UNIQUE FAMILY LAW FRANCHISE BUSINESS
DRIVEN BY LAWFUSION
“The software is at the heart of the service and because it has been so flexible to tailor it is proving to be a real growth enabler for the business facilitating our expansion plans.”
Carol Sullivan, Founder Director, Divorce Negotiator Franchise
ABOUT DIVORCE NEGOTIATOR
Carol Sullivan set up Divorce Negotiator in 2010 with a clear vision. She wanted to set up a business that would help couples in England and Wales achieve amicable divorce. Unique in many ways, Divorce Negotiator assists both parties through the divorce paperwork from initial Petition through to Decree Absolute. With a focus on reaching a fair settlement for the whole family, this service guides couples through ‘the grounds for divorce’ and all aspects of the law regarding settlement, children and basically making the process completely transparent, less costly and less daunting for everyone involved.
Three years later, in August 2013, after uncovering resounding evidence that there was a real need for this kind of service across all walks of life, Carol decided to offer the model as a franchise. Ten months later (June 2014) there are 11 franchisees with a further 4 in the pipeline – and growing.
Mrs Sullivan is not a practicing solicitor, she qualified with the Chartered Institute of legal Executives in the early 1990s, worked for the Crown Prosecution Service after that and unfortunately having gone through her own particularly difficult and costly divorce in 2001, she certainly has the knowledge and experience to offer this unique family service.
So far (June 2014) Divorce Negotiator has handled over 400 ‘amicable’ divorces.
LAWFUSION LEGAL CASE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE IS AT THE HEART OF THE SERVICE
Carol looked at several systems before choosing LAWFUSION, she told us, “I liked the software and the people from the start. Select Legal Systems understood immediately what I was looking for in a case management system whereas some of the other suppliers I saw didn’t seem to grasp how different my service was. They couldn’t accept that I was working on behalf of both the husband and the wife. One system I looked at in particular was very rigid – you got an off-the-shelf package and there was absolutely no flexibility to change it. But Select really have gone the extra mile from day one. With LAWFUSION I have complete freedom to make the software do things my way and the experts at Select have helped me write it, test it and fine tune it to make it absolutely fit-for-purpose.”
Select Legal often works closely with clients to develop additional functionality. They believe this is what sets them apart from much of the legal software competition. Steve Dixon, co-owner of Select Legal and Development Director explained, “When it comes to creating software for law firms there is no such thing as one size fits all. When we started this business we wanted to offer flexible and intuitive software that is excellent value for money with outstanding support. We are still true to those values today. When a client or prospective client comes to us with a sensible functionality request we are more than happy to work through this with them. We have had the privilege of working with some of the best legal minds in the industry over the years. It is this kind of development partnership approach that has led to our suite of software becoming recognised as amongst the best available.”
LAWFUSION – Legal Case Management Software is designed to significantly increase the volume of work a law firm can handle. Streamlining all business processes and capturing all billable time. The software is designed to improve profitability considerably whilst also improving the quality of the service to clients.
Being a franchise operation it made sense for Managing Director, Carol Sullivan to incorporate the software training within her overall training programme for new franchisees coming on board. Working with the training team at Select, Carol has developed a series of courses that enable her to quickly and efficiently bring her new franchisees up to speed so they can hit the ground running.
“I have found the LAWFUSION case management system very easy to teach. It is pretty intuitive. For example, one of the other systems I looked at listed its procedures in alphabetical order -which was quite difficult to get your head around. LAWFUSION is much more user friendly – there is no brain-racking and scanning the alphabet to work out the next step. If you are missing something in the process, LAWFUSION prompts you with green and blue questions to help you move the case on.”
Select Legal Systems offers both cloud and on-premise options. Select has hundreds of satisfied users in both camps relying on LAWFUSION, to run and grow their businesses. Carol Sullivan opted for the cloud option – LAWFUSION Cloud. This means, for a competitive monthly fee, Divorce Negotiator gets the full suite of practice management software as well as fully integrated Microsoft Office and Exchange products – all hosted on the LAWFUSION cloud.
Select is continually enhancing LAWFUSION and is currently planning LAWFUSION App functionality for tablets and mobile phones.
Carol Sullivan said, “I use LAWFUSION on my iPad and my iPhone whenever I need to do something remotely and next I am keen to make good use of the SMS Texting facilities within the system as I am sure this will be popular and convenient for Divorce Negotiator clients.”
We asked Carol Sullivan what she would say to other firms looking for flexible legal case management software and she said, “I would definitely recommend LAWFUSION. It is good value for money, my franchisees love it and the support is great! I cannot fault it.
“As I look ahead and plan further growth for my business, I am very pleased I went with LAWFUSION. It was definitely the right decision.”
WHAT’S NEXT FOR DIVORCE NEGOTIATOR?
Carol Sullivan added, “With my own personal divorce, we each spent £6000 on solicitors fees and it made an acrimonious situation much worse and divided the family for many years. What people don’t always realise is the law already gives us guidance on the three processes involved – the divorce itself, the arrangement for the children and the financial settlement. There is no need to complicate matters. The court is only necessary when parties cannot agree. Fair negotiation is at the heart of our service, we understand the process and what the Judge requires but more importantly we care about the family and our aim is to make this unpleasant process as pain free as possible for all.
“The LAWFUSION legal software is at the heart of the service and because it has been so flexible to tailor it is proving to be a real growth enabler for the business facilitating our expansion plans. Having LAWFUSION means we can replicate the high levels of customer service we have developed at HQ right across the Divorce Negotiator franchise network. We have trademarked the franchise for Great Britain and plans are afoot to launch in Ireland, Scotland and then it’s Europe and America.”