In this somewhat rocky climate, law firms need to make every decision and every financial investment count. It goes without saying that selecting and implementing a Case Management software solution – be it departmental or practice-wide – is a decision not to be taken lightly. It is now more true than ever that proposed solutions must demonstrate real value – and this almost ‘back to basics’ ethos is one that we at Eclipse are seeing emerge as the real decision-driver when we speak to practices of all types and sizes.
What do we mean by “real value”? That cheapest is best? Not necessarily – real value comes from a solution that is the very best fit for your purpose, and one that is transparent and manageable in its costs.
On selecting a case management system, you must be certain that your initial stated needs are being met, that costs presented are clear and complete (i.e. nothing hidden or left to chance), and that ongoing costs are reasonable. Many firms have been stung by selecting what – on sight of the salesman’s demonstration – appeared to be a good fit, but which then needed months (or even years) of expensive “consultancy” to get up and running. On this point, if you need to tailor and tweak the system to your future needs, does it provide the tools for you to do this in-house, or will expensive supplier charges be involved?
Now this seems obvious, but you would be surprised at how many firms lose sight of the real benefits of implementing a system. In the next section we’ll see what the overriding ethos (arguably of any software solution) should be, but key things to bear in mind are… will my fee earners enjoy using the system? Will they ‘buy in’ to it? Does it present them with tools to streamline administration? Will it enable my firm to exchange data easily and accurately with stakeholders and business partners (both internally and externally)? Is the system easily scalable – can I implement a department at a time and build up from there (rather than a ‘big bang’, firm-wide approach)…?
To be blunt, Case Management software is there to do – essentially – one thing. Make more money for your firm. This has to be the one over-riding goal to be kept in mind at all times. Will the system enable you to reduce administration and automate non-value adding functions? Will the system grow in line with your requirements? Will it enable you to adapt quickly to market pressures, change your processes accordingly, and steal a march on the competition? Your chosen solution should not be all about “technology” per se – it should be about a business tool which grows your bottom line. Be suitably cynical when presented with ‘the Emperor’s new clothes’ and make your decision based upon real value, real benefits and real results!
DLA Piper, one of the world’s largest legal services organisations with over 3,700 lawyers in 25 countries, recently chose Eclipse’s Proclaim Case Management software for its core UK defendant personal injury function.
DLA Piper provides a portfolio of legal solutions for local, national and global corporations across a wide range of sectors. The practice has an expanding insurance team, with the core business focusing on defending casualty (employer and public liability) claims. Rapid growth in this area, combined with key strategic plans resulted in the practice analysing the marketplace for a suitable case management software platform.
The decision was initially made to implement Eclipse’s Proclaim software solution for 100 DLA Piper users, with rollout being managed by way of a two-stage, phased process. After further analysis, DLA Piper also decided to roll the software out to its 50 fee earner financial litigation team.
Proclaim provides a complete desktop solution for DLA Piper staff, providing a full suite of case management tools including data handling, document production, workflow procedures, and task management.
Daniel Pollick, Global Chief Information Officer at DLA Piper, comments on his firm’s selection:
“We followed a rigorous selection process which focused on functionality and value. In addition, we also had to be confident that the chosen vendor could demonstrate both ability and commitment in developing their product and supporting DLA Piper into the future.
Eclipse’s Proclaim solution stood out to us as a market-leading offering, being the best fit for ease of use, process management and integration with our strategic partners and case referrers.”