High street practice uses Proclaim to deliver a superb client service experience
St Helens Law is a full-service, community law firm based in the heart of St Helens. The practice prides itself on delivering the best possible service to its clients.
Debbie Murphy (pictured – foot of article), Director at the firm, tells us about her experience of Eclipse and Proclaim.
Why did you decide to implement Proclaim?
Three of the four partners who formed St Helens Law (myself included) had used the previous incarnation of Eclipse software – “Chase” – at our last firm. We didn’t need any convincing to implement Proclaim at the new practice, as we were extremely happy with our experience of Eclipse’s systems.
We opened the office in December 2001 with just four users on Proclaim. As well as the core Case Management software, we also implemented the Proclaim Accounts solution to give us a fully integrated Practice Management system.
What benefits do you see from Proclaim?
First and foremost, Proclaim collates every single piece of client and matter data, storing this centrally. So rather than scrabbling through paper files and storage cabinets for information, we know exactly where our data is.
Our policy here at St Helens Law is ‘scan and shred’ wherever possible. Proclaim’s integrated scanning tools mean that every element of information can be stored electronically against the relevant client and / or matter. Everything we need is on screen. We even provide access directly into Proclaim for our costs drafting partners, negating the need to print and courier bulky paper files. So our relationships with suppliers are efficient and seamless.
In a nutshell, Proclaim provides us with practice-wide consistency. Here at St Helens Law we offer the full range of client services – matrimonial, personal injury, negligence, conveyancing, probate and commercial litigation. Our processes and best practises now cover every area of work we undertake, for all 25 staff.
This makes things like achieving and maintaining Lexcel accreditation straightforward. Proclaim provides visual reminders for fee earners, limitation warnings, and enables on-screen file reviews (no more hunting for paper!)
Fee earner management is also facilitated by Proclaim. The system allows us to supervise work and channel what fee earners can and cannot do. So for prescriptive work areas we can enforce very tight, process-driven workflows. And for work which is more variable we can allow fee earners scope to really enhance the client service experience.
How does Proclaim help to enhance your client service?
Service and client experience is ultra-important for us. Legal services are often distress purchases, so we need to make the process as clean, transparent, and caring as possible. We benefit from a large amount of word-of-mouth recommendation, so keeping that service level high is vital.
Our clients have access to Eclipse’s FileView tool – FileView displays live case data from Proclaim within a secure online environment. Our clients simply log in to their own personal area and they can view as much or as little about their file as is appropriate. We can make documents available if we wish, or we can streamline the view to present a simplified milestone view. Whatever is best for the client.
A key benefit of using Proclaim is that everything is centralised. As I commented on earlier, Proclaim collates every single piece of client and matter data, so we know exactly where our data is. What this means for clients is that any member of staff can respond to a query. If the fee earner in charge of the case is on holiday, or ill, then no matter – somebody else can quickly give that client an update. Nobody has a personal filing system any more, so we don’t have to overcome individual organisational quirks!
Do you use Proclaim for management reporting and statistics?
We utilise the full Proclaim Practice Management solution, and that gives us unrivalled reporting abilities. On the financial side, we have access to departmental and company data, with the option to drill down into minute detail. Proclaim’s inclusive reporting suite means that we can create and configure our own reports whenever we like – even setting these to automatically run and distribute at set times and frequencies.
This ‘information access’ means that we are always in the picture, empowering decisions and future planning.
Any future plans you can share?
Moving forward, we are looking at further utilising Proclaim as an all-round business solution, not just for purely legal work. The system provides so much flexibility that we can tailor its usage to pretty much any process that we have internally.
In summation, I would say that providing a great service and experience for clients is our core ethos – and Proclaim helps us to achieve that.