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So far in our series on ‘Law Firms: 6 Most Common IT Oversights’, we have analysed the misconception among law firms that their smaller size makes them less of a target to hackers and that staff training is an essential weapon in the fight against cyber attack. In Part Three, we are going to take a closer look at the ways law firms can use IT to increase productivity and profits without the need to take on extra fee earners.
PWC’s Law Firms’ Survey 2018 found that, without exception, the Top 10 law firms in the UK identified technology as the key challenge to the legal sector over the next two years. In his introduction to the report, PWC’s Head of Law Firms Advisory Group, David Snell, warns that: “For Top 25 firms, fee earner numbers have, on average, fallen – as firms strive to improve productivity and leverage from efficiency measures and investment in new technologies. … The threat of cyber attack is at a critical level and presents one of the most significant risks to law firms. … Whilst the overriding sentiment is that of resilience through change, law firms need to continue to look to the future, ensuring they continue to adapt to a rapidly changing world.”
Is your company one of the SMEs that sees IT as a cost that needs to be cut or something to embrace because you can see how it will help you grow your business and gain billable hours? In 2018, the Top 50 law firms in the UK implemented technological solutions to help them increase their billable hours. By making use of applications specifically designed to help the legal sector work more efficiently, your firm could increase income without the need to take on new staff.
This is especially important with the growing popularity of fixed fees, which means firms need to work smarter in order to maximise fee earner time and efficiency. By investing in the right kind of applications that enable fee earners to be more productive, companies can reduce the time it takes to finish key tasks. In the 2018 survey, PWC found that more than half of the UK’s top 100 law firms have adopted mobile apps, client collaboration tools and automated/semi-automated document production.
One product that is gaining popularity in law firms is digital dictation. Traditionally, a solicitor or barrister would dictate their notes onto a tape or file which was then passed on to a member of administrative staff who would type it up and send it back for review. Depending on their workload and urgency of other tasks, this process could take hours or even days. Dictation software such as BigHand converts the spoken word into text straight away, speeding up the process, which allows for greater productivity.
Another way technology is speeding up the process is the Cloud. By hosting documents in the Cloud, you can access files and work on them whether you are in the office or working remotely. The Cloud also allows collaborative working, with a number of people being able to work on one document simultaneously, reducing the duplication of work. Before this was possible, multiple users generated multiple copies of the same document, which had to be closely monitored in order to ensure comments and changes were not overlooked.
While SMEs catch up with the ways IT can help them, the Top 10 firms are looking further ahead to utilising new technologies. Indeed, 80% are already piloting AI technology.
If you would like to discuss ways of increasing the number of chargeable hours your fee earners can work, contact us to find out more and book an appointment.
In the next article, we will take a closer look at your IT spend and how your law firm can increase the effectiveness of your IT system without increasing the budget.
Lumina Technologies have taken the time to understand the requirements of our business and work as our strategic IT partner, enabling us to concentrate on delivering a high quality service to our clients and focus on our growth strategy. They have delivered a 100% cloud solution to our business with no underlying infrastructure costs or maintenance, which gives us scalability for our planned growth. It also means our business critical applications and data are securely accessible from virtually all our user devices. Lumina’s professional approach and strategic expertise is highly valued and their management of our IT – based on their in-depth knowledge, leaves us confident that our systems are available 24×7.
Luke Harrison, Keidan Harrison LLP
Lumina have supported us so well through the difficult circumstances of 2020. They worked extremely hard to ensure we were able to work remotely and continue to operate our business successfully.The support team are very friendly and knowledgeable, and have excellent response times.
The team have also enhanced our cyber security which is so important in the legal sector, and they continue to provide high quality advice to help us move forward with our IT goals.
Adams & Remers
The quality of IT Support provided by Lumina Technology is of the highest standard and is complemented by effective client liaison with impressive response times. Trap Oil Group plc has no hesitation in recommending Lumina as a dedicated and specialist group of IT professionals.
Technical Director, Trap Oil Group plc
Richard and his team are a real inspiration to anyone who meets them and I have watched Lumina’s growth over the last few years with interest and admiration. Richard has been an amazing supporter of the Hospice of St Francis, being a Gold member of the Corporate Partner Network for almost two years. He takes an active interest in the community and is passionate about his company and his town: nothing is too much trouble, he is always willing to help, to give up his time and to provide business advice when asked. Lumina is an inspiration to any company wanting to set up business in Hertfordshire.
Corporate Fundraising Manager, The Hospice of St Francis
Lumina Technologies Prism Hosted Desktop has allowed our business to centralise our global corporate data, allowing much faster access for all our staff – regardless of their location. We have also been able to simplify and reduce our infrastructure and management overhead. With the new Prism Hosted Desktop solution all staff now have simple and secure access to corporate data using any device they choose. Prism Hosted Desktop has increased the productivity of our staff and given us a single, consistent and familiar experience for all users from any device, in any location, 24/7.
Chief Executive Officer, Wentworth Resources PLC
The commercially sensitive and regulated nature of Lambert Energy Advisory’s business requires an IT provider able to maintain the highest levels of integrity and confidentiality, Lumina Technologies has consistently been unimpeachable in this regard over the nine years we have employed them.
Lambert Energy Advisory
It has been a great pleasure working with Lumina Technologies over the past two years. They have fully committed to being involved in the local community with volunteering and with professional advice and commitment, helping many local charities along the way. As a growing company it proves that being involved in the local community is helping them attract and retain a talented workforce and I look forward to working with them well into the future.
Hawkstone Management Services Ltd is a small company for which IT Outsourcing is realistically the only viable option. Lumina Technologies have successfully performed this role for over fifteen years. They also provide innovative solutions to keep pace with technological progress. I would have no hesitation in recommending Lumina to similar sized businesses.
Hawkstone Management Services Ltd
Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP have been using Lumina Technologies for a number of years now and continue to be impressed by the technical know-how and contemporary knowledge of their senior management, who provide a timely, efficient and friendly service. Whether it is a small issue with one computer, or a strategic IT decision, they maintain a current knowledge of available technologies. Lumina are always at the other end of the phone to help resolve issues and minimise business interference. The technical knowledge of Richard and his senior team means that there has not been a problem that they can’t solve to date. I am sure we will continue to use them in the years to come.
Managing Partner, Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP
The team at Lumina Technologies have made the Amoun Travel & Tours office IT transition seamless and problem free. The office set-up has been vastly improved and the IT Support services are flawless. No issue goes unresolved, which is extremely reassuring.
Amoun Travel & Tours Ltd
Lumina Technologies has been Salamander Energy plc’s IT provider since start-up in 2005 and has supported us in London during our expansion across operational offices in SE Asia. Their professional approach, strategic advice and close co-operation have been essential in making this a success.
Group Technical Director, Salamander Energy plc
Richard and his team at Lumina have provided Perrett Laver Limited with high quality strategic and practical IT Services for over ten years. During this period, Perrett Laver has grown from 10+ colleagues based in London to nearly 100 colleagues located in six offices across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. Richard and the Lumina team have not just been responsive to our ‘everyday’ IT needs, but have proactively sought to work with us on developing an infrastructure suitable for the type of operation we are today, and are planning to be months and years down the line. I would not hesitate to recommend Richard, especially for small to medium size business with growth in mind.
COO, Perrett Laver Limited
Society Limited has been supported by Lumina Technologies since our earliest start-up phase. From large logistical challenges like an office move, through to smaller fiddly issues like fixing a faulty e-template, we know we can count on their support and advice. They’ve also been able to engage with us strategically on the challenge of scaling-up our infrastructure as the firm continues to grow and evolve. We always feel confident going to Lumina with a problem, since we know they genuinely care about sorting things out and helping us to get on with our core business.
Managing Director, Society Limited
The Vita Group HQ staff have worked with Richard McBarnet and Lumina Technologies for over 9 years, with Lumina providing all our PC, server, phone, and software support. The services have included C-level executives based in London, Manchester, the US, as well as supporting home office IT as well. The service provided and intellectual capabilities are outstanding and we would highly recommend Richard and his Lumina team.
CEO, The Vita Group
We worked with Lumina on a GDPR Audit. Richard was knowledgeable and professional throughout, and did the best he could to bring a dry topic to life through lots of real life examples and analogies. We were so impressed with the service Lumina provided and the value we got from partnering with them on this project – we couldn’t recommend them enough.
Holly Cottingham, Vintec Laboratories