Client pressure was a key reason why Manchester-based Lopian Wagner went for a new case management system. "They want to find out where you are on their cases," says partner Michael Lopian.
One client has direct access through a modem to the firm's case load and can see where they are at any one point. "This is a very good discipline for us," he adds.
The three-partner firm believes that these pressures from clients will grow. Lopian says that computerising the area was necessary from the firm's and the clients' point of view.
Three or four systems were considered, but in the end Lopians chose the new Legis 2 Case Manager software from Norwel. This runs on a networked Novell-based system.
Lopian says of the firm's choice: "We wanted something sophisticated, yet tried and tested. This system had been going for some years."
He says that not only was the package easy to use, but it could be changed to fit in with the firm's needs.
Lopians also uses Quill software and looked at its new case management system which is being developed. It felt that the system would not be ready in time and would not fully meet its requirements.
However, with Quill's help the firm upgraded its accounts system and installed a new client database.
The firm is now able to review instantly the progress on hundreds of cases. The system will handle more than 2,000 cases, including motor claims, uninsured loss recovery, personal injury, debt recovery and conveyancing. Initially five staff will be working on the system but as other areas of the practice are taken on board this will increase to 12 and the case load will double.
The firm is not disclosing the cost, but says it negotiated a good deal."Costs were acceptable, but to make our existing system compatible we had to buy additional hardware," says Lopian.