Ascertus blog

Check out the latest trends and innovations in the legal technology world

Ethical Technology Partnerships – It’s time Law Firms Demanded It

Image of Ascertus
Ascertus

Should good quality service come at a premium? And does a premium price guarantee a top-notch service from the technology provider?  To provide some context to these ruminations, with a move towards value-based pricing, law firms today are having to justify their fee rates, especially if they are charging more than their competition.  Most commonly, they validate fee rates based on their depth of experience and skills on the subject matter areas and the quality of service. This instils confidence in customers that they will be well represented and served by the law firm in question vis-à-vis any other legal services provider.  So, shouldn’t the same criteria be applied to the pricing and quality of service provided by technology providers offering Support services?

Read More

Create a Legal ‘Self-service’ Organisation with Contract Management

Image of Ascertus
Ascertus

Recently, we have witnessed a renewed interest for contract management in corporate legal departments. The benefits of this function to legal departments are inarguable – it delivers time savings and tangible operational efficiency. Given the variety of contracts that businesses enter into with internal and external stakeholders, suppliers, partners, outsourcers and so on; an automated approach helps manage these documents across their lifecycle – from contract assembly through to termination.

Read More

To SharePoint or to Best-of-Breed – That Is The Question!

Image of Ascertus
Ascertus

The frustration of legal departments when trying to secure budget from the business for legal-specific solutions is an open secret.  Typically, in corporate organisations, the IT department holds the overall budget for technology and so has the final say in what tools the legal department can deploy.  Invariably, due to a lack of understanding of the requirements of the lawyers, IT departments prefer to deploy solutions that they believe will be beneficial to the whole organisation – from an adoption, cost, implementation, maintenance and user benefit perspectives.

Read More

Responsiveness, Responsibility and Reliability

Image of Ascertus
Ascertus

What makes a good Support Helpdesk?  The latest survey conducted independently by iManage highlights that Ascertus is very highly rated for the quality of its Support services by customers.  We have also significantly improved our rating from last year.  Such instances are always a good time for introspection – what are we doing well and how can we improve our offering even further?

Read More

The ‘Perfect Storm' – Cyber Security for Law Firms

Image of Ascertus
Ascertus

Recently, I was commissioned by an organisation of significant size and in a high-risk industry to demonstrate to the Board the vulnerability of its employees to criminal hackers using non-technical means. Using Open Source Intelligence to gather information on a selection of the most senior individuals in the organisation, I was able to reveal how easily and legitimately, I was able to engage with them, physically access their office building; and if had I intended to do so, use the insight to hack into the business. It was an ‘eye-opener’ for the Board!


This is what malicious social engineers do – they leverage the ‘Perfect Storm’ – created by the organisation’s culture, the employees’ frame of mind and lack of security awareness and the ready availability of detailed personal information, to use social engineering and the “human factor” to gain business sensitive information for their own financial gains.

Read More

Adoption of E-billing Tools – U.S vs. Europe

Image of Ascertus
Ascertus

Although e-billing is playing a role in the commercial relationship between a growing number of UK/European in-house legal departments and their law firms, there are still many organisations that aren’t yet reaping the benefits of e-billing. It’s often said that numerous non-US organisations don’t “get” the value of e-billing. I believe, it’s not that they don’t “get it”, rather the e-billing solutions, until recently, didn’t necessarily deliver against the needs of European organisations.

Read More

Corporate Policy Must Change in Favour of Digital Signatures

Image of Ascertus
Ascertus

I’m often asked by lawyers, especially working for an in-house legal team, to send them a physical copy of the newly agreed contract for a deal with a ‘wet ink’ signature. I’m informed that it’s corporate policy and it baffles me! I can send the document with a digital signature via email within minutes, but to send the same via post, I need to scan the 30-40 pages, print, sign and then post. On receiving the document, the lawyer likely follows the same process to send a signed copy back.


Aside from it being a highly inefficient and cumbersome process, in today’s technology-driven world, there’s a business rationale behind digital signatures:

Read More

Do You Have a Master Plan for Your ’Paper2Digital’ Initiative?

Image of Ascertus
Ascertus

In a law firm, keeping paper records is a major expense, and a relentless cause of inefficiency and risk. Based on a survey of nearly 200 US law firms across size and geography, half of all lawyers still prefer to work with paper, so most firms continue to accept the precedent of files, folders, boxes, file rooms and offsite records storage.

Read More