk about them. Have some clear targets and objectives to establish Key Account Management.
Agree & communicate the plan. Identify most appropriate people, next steps, pilot projects.
Make data input easy and part of the daily routine, within Outlook. Monitor activity.
Persist! Stay focused on the plan & objectives, listen to engage more, monitor constantly.
Communicate beyond the current pilot. Nurture them for the future, communicate success.
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:
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.
Nearly 50% of those polled did not report some or all of their IT issues.
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.
1 in 5 people have reported a virus or malware attack in the last 12 months.
Nearly 20% (1 in 5) of those asked have irretrievably lost data as a result of IT issues in the last 12 months alone.
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.