Chris Ogden knows all about IT and business management, having been involved in running companies and delivering training for over 30 years. Because of his related expertise, Chris was appointed by Matwala Vyas LLP to evaluate current processes and systems, and implement necessary changes to improve the practice’s performance.
Chris commanded a hardware upgrade followed by software migration. After installing new servers, Insight Legal Software was the handpicked solution for legal accounting with a view to harnessing case management in the future.
The Law Firm
Essex-based Matwala Vyas LLP’s services encompass a broad range of legal matters. The Lexcel-accredited practice has specialist status in criminal defence, conveyancing, child and family law.
Matwala Vyas adopts a client-first focus and promises good value, expert representation to its local, national and international clients.
The firm relies upon IT to achieve its service delivery objectives and conduct its managerial functions.
Chris Ogden joined Matwala Vyas in the summer of 2015. At that time, the firm’s IT framework was outdated. So too was its accounts software. There was a specific remit to Chris’s role. He was brought in by one of its partners and Chris’s long-term friend, Sundeep Bamrah, to apply his business management expertise to the running of Matwala Vyas, with the aim of becoming more efficient.
Chris, Practice Manager, comments: “Lawyers are good at being lawyers but, generally speaking, not good at being business managers. I’ve worked in and around the IT industry since 1985 when I was involved in selling some of the earliest PCs and providing training.
“My background has served me well in my new role at Matwala Vyas. I dug deep into the business and discovered the IT infrastructure was seriously out of date, and the accounts package in use was unsuited to our requirements. Also, lots of processes were still being done in a manual, paper-heavy way.
“It was time to move into the 21st century!”
Chris’s initial priority was to introduce a modern IT set-up.
“I purchased a new server, replaced all the cabling, upgraded everyone’s devices to Microsoft Office 16 then brought in another new server to share the load,” continues Chris. “We’ve now got an entire new network from which to operate. As each stage was complete, I identified where the leaks were then rectified these in the proceeding stage. With the IT overhaul complete, I can confidently state that our infrastructure’s fully stable.”
Another of Chris’s challenges was Matwala Vyas’s accounts system.
“The software I inherited just wasn’t intuitive,” explains Chris. “I couldn’t gain any kind of insight by analysing accounts information contained therein. When I spoke with the supplier concerned, they only wanted to charge me a day’s training at £750 and upsell another solution for which they’d quoted thousands of pounds to migrate data across to.
“So I shopped around for alternative legal accounts systems, came upon Insight Legal Software and made the switch. The Insight team moved our data at their standard flat fee rate of £600. The software’s so user friendly, we quickly learned the ropes and it’s immediately solved our software problems without huge uproar. The whole transition was effortless.”
Insight’s locally deployed on Matwala Vyas’s high-tech servers with terminal services delivery, and utilised daily by its 13-strong workforce including 3 partners and 7 fee earners. Chris is candid about the benefits they’re already realising as a result of their investment in Insight Legal Software and Matwala Vyas’s plans to further maximise these benefits as they explore the wider functionality available in the system.
“We were in a muddle and Insight was our solution,” concludes Chris. “Insight did everything they said they would, and we continue to get first-class support. The people over at Insight are fantastic. We don’t take this for granted because we’ve been on the receiving end of poor support before. Support like Insight’s is by no means a given in this sector.
“I believe that, if IT’s doing its job, you shouldn’t hear about it. The last thing you need is a double-ended hammer. In other words, end users should understand which end to use. In software terms, this means finding your way around the various features nice and simply. That’s exactly the case with Insight. We’ve got no grumbles whatsoever and can navigate with ease.
“Now that we’ve been up-and-running for some time with legal accounts and reports, we’re going to take a look at everything else the system offers, specifically case management and time recording. It’s already there at our disposal. As yet, we haven’t gotten round to examining what’s available. So, what started out as a quick fix to a pressing problem has actually become a long-term solution that’s technologically advanced, well-supported and gives us the complete package for full practice management.”
Matwala Vyas LLP
3 Electric Parade
Seven Kings Road
T: 0208 597 5097