Following on from the well-received first Business and IT Leaders Forum in October 2018, we are delighted to be able to announce our second forum which will take place on the Thursday, 13th June 2019 at the Shard in London.
This forum will be run in conjunction with other members of the Calico Legal Solutions Group and will be focused on two of the most pressing issues facing law firms today:
- Benefiting from IT investments and partnerships with technology providers
- Security in the digital economy
As with the last event we will have a series of keynote sessions: –
- The Strategic Risks facing law firms today – Protiviti
- Selecting and managing the right Strategic Partner – Joanna Kingston-Davies, COO, Jackson Lees Group
- Getting value from Technology Partnership -NetDocuments
- Securing the Insecure – Lawyer Checker
We will also have two roundtable sessions designed to enable discussion and collaboration with the experts and your peers. You will have an opportunity to discuss a wide range of topics from cyber to reputational risks in a supportive and informal setting. Roundtables include:
- Getting the Board on board
- The cybersecurity journey
- Extracting value from the supplier relationship
- Customer and team collaboration in a risky world
- Reputational risk management
- ‘Group Therapy’ – bring your issue!
A drink’s reception will be held close to the venue after the last session finishes at 4.45pm.
To register interest in this initiative please register on Calico’s Event Brite page or complete the following form :-
Baskerville Drummond is proud to be one of the Founding Suppliers of Calico Legal Solutions Group.
Calico is a unique collaboration of established and trusted suppliers to over 4,000 legal firms combined from niche practices to the high street, regional and national law firms. The members cover a wide range of services such as finance, insurance, marketing, business and IT consulting and more.
Calico’s purpose is to be “The Essential Resource for Law Firms” by providing thought-leadership articles and access to a group of reputable and trusted suppliers. This focus on adding value via collaborative creation of thought-leadership articles and topics was really important to us when we considered joining the group.
The Calico group publish several articles a week and the website is already a rich source of knowledge-led content from the various Calico suppliers. The content is very different from other websites – no sales writing and no adverts!
Have a look at the Calico Legal Group website to learn more and to sign up for Compass, Calico’s magazine, to ensure you receive a selection of such articles delivered periodically to your Inbox.
Our Calico page and articles can be found at Baskerville Drummond
Our membership as founding members also means we meet regularly with the other Calico members and as a result have a strong knowledge of their products and services. This expands our capabilities as a trusted advisor to law firms and expands our knowledge of what other law firms are currently doing.
Calico is very much about thought leadership. If you are one of our clients then there is an opportunity to write articles or case studies for publication on the Calico site, giving your firm some positive brand awareness in the market.
Our colleague Kevin Goosman’s article on Law Firm IT spend https://baskervilledrummond.com/law-firm-it-spend-getting-it-right/ was most timely, with a new budgeting cycle approaching. Getting the most out of your budget and controlling costs is fundamental, but given increasing pressure from your clients – and from partners alerted to the potential of “innovation” to use technology to enhance legal services or reduce the costs of delivering legal services – getting the basics right may not be enough.
Most full-service law firms face the major challenge of having to reconcile the differing IT system requirements of their various practice areas with the limited resources – both IT and financial – available to the firm.
On the other hand, niche firms specialising in one area of law or one sector, have the advantage of concentrating on technology which specifically services their sector. In the case of residential conveyancing, PI, probate, family law or debt collections there are well established specialist solutions on the market.
These solutions have been designed to deliver one specific legal service and aim to enable firms to use them with minimal customisation.
However, other legal services are not well serviced by vendors, and firms (both niche and full-service) therefore rely on a more traditional approach of bespoke development or customising more generic solutions to match the requirements of their specific practice area or areas
On 23rd October at the Shard in London we hosted our first – our very first – networking forum. But why do we want to add yet another event to the already overwhelming Legal Tech events calendar?
I was recently invited to speak at The Law Society’s Law Management Section conference. My topic was “Getting value from IT investments”.
Quantifying the return on investment from IT projects is a minefield many of us have tried to address, but while those efforts are often used to build a business case prior to embarking on projects, it is often the case that these justifications are not a true reflection of the cost / value that technology investments represent and nor are they assessed post go-live.
While preparing the presentation, I was reminded of the “Man in a barrel” gift that Christel Aguila, IT Director and Partner at Winckworth Sherwood LLP brought back from the Philippines for her team and the need to never make assumptions!
O! it is pleasant with a heart at ease,
Just after sunset, or by moonlight skies,
To make the shifting clouds be what you please (…with thanks to Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
As we sweltered and gasped through one of the hottest summers in memory, it would have required considerable effort to pay attention to the cloudscape. Now, with the August Bank Holiday safely behind us, it is more appropriate to take a detour into the cloud landscape – this time, in its SaaS, or software as a service manifestations. Hopefully well rested and with a “heart at ease”.
Previously we focused attention on “Private Cloud” and “IaaS” (Infrastructure as a Service) and its offspring but before we follow IaaS towards the logical conclusion of its development, it would be useful to investigate the concept of SaaS – Software as a Service – which has a lot in common with, and sits alongside both IaaS and “Public Cloud”
The first meeting of Baskerville Drummond’s Networking Forum for Business & IT Leaders will take place on the 23rd October 2018 (9:30am – 16:30pm).
Hosted by our friends Protiviti at their London office in the Shard, will focus on Practice Management Systems with the following agenda: –
- 9:30 – Coffee and Networking
- 10:00 – The PMS Challenge – BDC will give an update on the current PMS market, approach for system selection and building project teams.
- 11:00 Morning Coffee & Focused Networking
- 11:30 The Theory of Change and Delivering Law Firm Transformation– Andrew Thomson (ex-Hunt & Coombs CEO) and Derek Cummings (Protiviti) will consider how to prepare a Law firm for a significant change project and present a real-world example of a change program.
- 14:00 “Best of Breed” vs What we Need – Paul Graham from Carson McDowell will present with Linetime a case study of their recent PMS implementation.
- 15:00 Afternoon Coffee & Focused Networking
- 15:30 “Best of Breed” – Just what we need – Tim Roche from Stone King, supported by Thomson Reuters Elite, will discuss why a best of breed strategy was the right approach.
- 16:30 Wrap-up & AOB
- 16:45 Drinks reception
To register interest in this initiative please complete the following form :-
As we trot, canter and then hopefully gallop through all the “Cloud” buzzwords, we will try to provide some context for their logical progression, and then the why’s and how’s of their evolution (yes, Darwin’s law applies to technology as well!)
Last time, we focused our attention on the “Private Cloud” – the mother of all Cloud Buzzwords. Her direct offspring are the variants of “Infrastructure as a Service” or IaaS
Every couple of years and applying Moore’s Law, with increasing frequency one of the giants of the tech industry (or their marketing teams) come up with a sexy sounding buzzword or acronym. Very quickly, the latest buzzword will then burn a blazing trail through the tech media, the general press and everyone and their parrot. Before you can say “buzz”, the buzzword is being used without anyone outside a limited circle having the foggiest idea of what it actually means (and feeling slightly embarrassed because everyone else seems to know). A classic case of the Emperor’s New Clothes.
Examples are “cloud”, “AI”, “flexible/agile/smart” working, “digital transformation”, “digital disruption” and heaven help us, “innovation”. Fuzzy terms, unless we stop to define what we actually mean. As importantly, what it means for us, our sector (law firms and law firm technology) and our own practices.
HEALTH WARNING – anyone with a technology background: read-on at your own peril but you are not allowed to sneer at our simplistic take on the impenetrable acronyms and fuzzy concepts and jargon that all technologists thrive on.
I recently had an email from Microsoft Bing Places requesting that I ensure our company registration record was up-to-date. The experience which followed was a good reminder of the frustrations of users when dealing with inefficient processes delivered by IT solutions.
To be honest I can’t even remember registering for Bing Places and hadn’t thought to update the registration when we moved offices last year. I certainly didn’t have a Bing Places account to make the changes.
There then followed one of the most ridiculous processes I’ve ever experienced.
We attended – and facilitated – at a most informative Legal Practice Management (LPM) event yesterday, where Rupert Collins-White analysed the results of the 2018 Legal IT Landscapes, research aimed specifically at mid-sized law firms. More than 80 firms responded to the survey – the results are probably fairly representative of the market as a whole.
Interestingly enough, there were repeated mentions of, and considerable interest expressed in AI and the “hype” technologies, by far outranking mentions of more “old tech” systems, such as case management, practice management and document management. Most noticeable was the change of focus from the more boring aspects of tech, such as infrastructure and last year’s buzzword, “cloud” and a change of focus to the application layer particularly in areas where business processes can really benefit from technology.
PMS Selection for Hunt & Coombs
Supporting decision makers to make an effective and informed choice
Hunt & Coombs are currently using Envision, a product which had been made “end of life” by Thomson Reuters. Whilst the firm had good IT leadership it needed support to:
- determine which options were available;
- provide a robust and inclusive selection process;
- document all of the critical User requirements and add structure to the evaluation phase;
- assist in establishing the project’s key success factors;
- guide the internal team through the process and final decision making.
DMS Selection & Implementation for Winckworth Sherwood
A case study of transition
During 2015, Winckworth Sherwood (WS) undertook an IT review which identified that while providing sleek integration and automation between various systems, the existing SharePoint Document Management System (DMS) was no longer meeting the needs and expectations of a growing business.
Debenhams Ottaway Virtual IT Director
Definition and implementation of a IT strategy for a progressive regional law firm.
To align IT with business and improving reliability and performance whilst bringing expenditure in line with industry benchmarks.
- IT issues were a regular occurrence which hampered productivity
- Expenditure on IT had risen to 9.6% of turnover – a premium price for sub-optimal service.
- Lack of a thought-through and comprehensive IT strategy had led to an ad-hoc “shopping list” approach
I was not surprised to see Microsoft’s admission that developing new features for the Mobile version of Windows 10 was “no longer a focus” this but it is a shame to see. I had a Windows phone for several years and found it to be very good. I moved back to iPhone when the iPhone 7 came out as several “silver bullet” apps which I used which were removed from the Windows 10 app store at about this time (and yes I wanted a iWatch …) and it was becoming more obvious that app vendors were not going to get on board with Windows 10.
The most frustrating thing I found with moving back to the iPhone was that the Microsoft Apps available on IOS were better than the Apps they provided on their own operating system so for me the writing has been on the wall for some time.
However, personal views aside, the most concerning issue for IT professionals is the seeming ease in which major technology companies can and will chop and change their strategy and offerings.
We were engaged by leading Birmingham firm Anthony Collins to provide mentoring and support to their PMS replacement project group.
We were engaged by leading East Anglian firm Ellison’s Solicitors to advise on their PMS replacement project.
David and Kevin are both members of the British Computer Society and hold Chartered IT Professional (CITP) memberships.
The chartered membership is achieved via a rigorous application process including a Breadth of Knowledge test and a Peer Assessment Interview. The accreditation is underpinned by periodic revalidation.
Holders of the CITP have to be able to demonstrate they’ve undertaken a range of challenging and complex work activities where they’ve had full accountability and exercised significant influence and responsibility, and have well-developed business skills.
The accreditation shows that holders understand the business they are working in and add business value through the use of technology