SJP LAW – LONG-STANDING CLIENT SINCE 1995 – STILL VERY HAPPY WITH LAWFUSION
“We would recommend LAWFUSION to any law firm looking for quality practice management software and flexibility in terms bespoke development.”
Sharon Owbridge, Financial Director, SJP Law
ABOUT SJP LAW
SJP Law has been serving businesses across the Humber region since the 1850s. The firm has a long standing heritage working to support the region’s businesses and business owners as well as providing support and assistance to families who have suffered catastrophic personal injury and medical negligence.
Select’s Co-Founder/Director, Steve Dixon, describes the Practice as ‘champions’ when it comes to using LAWFUSION’s functionality to its full potential.
Sharon Owbridge said, “LAWFUSION enables our fee earners to concentrate on earning fees and it allows me to manage the finances based on accurate and up to date information. All LAWFUSION’s modules are fully integrated and so makes up to date information available to everyone who needs it. There is no danger of information being lost or missed. For us, as for many firms dealing with long term client matters such as clinical negligence, cash flow management is crucial. With LAWFUSION I can see exactly what costs and disbursements are due in or out at any time.”
SJP Law offers legal services to owner-managed businesses and their families and to personal injury and medical negligence clients. The firm provides services which ensure that their clients wealth is protected whilst their assets grow.
The firm uses LAWFUSION legal case management software in all areas of their work. Sharon Owbridge explained, “Everything is logged in LAWFUSION and because it is fully integrated it means all of our records, whether client related or finance related, are all held in one place. This makes it very easy to manage and removes the need to chase around for paper. We often have 2 or 3 fee earners working on one case. With LAWFUSION we know they are all looking at the same information.
The workflows in LAWFUSION are very flexible and can be tailored to individual work types. In some areas we have been prescriptive in the way that they work whilst others less so. We have been able to utilise this level of flexibility to suit each area of law in order to assist the fee earner concentrate on providing technical legal advice. Our workflows are reviewed and updated every 3-6 months depending on changes in the law or the service provided. We believe adaption to the system should be easy and provide us with a changing solution to the legal market. LAWFUSION enables us to do this as their workflows are easy to change. We also have a Select Consultant in every few months to demonstrate to us any relevant changes or enhancements affecting our business. We consider these changes against our business needs and adapt our workflows where we need to. There is enough flexibility in the software to make sure it is always relevant to the way we want to run our business. If we find that it isn’t doing exactly what we need it to do in any area, we can contact Select Legal to discuss potential enhancements.”
CONSISTENCY & TIME SAVING
The legal case management software module in LAWFUSION is designed to give firms consistency across departments. Sharon Owbridge explained, “All our letters and documents are produced by fee earners. Templates are made available to them in the LAWFUSION workflows which allows us to work as efficiently as possible. The workflows enable us to pre-populate information which can be replicated accurately time after time, reducing the risk of error. This saves us time and allows us to project a consistent, professional image to our clients from all areas of the Practice. We know and trust the system. For example, we know for sure that when we put accurate information in, we will get accurate data out.”
THE EXTRA MILE
Lord Justice Jackson’s review of civil litigation costs means it is no longer acceptable to address costs at the end of the case when those costs have already been incurred. The reforms in April 2013 mean that budgets are set for specific stages of the litigation which must be adhered to. It is therefore important that users can identify how much it will cost to complete stages of the litigation before undertaking the work.
Sharon Owbridge said, “The Jackson Reforms provides a good example of how Select Legal Systems can be relied upon to go the extra mile for us. At times like these, when major changes in the law affect our business, we need to be pro-active in order to change our processes to re-align the business and make it stronger. Having a reliable technology partner like Select Legal allows us to do this. My colleague Danielle Park, who was brought in as Costs Manager in October 2014 worked closely with Select to enhance LAWFUSION to meet our needs in light of the Jackson Reforms.”
A BRAND NEW COSTS MANAGEMENT MODULE
SJP Law’s Costs Manager, Danielle Park, who is also a solicitor with particular expertise in medical negligence – said, “The Jackson Reforms have led to courts taking a more active role in managing costs. Before the changes a firm would present a bill at the end of the case and the judge would decide if it was reasonable or not. Now the court sets a budget for the case up front and we have to stick to it.
“We approached Select ahead of the reforms to talk about how we could use LAWFUSION to manage our costs management processes differently. As a result the legal software experts at Select developed a brand new costs management module that allows us to meet all the requirements of the Jackson reforms and more.”
HIGH VALUE WORK IN PROGRESS
Firms like SJP Law that carry high value Work In Progress need milestone management for their high value civil litigation cases. Well ahead of time the system highlights cases that could potentially slip, so the firm can allocate extra resources to keep them within cost and on track.
LAWFUSION users are also able to customise litigation costing templates on a case -by-case basis and allocate time budgets against the ‘Cost Stages’. Civil litigators have an idea what the total case costs should be. In LAWFUSION they can set a budget for each stage of the case for the fee earners to work within.
The Precedent H is the form a fee earner must use to set out a case budget of anticipated costs in accordance with civil procedure rules. LAWFUSION’s Costs Management Module enables users to produce the entire Precedent H form automatically. It also provides functionality to preview and produce a summary of the ‘Precedent H’ form.
NO NASTY SURPRISES
Danielle Park explained, “Thanks to LAWFUSION our fee earners are aware of costs at all times throughout every case and there is no need to fear any nasty surprises at the end of a long and complex case. This is very important to the business because we need to ensure whatever we spend can be recovered.”
A TOP QUALITY, UNIQUE SERVICE
Danielle Park continued, “For catastrophic injuries we offer a full legal service to our clients which includes helping our Clients manage a substantial damages award. There are always some costs which are necessary but the Defendant will never be liable to pay. As LAWFUSION users we can estimate pretty accurately what the shortfall is likely to be and communicate this to our clients.”
THE FINAL WORD
Sharon Owbridge, Financial Director for SJP Law said, “It is this level of flexibility that we get from LAWFUSION and the team at Select Legal in terms of providing new software modules like the Costs Management Module that allows us to offer a quality, unique service to our clients.
“We have worked with Select since the start and we have found that the software they offer provides us with a flexible framework which we can tailor to our needs. We would recommend LAWFUSION to any law firm looking for quality practice management software and flexibility in terms of Select’s willingness to embrace bespoke development requests.”