Eversheds' £7m Elite system ready for work

Elizabeth Davidson reports

CITY firm Eversheds' London, Jersey and Brussels offices "went live" for the first time last week with the Elite practice management system, in what is believed to be the biggest installation of its kind in the world.

Eversheds is to invest £7m in the project over a five-year period and, last Monday, introduced the system, made by Los Angeles-based Elite Information Systems. National IT project manager Damian Griffiths said the launch of the system had been "so far, so good", and that it would help "bind" the firm's 16 offices once installation has finished.

Griffiths, who chose Elite's system after an 18-month selection period, added: "The system tracks work completed at the offices, and performs time recording, client billing and executive management functions. Because it has a detailed and effective client billing function, clients can easily see how cost-effective we are and reassure themselves their work is progressing at the right speed."

Eversheds said it chose the system from Elite, with whom it signed the deal last November, because it believed it would appeal to clients and provide closer "bonds" between staff in different offices. Griffiths said Eversheds now had the "biggest Elite system in the world".

He also claimed that the firm is about to become the first to introduce case management software on every PC. New software, called CaseControl, from Laserform Law, is being installed on 1 August.

Eversheds bought CaseControl for an undisclosed discounted price after pledging more than 2,000 users.

The new system, which will also link up Eversheds offices, is compatible with a number of IT products, and fits in with the firm's existing technology because it is Microsoft-compatible. Griffiths said CaseControl would also help to enforce a strict set of quality standards, which Eversheds demanded from all its solicitors.