Articles filed under Cloud computing

Changing your legal software supplier has always been difficult and on occasions, acrimonious. Each software system will have different ways of setting up clients, names and addresses and other characteristics, entering financial information, managing the handling of cases (with different case management systems), managing the security of the data, restructuring management reports, how long to keep “old” data, stylistic matters in all reports … and so on.

This has always involved major efforts from the law firm in the preparation of data ready for transfer, and from both the original software company and from the target software company. Each side has to “understand” the other side of the operation and convert or structure the data accordingly. It has been, and still can be, not only a difficult operation but an expensive one. It is certainly a good idea to make absolutely sure that your existing supplier cannot provide what you want, before embarking on the process of changing supplier!

Times are changing. The way we create, share and consume information has evolved rapidly and so to has the way we work. Now, more than ever, not only is it possible, but it is vitally important that a firm has remote access to its data from a multitude of devices.

Why do we need remote access?

If you are only able to work from the office, you are putting unnecessary restrictions on yourself and your business. You may remember ‘The Beast from the East’, where this became a reality for many as roads became impassable, trains were severely delayed, and schools closed meaning parents had to stay at home.

Wouldn’t it be perfect if, despite not being able to come to work, they could still work anyway? Well now they can. With browser-based software, such as DPS Spitfire, all they would need to do is log in online and get to work. It really is that simple.


There are a large number of companies offering legal software to lawyers – around 100 at my last count. The software section of my website lists and describes them all, A to Z.

As well as the A to Z sections, I now provide a section called “Cloud, Outsourcing and Hosted Systems” at More and more new suppliers are developing their software specifically for online use and this is now quite a large section, with 30 suppliers.

Mobile apps for lawyers

Software as a Service (SAAS) and apps are becoming increasingly popular among solicitors.

Legal practitioners have developed a clear preference for mobile-friendly applications that are directly available from the web.

DPS Software have developed secure SaaS solutions and apps which solve the issue of mobility without compromising data security.

Firm Central Cloud

How cloud-hosted software solutions can help small law firms

Cloud-based software and storage are enabling businesses large and small to access client records, analytical tools, legal records, documents, online research and other critical information easily and from anywhere. Cloud-based solutions can do so without cumbersome log-ins or costly investments in on-site software, hardware or the physical space needed to store it. This is helping law firms of all sizes accomplish more at less cost.

DPS Software have launched a new web-based practice management system for law firms incorporating team and personal target management tools as well as all the benefits of the DPS case management software. It allows fee earners to record time, create attendance notes, dictate against a file, create emails from tasks and view their file history from any location with Internet access.

(with Frank Manning)

There is now a wide variety of options available to law firms in the UK, to move away from the pain of managing servers and extensive IT on their own premises, whatever size of firm they are. Legal practice management system suppliers are still mostly at some stage on the journey from supplying dedicated IT systems on the firm’s premises (on the decline) to delivery of their software from a remotely hosted and secure (perhaps shared, making them “true cloud”) servers in a data centre managed by the supplier, the firm or a third party depending. All the firms that we work with are heading in this direction.

While any discussions about legal technology inevitably have a strong focus on what sort of technology law firms and legal service providers should be buying and how best to then handle the rollout to get lawyers actually using it, the issue of how to pay for it tends to be ignored.

Suddenly it’s not just employers and employees who feel threatened by the pace of change in employment law; it’s the business of delivering employment law that is changing so suddenly.

The latest figures show that employment tribunal claims are down enormously on previous quarters due to the implementation of fees, but these are not the only changes which will have an impact: two years’ service before unfair dismissal rights, protected conversations and enforced mediation will all play their part in reducing claims.

As employment law solicitors how do we react? How do we sell our services in such a competitive (but shrinking) market?

Many lawyers are only just getting round to the idea that their website needs investment and work to ensure results. But what about taking the next step and creating online software – “Software as a Service”. This can not only earn a modest income for the firm but also, more importantly, gain “real” clients.

Software as a Service (SaaS) is not simply a matter of downloading a piece of software to your PC and then using it. The key point of SaaS is that the software is held, as well as any information you upload, on a server, remote from you and your office.

In previous issues I have looked at the legal issues surrounding cloud computing. In this final article I look at concerns, debunk myths and suggest issues that lawyers thinking of implementing cloud computing might wish to consider. (See all articles in the series.)

Darren Gower represents Eclipse Legal Systems

Eclipse’s new TouchPoint solution provides your clients, customers, partners and stakeholders with true self-service control. Providing a device-independent, interactive experience, TouchPoint utilises data (real-time) from Eclipse’s core Proclaim Case and Practice Management system.

TouchPoint is an “always on, always visible” solution. From contact management and targeted cross-selling, through to visual KPI presentation and dynamic report commissioning, TouchPoint sets you apart from the competition.