Adams & Adams bases a more agile future on Repstor for Legal and Cloud Essentials

South African law firm Adams & Adams bases a more agile future on Repstor for Legal and Cloud Essentials

Find out how Adams & Adams, a leading South African law firm that employs around 600 people across four office locations, worked with Cloud Essentials and Repstor to produce a solution for their legal document and matter management.

Click HERE to read the full case study. 

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A Repstor and SYKE Success Story

Repstor for Legal

Microsoft, Repstor & SYKE give Pizza Hut’s corporate legal team new control over matter intake, management & reporting, using its existing Microsoft 365 applications.

Pizza Hut, headquartered in Texas and owned by Yum! Brands, is an American restaurant chain and international franchise business. With over 18,000 restaurants worldwide, it is one of the largest restaurant companies in the world. In the UK, where it has been operating for almost half a century, Pizza Hut has over 200 branches. It also provides takeaway delivery services.

Find out how Repstor and SYKE worked with Pizza Hut’s in-house legal function to be seen as a trusted partner to the business in the case study below.

Click HERE to read the full case study. 

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Structure and routine: the antidote to stress and chaos – and the key to effective matter management for corporate legal teams

The ability to default to agreed rules and standards can be reassuringly grounding, maintaining order and control when usual business conditions and processes have been disrupted. And now, more than ever, corporate legal teams are realising the importance of formal structure in matter management, especially where colleagues may be working off site.

The calming order of consistent filing practices

Where previously lawyers have self-governed, looking after their own work and logging developments in their own way, a more standardised and systematic approach encourages professionals to record matter activity and to file emails and documents in a more formal and consistent way.

This has all sorts of operational benefits for the whole team – as well as for business clients. As long as it is made easy and intuitive for lawyers to record matter status information and file the latest correspondence and documents properly as they go, legal operations will be able to monitor progress – and professionals will be able to locate and pick up each other’s work more readily as and when required.

This contrasts with common ad-hoc methods which typically see individuals each recording information in their own way in their own folders – on their own local hard drive, within their email account, or somewhere on a shared drive (not always immediately discoverable if each lawyer uses their own filing protocol, and if remote access depends on a cumbersome VPN connection). This haphazard behaviour often sees lawyers having to set aside three hours on a Friday to catch up with filing, and trying to decipher their scant notes to report back on matter progress at team meetings.

Capitalising on existing investments in Microsoft 365

So what is holding teams back from formalising and streamlining matter management – something that can substantially hamper their productivity and efficiency?

Well, historically, corporate legal teams have felt badly served by IT solutions. Any systems with a legal leaning have tended to be designed predominantly for private law firms. More generic document management systems, on the other hand, have failed to cater for the specific demands of a legal setting. Although Microsoft SharePoint may have been readily available within the organisation for instance, without the right IT support in-house legal teams may have struggled to know how best to incorporate the repository as part of matter management.

But these barriers no longer apply. Repstor, a Microsoft Gold Partner, specialises in optimising Microsoft 365 for legal use – particularly in end-to-end matter lifecycle management. Using a secure, proven, cloud-based software platform that most organisations have already invested in, we help corporate legal teams standardise and transform the way they log, manage, store and access their work, whatever their location.

This means that they can perform at their most productive wherever professionals are.

Reducing resistance

As recording and filing become instinctive and ‘in stream’, and matter archives become pooled, professionals are able to look up previous case files for precedents – and to save reinventing the wheel. If a lawyer isn’t available for whatever reason, a colleague with access rights can call up the latest files, notes and email correspondence, to check the current status of a matter and, if appropriate, progress it in their absence. At a time when colleagues are not conveniently within ear shot at the next desk, easy look-up and the means of intuitive, ad-hoc collaboration matter more than ever.

When Eversheds Sutherland adopted our technology, making Microsoft 365 and Outlook its default platform for matter management, it found it was saving an hour of fee-earner time per day, just from chasing matter updates, finding the latest versions of documents, and switching between different systems to get the job done.

Legal professionals have found the Repstor/Microsoft 365 approach to matter management ‘transformational’, according to the company’s Legal Operations Manager. Today the company has 800 open matters being handled through the system, and lawyers are marvelling at how they ever coped without it.

Adding visibility for the business

Business clients benefit greatly from systematic matter management, too – especially where they have access to self-service portal and/or automatic notification system which updates them on the evolving status of a matter (with the added benefit that lawyers no longer have to service routine queries). Reporting is made effortless too, as metadata about matters is captured continuously across the lifecycle of an engagement.

A further considerable benefit of going down the Microsoft 365 route is that the platform is being updated all the time with the latest technology advances – including artificial intelligence and workflow automation – so as a choice for matter management it is reassuringly futureproof.

We recently delivered a short webinar ‘Transforming Legal Operations with Microsoft 365’ featuring a presentation by IATA’s assistant general counsel, Dane Clapson.  Catch the webinar on demand here

Leigh Smith, Principal Consultant, Corporate Legal, Repstor

Repstor Gears up for Continued Fast Growth in Legal & Professional Services Sectors with Series of New Appointments in the UK & US

Microsoft 365

Belfast, UK –  January 26th,  2021 – Repstor, the Microsoft 365-based information and matter management specialist preferred by professional services firms globally, has kick-started 2021 with an expanded team, reflecting the company’s confidence in another strong year ahead.

Repstor, which recently made the Deloitte Top 50 Rapid Growth Tech Company list for the fourth year running, has appointed seven new consultants to the team to address the soaring interest in its software among legal and professional services firms on both sides of the Atlantic.

Alison Thorpe has joined as Sales Manager for Repstor’s UK Legal operation, and will spearhead new business development team in this important and fast-growing market for Repstor. Alison joins the company from Eclipse Legal Systems, where she was a Sales Consultant, with other career highlights including the Regional Sales Manager role at Prosperoware.

New products consultants Eve Boardman and Chris Colahan strengthen Repstor’s professional services-focused team in the UK.

Colin Truesdale, whose impressive career includes more than 12 years in Product Marketing and Managing Consultant roles at Kainos, and four years as Training Manager at Meridio, has joined as Head of Pre-Sales. Colin will be responsible for actively driving and managing the pre-sales process within customer opportunities in Legal and Professional Services.

Based in England, Juelma Isabel Nunes joins as an Inside Sales Executive, to support business expansion in the UK.

In the US, a strong and fast-growing market for Repstor’s legal and professional services solutions business, Repstor new appointments include Brad Teed, an experienced solutions architect, product manager and former CTO and Abby Moore, a skilled project manager, to drive business expansion State-side from their base in Texas.

Commenting on all of the new appointments, Alan McMillen, Repstor’s CEO, says, “On behalf of all at Repstor, I warmly welcome these impressive individuals to the company, and look forward to the additional sales growth and customer success they will help to drive in 2021, both in the UK and internationally.”

After a busy and successful year for the company in 2020 despite the difficult climate, Repstor continues to enjoy strong and growing demand for its Microsoft 365-based information management solutions. These help knowledge workers, especially in the professional services sectors, to streamline content and information management from within familiar existing applications including Outlook and Teams.

“We’ve seen all kinds of professional services teams seek to consolidate and digitally simplify the way they manage their projects and caseloads, as the pandemic has deepened and caused operational chaos for firms,” Fergus Wilson, Repstor’s CTO, notes.

“Teams of professionals already loved what we do, but continued lockdowns and remote working have brought forward transformation plans. Specifically, the pandemic has prompted consolidation of information management platforms, and rising interest in secure hosting in the cloud. We’re helping them to standardise more of what they do via the investments they’ve already made in Microsoft 365.”

As well as the recent Deloitte accolade, Repstor has also been named in Gartner’s recent Market Guide for Corporate Legal Matter Management, which recognises companies that have achieved visibility and traction in this sector.

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Norsk Hydro ASA (Hydro), one of the largest aluminium companies worldwide, has selected Repstor Custodian for Legal™ from Transform Data International as its new matter management solution for its Group Legal Department, building on its existing corporate Microsoft 365 environment.

The legal department wanted to replace its legacy, on-premise document management system, iManage Work, with a cloud-based solution linked to Microsoft 365 which would be more cost-efficient and give the department more consistent control of information security and compliance across its operations.

Integrating comprehensive matter management into Microsoft 365 brings the Legal Department into line with the enterprise-wide efficiencies and controls enjoyed elsewhere in the company, and further increases the return on investment on the company-wide platform.

Specifically, the legal department found in Custodian for Legal a secure, affordable, and scalable solution which provides both on-and off-line access to matters. Because the IT makeover harnesses Hydro’s existing investments in Microsoft 365 and SharePoint, the required IT effort was acceptable, ensuring that the implementation was quick and easy. The data from the existing iManage system has been migrated using Transform Data’s Migration Toolkit, which comes with out-of-the-box connectors to various systems and guarantees minimal disruption for users.

Commenting on the choice of Custodian for Legal solution that Transform Data provides, Annette Sommer, who headed up the DMS project in the Group Legal Department, said: “We liked Custodian for Legal from the start, in particular because of its simple design and user-friendly interface. Our end-users are happy with the new system, and we have appreciated the close collaboration with the Transform Data team. It helps that they are familiar with our current way of working and have a standard approach to moving data from the legacy system to the new solution, making the transition very easy. Once our IT department confirmed that the solution was compliant with the strict security guidelines we have to follow these days, the project got underway rapidly.”

Rob Kubben, managing partner at Transform Data added: “We are pleased to welcome Hydro to our customer base. The migration approach we’ve developed and honed over numerous previous projects made the switch easy from the end-users’ perspective. Once the teams have become used to the new system, they will start to benefit from the numerous functions and features provided by Microsoft 365 and Custodian for Legal – without additional costs or licences.”

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Repstor Clocks up 4th Consecutive Year of Recognition in the Deloitte Top 50 Rapid Growth Tech Firms

BELFAST, December 21st 2020 – Repstor, the Microsoft 365-based information management specialist preferred by professional services firms globally, has been named in the Deloitte Top 50 Rapid Growth Tech Firms for the fourth year running. The news marks the culmination of a busy and successful year for the company, despite the difficult climate.

The Deloitte Fast 50 awards celebrate indigenous Irish technology companies that have demonstrated exceptional growth in turnover, which Repstor continues to show.

2020 has been another successful year for the company, as all kinds of professional services teams have sought to consolidate and digitally simplify the way they manage their projects and caseloads.

Pandemic-related lockdowns have placed new emphasis on remote working and information access, while a surge in use of Microsoft Teams has driven strong demand for Repstor for Teams™, launched in August at this year’s virtual ILTA>ON international legal technology event.

Repstor has also hosted multiple series of timely webinars this year, providing practical advice for legal and professional services teams looking to bring coherence and compliance to email and document management, particularly as professionals were dispersed to work from home.

The Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Awards is one of Ireland’s foremost technology award programmes. It is a ranking of the country’s 50 fastest-growing technology companies based on revenue growth over the last four years.

Announcing this year’s winners, Peter Allen, Partner at Deloitte (NI) Ltd, said: “The pandemic has presented huge challenges to the way we work and live, and technology has responded to provide innovative solutions.  Although the economy has come under severe pressure, this crisis has presented unprecedented opportunities for NI tech businesses to shine.”

Commenting on Repstor’s continued success in the rankings, Alan McMillen, Repstor’s CEO, said: “We’re delighted to be among such great company in being named in these awards once again, and to have achieved so much during such a difficult year. We look forward to serving our customers and further expanding our business in 2021.”

Last month, Repstor was named in Gartner’s latest Market Guide for Corporate Legal Matter Management, which recognises companies that have achieved visibility and traction in the market.

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Why it’s time to digitally transform matter intake

In a recent webinar, the General Counsel of a major UK bank perfectly captured the current mood among his peer group: he had no intention of resuming his two-hour commute to the centre of London, he said, after months of working from home. He is far from alone, and this has ramifications for the way corporate legal teams operate – redoubling the business case for process modernisation, to bring the function more in line with how other departments such as IT, facilities management, and HR operate.

Take the age-old issue of matter intake. For the longest time, the business and the corporate legal function have long enjoyed the informality of a quiet word in the right ear, a nod that some new advice is needed. This ad-hoc way of working has been convenient for business users, able to tap directly into the expertise of their favourite lawyer, while legal professionals have enjoyed their knowledge being sought out; that sense of providing personalised value.

But maintaining these casual, ad-hoc interactions is more cumbersome when people are working from home. There is a further factor at play now, too. Most industry sectors have been hit hard economically by the events of the last six months, putting the pressure on managers to rein in costs and drive new efficiency into everything they do.

For in-house legal teams, which need to be able to demonstrate the value they provide in facts and figures, this leaves no choice but to revisit process digitalisation. If ever professionals needed to be able to deliver more with less – and be discerning and efficient about how work is allocated and resourced, as well as fastidious in measuring progress and productivity – it is now.

Making Microsoft 365 the means of change

Matter intake – the point at which new work comes in – is an obvious place to start with process digitalisation, offering quick wins. Studies suggest that as much as 20 per cent of a corporate legal team’s time is spent on the admin surrounding intake, triage and allocation of new legal instructions from the business – clarifying what’s required and confirming verbal instructions – where there is no standardised process in place. (That’s not including the time spent delivering frequent ad-hoc matter updates expected by the business.)

It is no coincidence that Microsoft 365, the mainstream cloud-based productivity and collaboration platform, has risen to new prominence for legal operations over recent months. That’s as teams have realised just how well it lends itself to streamlined, trackable matter lifecycle management across any combination of locations – starting with matter intake.

Capturing the full requirements needed to process routine legal requests (straightforward contract work, NDAs and simple advisory requirements, for instance), and bringing this activity more in line with administrative processes elsewhere in the business, is fairly easy to achieve. Using structured self-service digital forms, for instance, can prompt the business for the information they need to provide up front – saving on legal professionals’ valuable time that would otherwise be spent capturing any missing details.

Recording the value of legal services

Digitalising matter intake doesn’t need to take away from personal relationships that have been built up with the business, of course. And it may be that this self-service process is reserved for only certain kinds of engagement. But note that one of the big benefits of making things more official from the outset is that each interaction between the business and the legal department is recorded. This makes it easier to account for those lost days spent on ‘5-minute jobs’, and demonstrate the true value the legal department provides to the business.

This is exactly the kind of scenario we can help with, building on organisations’ existing investments in Microsoft 365 applications – to formalise matter intake processes, and sharpen matter lifecycle management, transforming business engagement and document and email management, while also delivering powerful matter analytics.

We’ve produced a rather helpful eBook on it all too which you can download here

Leigh Smith – Repstor

International Law Firm, Adams & Adams, implements Repstor Custodian for Legal™ for Microsoft 365 Matter Management

South African deployment marks first project for freshly minted partnership between Repstor and Cloud Essentials

Belfast, June 8th 2020 – Repstor, the Content Services and Microsoft 365 matter management specialist, today announced that leading South African law firm Adams & Adams is deploying Custodian for Legal™, the specialist legal matter management solution. It follows the formation of an alliance between Repstor and Microsoft Gold Partner, Cloud Essentials.

Cloud Essentials is a leading provider of cloud migration and information governance solutions to enterprises throughout the UK and EMEA, with extensive experience in delivering solutions to large customers, including law firms, banks, insurance companies and government agencies.

Adams & Adams, a law firm with over 600 employees, has built a longstanding relationship with Cloud Essentials. When it wanted to replace its aging on-premises document management solution, the law firm asked for guidance. After evaluating the market, and having selected Microsoft 365 as their preferred solution, it became clear that only Repstor could offer an affordable, intuitive and fully Microsoft 365-integrated matter management platform.

“Custodian for Legal has outstanding functionality – it is a class above the other products out there and it integrates so seamlessly with Outlook that our users barely know it is even there,” explains Colin Short, CIO, Adams & Adams. “It also allowed us to standardise our processes across practice areas, saving significant time and money.”

Custodian for Legal enables Adams & Adams to track, trace and retrieve documents in an instant. For a firm that sends and receives somewhere in the region of one million emails per month, that transparency and speed is crucial. It also ensures that lawyers can work securely from their phone or laptop with minimal configuration and no need for costly and complicated VPNs.

“Our environment is critical but complex with a huge set of documents. Repstor allows us to navigate that complexity with confidence,” adds Colin. “As we move through the deployment, we have been greatly reassured by Repstor’s ability to meet deadlines within budget – they have been brilliant since day one and give us a personal service often lacking in other vendors.”

“Our aim is to enable our customers to leverage the value of the entire Microsoft 365 solution stack so partnering with Repstor makes perfect sense,” comments Chris Hathaway, director of cloud and governance at Cloud Essentials. “Adams & Adams is a great example of how law firms can take advantage of solutions such as Custodian for Legal to make matter management cost-effective and seamless. Moreover, it is well suited to both law firms and in-house corporate legal departments, which is a market we hope to target together.”

“At Repstor, we want to partner with the best in their fields, such as Cloud Essentials,” comments Sheila Gormley, Repstor’s Executive VP of Legal Solutions and co-founder. “Together we can bring an affordable, end-to-end, fully integrated matter management solution to new markets in South Africa, UK and beyond.”

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North American Law Firm, Charthouse Lawyers, Deploys Repstor Custodian for Legal™ for Integrated Matter Management

Newly implemented platform enables cost-effective and structured file management with a single source of truth

Belfast, May 26 2020 – Repstor, the Content Services and Microsoft 365 matter management specialist, has today announced that Canadian law firm, Charthouse Lawyers, has selected Repstor Custodian for Legal™ to transform how it manages critical documents and emails.

Previously, the firm relied on paper documents and printed emails while lacking any consistent structure or filing hierarchies across its PCs. Without a central file server, retrieving key documents was a manual and time-consuming task, involving searching hundreds of banker’s boxes worth of physical paperwork. The company wanted to automate its document management while integrating with its existing Microsoft Office 365 environment.

“When I began leading Charthouse Lawyers in 2019, I wanted to create a single electronic source of the truth, establish a uniform folder structure and take all our legacy data to the cloud while maintaining data protection best practices,” explains Spencer Keys, lawyer and managing counsel, Charthouse Lawyers. “Under our existing system it took us 5 to 30 minutes to retrieve the right document, which not only wastes time but also interrupts a professional’s focus on the task at hand where it can take another 30 minutes to get back to that focus. We were also charging file retrieval fees of $75 when clients called to request old file information, when it should have taken seconds, which understandably our clients didn’t appreciate.”

Charthouse Lawyers evaluated the market and found that, although there were a number of options, most were too focused on corporate law firms with deep pockets and numerous employees. With only six permanent staff, Charthouse Lawyers wanted a solution that would work in a smaller company at an affordable cost. It was impressed by Repstor Custodian for Legal™, which seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Office applications, Windows Explorer and Outlook. By extending the powerful document management capabilities of Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint, Custodian for Legal™ provides legal case management software collaboration, document and email management at a price point that can work for small and large firms alike.

“Repstor enables me to make full use of our existing Office 365 investment with all the functionality we need at half the cost of competing solutions,” continues Spencer. “Now our employees have instant access to the information they need securely and via an interface with which they are already familiar.”

The arrival of the deadly global pandemic Covid 19 soon demonstrated a further benefit of the Repstor solution: with employees needing to work from home, Charthouse Lawyers was able to give each a laptop with Office 365 and Custodian for Legal™ so they could access all the documents they needed without any complex provisioning or special VPNs.

“Charthouse Lawyers shows we are committed to expanding our presence in the North American market and how Custodian for Legal™ is an ideal fit, even for smaller law firms. Small and medium-sized firms often find the costs and management overheads of proprietary solutions prohibitive.  At Repstor, we have worked hard to make the solution affordable and, since it’s sitting on top of our clients’ existing Office 365 system, the requisite management skills are readily available,” comments Sheila Gormley, Repstor’s Executive VP of Legal Solutions and co-founder. “Spencer and his team now have the flexibility, security and reliability to access the information they need, regardless of location, enabling them to provide better service to their clients.”

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Digital transformation of the legal function has never been more urgent

As legal teams adapt to the ‘New Normal’, the urgency around digital transformation of everyday processes is starker than ever.

In particular there is now a heightened need for dispersed teams to be able to collaborate productively and efficiently from home – using tools they already have. It’s why we are seeing so many legal professionals embrace platforms like Microsoft 365 – including MS Teams and MS Planner – more broadly. It’s proving the ideal means to collectively organise and process matters in a secure and managed way.

We know this is happening, because of the very high levels of interest in our current bite-sized webinar series. Each week, our CTO Fergus Wilson provides practical tips on using Teams to maximum effect for remote collaboration during the ongoing lockdown. (A recent session addressing a common question from legal teams can be played back here.)

Introducing Panoram: our exciting new legal digital transformation partner

In the current state of market upheaval, the announcement of Repstor’s partnership with Panoram – an exciting new legal digital services start-up – could not be timelier.

Panoram is a brand new legal transformation specialist, which has deliberately brought forward its business launch during the Covid-19 lockdown, in response to the growing sense of urgency around digital transformation in the sector.

Poignantly, Panoram shares Repstor’s belief that harnessing existing technology investments is the surest way to adapting to the current climate with enhanced content management & collaboration; to enabling new digital ways of working immediately, and without disruption to everyday activity.

It’s why Repstor was the obvious technology partner for matter lifecycle management. Panoram will recommend and implement Repstor Custodian for Legal™ as its default matter management offering, linked to Microsoft 365 (the Office 365 subscription service). Custodian for Legal is ideal for corporate legal departments and law firms anxious to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives, because it builds on a software investment many legal teams have already made. It’s no coincidence that the software has become a firm favourite for transforming matter-related document and email management, as well as legal matter-based collaboration.

A meeting of minds: legal visionaries & technology heavyweights

Panoram’s founders are respected experts in legal technology and legal practice. They include Rick Seabrook, a digital transformation leader and formerly a Partner at Accenture. He believes strongly that law firms and in-house legal teams have no choice but to embrace digital technologies and new delivery models if they want to survive, and stay relevant and agile.

Another co-founder Greg Wildisen, is a technology visionary who, before Panoram, co-launched the European arm of AI automation software company Neota Logic with Rick. And Martin Bonney, one of the world’s leading eDiscovery managed services experts, brings over 25 years’ experience gained in ‘magic circle’ law firms, eDiscovery service providers, and global consulting organisations.

At Repstor, we’re delighted at this obvious, timely and powerful match. Panoram offers a unique combination of law firm heritage, deep digital/technology expertise, and independence (because the company isn’t owned by an IT vendor or a law firm). Together, our two companies offer something very special – which this market is clearly hungering for.