22 April 2020
Future proofing has been instrumental in ensuring that we weather the coronavirus storm.
Like many law firms, COVID-19 has meant that Phillips Solicitors incorporating Brain Chase Coles has had to adapt and make more use of technologies like Software as a Service (SaaS) and increased video conferencing platforms such as Microsoft TEAMS, Zoom and FaceTime, to ensure the smooth running of its work.
It has certainly come at an interesting time for the firm as in February, Phillips Solicitors merged with Brain Chase Coles, forming a strong dynamic regional law firm, employing over 80 people.
The merger of the two well established firms has proved to be a great success, allowing Phillips to provide a greater depth and breadth of legal expertise, including: Commercial and Residential Property, Corporate and Commercial, Commercial and Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Notary Public, Family, Wills and Probate, Estate Planning, Employment, Insurance and Education Law.
Fortunately, due to an ongoing policy of future proofing Phillips, the firm is well placed to tackle the unexpected challenges of the coronavirus lockdown and has remained fully open for business.
Prior to the merger, Phillips had been implementing more agile working, while making significant productivity gains and cost savings. A new cloud-based client database system called LEAP was adopted, which allows the firm to work in a more efficient and increasingly paper-less way.
The firm has also moved to the cloud-based Microsoft Office 365, with Microsoft Exchange email, allowing for much improved business continuity. Integrated alongside this is BigHand Professional digital dictation, another SaaS product that includes dictation, speech recognition and agile workflows.
The firm has also recently moved to a new integrated landline and mobile phone communication system called 3CX. The phone system lives on the cloud and works across the internet. It can be accessed via PC, lap-top and mobile phone through an app. It has worked seamlessly, proving to be invaluable while lawyers and staff are working remotely from home.
The IT business change plan was led and driven forward by the firm’s Head of IT, Mike Worth. He said: “Decisions made were based on finding the right products that fit our business goals, with the right partners who could understand and support our requirements, with responsive support and at the right cost.”
Mike added: “We needed to have straightforward, yet secure access to information wherever our lawyers and staff are working from. These applications work together seamlessly to enable this.”
Phillips Director Max Hope said: “The strategy for the firm going forward is a continuation of our existing strategy: to grow the business over the next three to five years, continuing to drive efficiencies through technology and change, and servicing our clients in the same way as a City based law firm but at regional prices by delivering value back to the client through investment in technology and our staff.”
It appears for Phillips the lockdown has resulted in long-term positive changes within the practice, particularly regarding greater use of virtual meetings and building on existing agile ways of working.
This is nothing new for Phillips which has always believed in being innovative and embracing change.
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