Experienced legal practitioner, Geoff Birkett, introduced some essential alterations when he joined Carringtons Solicitors. Still utilising outmoded server equipment and an aged legal accounts system, Geoff drew upon his lengthy background in law firm management to instigate an infrastructure modernisation project involving a move to a superior server and modern-interface practice management software.
Insight Legal Software was the elected supplier. Now, thanks to Insight’s backing, the business has reached prime performance levels.
The Law Firm
Central Nottingham legal aid law firm, Carringtons Solicitors, is the UK’s largest provider of prison law advice and criminal defence with additional expertise in road traffic accident law.
As criminal specialists, Carringtons offers its legal services on a 24/7 availability basis in order to offer full representation at every stage of criminal proceedings which often occur outside of normal working hours. The practice is committed to quality and undergoes regular Legal Aid Agency and Lexcel accreditation reviews in the pursual of such.
Carringtons relies upon its software to run its business efficiently, operate flexibly, provide services to the highest possible standard, connect its disparately located staff members and meet its regulatory obligations.
Carringtons employs 20 staff in its Nottingham office, including three partners, and has a network of consultants throughout the UK who ensure widespread coverage of its sought-after services.
Geoff Birkett, Accounts Manager at Carringtons Solicitors, explains how, in the early days of business, the practice owned old server hardware and used an outdated DOS-based legal accounts system. A decision was made to purchase a higher specification server and Windows-based software.
“While our original set-up worked fine, we didn’t want our IT to become stagnated,” comments Geoff. “As a step into the future, we reviewed our infrastructure options, upgraded to a better in-house server and chose Insight Legal Software as our practice management application.
“We identified four key requirements. These were cost, functionality, tailorability and support.
“I’d researched the legal software marketplace while working for a previous employer so knew lots about Insight already. Armed with this knowledge, I didn’t need to perform any research second time around. To use that oft-quoted phrase, it was a no brainer.”
Insight contains features to operate the full range of back office duties for matter and legal accounts management, and can be customised to accommodate individual ways of working. Configuration is completely flexible, catering for users’ in-house or cloud-hosted preferences.
Alongside the software, Insight Legal Software provides comprehensive technical and account management support at no extra cost.
“Thinking back to our initial wish list items, Insight’s software easily ticks all the boxes,” continues Geoff. “It’s priced very competitively, does everything we need it to do, can be adapted to our processes and is backed up by an always-helpful team.
“How one law firm uses Insight can be starkly different from another. We’ve spent time really considering the content of our reports and created a series of bespoke templates. Also, although we have an internal server which houses our software and we access primarily from the office, one of our senior secretaries would like to view our management information on a location-independent basis so she’s becoming a remote user. These customisable qualities are such a bonus.”
Having used the Insight system for several years, Carringtons enjoys a raft of benefits including saving time, reducing print quantities, and handling matters and finances more efficiently.
“With some case management systems, you go through several hoops to just create a new matter or client,” concludes Geoff. “Then there’s reporting. Often it’s necessary to print several different reports and analyse snippets of data from each to get the right insights into a particular area. Both activities are vastly time consuming.
“Insight’s a world apart. It’s canny in how it deals with the various stages of a matter. Where reporting’s concerned, as long as you’re clear beforehand exactly what intelligence you want to gain from reports, you can merge data into one template.
“This is particularly useful for month end-type reports. Typically, these can be cumbersome when you’re trying to tie up bank reconciliations and such like. At month end, what used to consume two days of time and lots of paper for printed reports now takes only half a day and minimal printing.
“The final point that warrants special mention is support. Everyone we speak with at Insight is attentive and responsive. We’ve received absolute, unconditional support from the moment we first signed up to data transfer and software implementation to ongoing technical assistance. Now, if I call for help, the solution’s either immediate or within a few hours for complex queries which necessitate greater involvement.
“Both the software and staff at Insight are outstanding. Insight delivers all our expectations and more, whether it’s maintaining a compliant set of accounts or securing proper business intelligence. Insight comes with the Carringtons stamp of approval!”
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