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Data Retrieval Warning

Of course, data conversion (sometimes referred to as data migration) works both ways. This is the process of retrieving your data from your previous practice management system and importing it successfully into a new practice management system. When you are choosing a new legal practice management system, you need to think about bringing your data with you, but also what happens should you ever choose to leave your newly chosen supplier.
When you’re choosing a new software supplier, leaving them and retrieving your data at some point in the future is probably the last thing on your mind.
However, it’s imperative that you think about this, as one of your new system selection criteria. Some software suppliers have a reputation for making it difficult for law firms to leave them. You will find some are a lot more helpful than others with regard to retrieving your data once you’ve made the decision to leave them.

You may find that your jilted supplier may put the emphasis on you and your firm , i.e. expecting you to extract your own data and they will only give you access to your old system for a limited amount of time in order to get this done.

Often hidden in the small print, this scenario tends to come as a surprise when firms find out they only have access to limited reports and are even expected to manually email documents to themselves in a piece-meal fashion in order to retrieve them. Before you sign on the dotted line, there are a few direct questions you should ask your new supplier about data retrieval should you ever decide to leave them:

  1. Will you auto-generate a copy of our data in SQL database (or other database) format for data migration purposes if we ever decide to move onto an alternative practice management system supplier?
  2. Please list the types of data that would be available for data conversion, and how will you provide relevant paths and structural information that indicates how our data records relate to each other?
  3. How will you supply all of our case related documents and how will how will you ensure it is clear which matter/files they relate to?
  4. What kind of fees should we expect from you for facilitating the retrieval of our data in a usable format?

Starting life with a new practice management system without your data is less than ideal for any law firm. Make sure you have in writing, before you sign the contract, that ALL your data will be completely retrievable should you ever need it, in a usable format, auto-generated, with no manual intervention required by yourselves.

Read more about about the LAWFUSION data conversions service


LAWFUSION is the system of choice for hundreds of UK law firms. Please feel free to have a click around our website – our  legal practice management system is a good place to start. You may also be interested to see a selection of LAWFUSION case studies here.  To book a demonstration please call 01482 567601 during office hours, or use our online enquiry form  here at any other time.