Delia’s legal web picks January 2017

This article first appeared in Legal Web Watch February 2017. Legal Web Watch is a free email service which complements the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers. To receive Legal Web Watch regularly sign up here.

The following items have been selected from Delia Venables’ “New” page.

Tickit launches Carpe Diem as a new cloud-based timekeeping app

Tikit, now part of the BT Group, is one of the largest suppliers of technology solutions and services to legal firms including 90 of the UK’s top 100 law firms and 600 UK mid-market law firms. Their Carpe Diem time recording is already used by over 100,000 professionals across four continents, mainly as an online interface to existing systems and now it is available as a cloud-based application as well. Current Carpe Diem customers as well as prospective ones can choose from traditional time recording on timesheets at the desktop; an interface for mobile devices and (now) a cloud based system. The Carpe Diem cloud model runs as a subscription model with users only paying for what they use. There are more details here.

Legal Services & Documents provided online, by firms of Solicitors

My web page on Legal Services & Documents Online is being updated! I am starting with the firms of solicitors who are offering these services. Please, I need updates from the firms concerned, and/or information from other firms about the services that they are offering online that I do not know about. I would also welcome comments from the firms as to how successful it has been (good or bad); I will be writing an article on this topic for the March/April issue of the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers. Just email me with your updates or new info –
Note: There are also sections on my site for companies (not firms of solicitors) providing these services – I will be updating those pages later and I will put out a call for information when I am ready for this.

Fast-track Online Dispute Resolution platform

Ajuve is an online dispute resolution platform for small to medium businesses and individuals to resolve a dispute. You register the dispute on the Ajuve site, fill in the required information and are told the cost of the process. A decision is then obtained via Ajuve from an impartial expert in the relevant industry or work area. The decision is legally enforceable in more than 150 countries around the world and the total costs are known up front. There is a useful video on the site to explain how it works. This process can save a considerable amount of time and money as opposed to full blown litigation.

Interesting new web site from LawWare

LawWare has 20 years experience of providing legal software to small and medium sized firms and is also an innovative supplier of cloud-based systems. They have given themselves a new web site for Christmas. The site is atractive but also informative (not all glossy new sites actually provide enough useful information) and the site enables the viewer to track through a complete history of the company and also a full description of the products, comparing cloud and non-cloud systems in some detail.

Eclipse Legal Systems announces new Mediation Case Management Software

Eclipse Legal Systems has added Mediation Case Management to Proclaim, its portfolio of case and matter management workflows. The new software eliminates time-consuming document production and simplifies the complicated rates and structures associated with mediation. Although initially set up for family-orientated processes, the software can be customised to suit workplace, commercial and public dispute procedures. The system has been developed in conjunction with Consilia Legal, a major Mediation firm in Leeds. The Proclaim system is in use by over 23,000 professionals across many sectors.

LEAP opens a new branch in Northern Ireland

LEAP, a leading supplier of cloud-based legal software for small law firms, has opened an office in Belfast's James Street South. This is believed to be the first office of a specialist legal case management firm in Northern Ireland. The software and forms have been customised to take account of the differences of the Northern Irish legal system. LEAP provides legal software in many countries and there are more than 6,000 smaller law firms across the world using their cloud software every day. I am informed by major legal software company Advanced that there was a company called Opsis, based in Belfast, offering case management and accounting systems to lawyers several years ago. Opsis was taken over by Advanced and is still operating strongly in Northern Ireland.
Advanced have many locations, both in the UK and abroad.

Interesting new portal on White Collar Crime from Jonathan Fisher QC

Jonathan Fisher QC – Lead Counsel of barrister law firm Bright Line Law and one of the UK's leading barristers for financial crime and proceeds of crime cases, created and runs The White Collar Crime Portal. This provides short commentaries on significant developments in the field of white collar crime. Topics covered include Financial Crime, Financial Services, Fraud, Proceeds of Crime and Tax issues. The portal was started in early 2014.

Quill's cloud software and outsourced cashiering work well together

Quill's Practice Management software, called Interactive, works well with their outsourced cashiering service called Pinpoint Interactive provides tools for case management, time recording, email and document management, legal accounts, billing and reporting whilst Pinpoint provides for SRA Accounts Rules-professional legal cashiers to run the firm's accounts in compliance with all the latest industry regulations. A firm can run just one of these systems (Interative or Pinpoint) but the two sytems run together provide a very efficient support system for the work of the firm.

Time recording whilst "out and about" is a valuable new tool for Lawyers

DPS iTime, the new smartphone application for Time Recording from DPS, has taken time recording into a new age. In the olden days, when I was first a computer consultant for firms of solicitors, lawyers had to fill in time sheets (they hated doing this). On a regular basis, probably once a week, these time sheets were collected and a data entry person would input the data. Reports of how time has been spent could then be prepared by the data processing team of the firm. How all that has changed! Now, time can be recorded from anywhere and at any time with the DPS iTime app. The app sends all the recorded time and expenses to "Web Office", the DPS integrated web-based practice management system. The time record is automatically and almost instantaneously imported into the file and is then fully available to the practice management system for reporting, analysis, or indeed billing.
There is a report on the way that a particular firm, Braham Dutt Badrick French LLP (BDBF) uses the system here.
See also a Newsletter Feature on the broader topic of cyber security Apps and Cyber Crime – avoiding security hazards of working on the go

Interesting new facility for conveyancers – an online "Quotation Calculator"

InTouch is a cloud-based conveyancing case management solution i.e. operated via a web browser. They have recently announced an interesting new feature called "Quotation Calculator". If a client rings up for a quote, anybody that answers the phone has an online form to fill in, minimising mistakes and incorrect quotes and meaning that the quote will be consistent whoever provides it. The quotation module can also be embedded on the firm's website so clients can access quotes out of hours or so an estate agent can also provide the client with a quote for the firm. The software module is free for firms already using the InTouch software but can also be bought separately. There are more details in a blog post here.

Bar Council launches web site to help Barristers, clerks and chambers staff with psychological problems

Mental Health & Wellbeing at the Bar is a new site launched by the Bar Council. It says that Barristers, clerks and chambers staff are exposed to emotionally and psychologically challenging environments on a daily basis which can lead to mental health difficiulties. The Bar Council is trying to tackle the stigma associated with mental health and encourage members of the profession, and those who work within it, to better understand wellbeing and feel empowered to make healthy choices. "It's OK to have wellbeing problems. Ask for help". They want to encourage all members of the Bar to promote wellbeing as part of their strategy to tackle the stigma associated with mental health. There is a lot of good material on the site, with sources of information and help as well as stories from individual barristers. There is also a good "presentation" from 12 senior/key barristers on what the site is all about.

The legislative process of the UK Parliament – a blog post from Justis

The legislative process of the UK Parliament is a straight forward description of how a bill originates, types of bill, stages through Parliament, green and white papers, and associated vital facts. There is also a summary of various proposals for improving/changing the process. The article, written by Zenaira Khan, is part of the Justis blog. Other posts include "Legal Research and Revision", designed for law students, and the impact that technology has had on diversifying the provision of legal services.

A Law Society Practice Note on Execution of a document using an electronic signature

A Law Society Practice Note aims to help parties (and their legal advisers) who wish to execute commercial contracts using an electronic signature or who wish to enter into a commercial contract with one or more other parties that intend to execute that contract using an electronic signature. The practice note was prepared by a joint working party of the Law Society Company Law Committee and the City of London Law Society Company Law and Financial Law Committees (the JWP). The practice note is limited in scope to commercial contracts entered into (and certain other documents signed) in a business context, rather than those to which consumers or other individuals outside of a business context are a party although it also says that that certain principles considered in the note may also be applicable to documents entered into in other contexts.

Davidson Morris Immigration Blog

Davidson Morris Immigration Blog carries serious and in-depth articles on major current immigration topics – such as Avoiding Civil and Criminal Penalties (Advice for Employers), British Citizenship for Tier 1 Investors, Permanent Residence Application and Global Mobility Employment Contracts. Detailed information is provided in these blog posts – not just "teasers".

Delia Venables is joint editor of the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers. Follow her on Twitter @deliavenables.