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You Can Have the Same Tech as a Magic Circle Firm!

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Roy Russell

Recently, Linklaters announced that, following a rigorous review process, undertaken over a couple of years, that the firm is adopting the iManage Work cloud-based document and email management system (DMS). Significantly, they are the final one of the Magic Circle law firms to have made the decision to go with the iManage solution. This now brings the total to 115 of top 200 UK law firms that are utilising iManage Work. Clearly, iManage Work has become the de facto choice for a DMS amongst the larger law firms.

The good news for small and medium sized law firms is that, thanks to the cloud, there has been a democratisation of the technology. They too can have the same professional tools as the “big boys” in the industry. The investment is now much more affordable whilst the benefits, such as improvements in productivity and efficiency come with an almost guaranteed and rapid return on investment (ROI). The playing field has been levelled and cloud deployment means that a law firm’s size does not matter.

So, if you are a small to mid-tier law firm with high aspirations to grow and be even more competitive, it may come as a surprise that a large tier law firm’s fundamental criteria for selecting a DMS are the same as yours. Let’s look at some of the common questions and conditions that firms look to satisfy, which underlines why iManage Work enjoys the ‘preferred’ DMS status across the legal market segment:

  • What DMS’s do our peers use? – Large law firms want at least the same capabilities as their peers, if not better. But competitive parity isn’t the only reason for selecting a DMS. A widely deployed application in the industry suggests that the solution is delivering value – so it’s fit for purpose and proven. Small to mid-tier law firms have typically had to make do with limited document and email management functionality provided by their practice or case management systems. The iManage ‘best of breed’ DMS is now a totally viable alternative.
  • Does the email management functionality actually work? – With the volume of email traffic that lawyers have to deal with, law firms regardless of size want email management functionality that doesn’t just demo nicely but actually works in real use situations. The solution must also be intuitive enough for fee earners to adopt with relative ease. No other software developer has invested as much time and effort into this aspect of their product as iManage and the client adoption results prove it.
  • Will the DMS deployment break the bank? – The cost of technology ROI should always be a key consideration for every law firm. The cloud delivers long-term cost efficiencies by reducing annual IT expenditure on system maintenance and data storage for every size of professional services firm. By way of an example, Tait Walker, albeit an accountancy firm, has found that the cost of setting up infrastructure and provisioning the necessary storage capacity versus moving to iManage Work in the iManage Cloud is identical, pound for pound, in financial terms. In the longer-term, it’s far more cost-effective for them to be in the cloud environment.
    Similarly, this has also been proven within the corporate legal department market. A recent study by analyst house, Forrester, has found that in-house legal departments saw an ROI of 378% over a three-year period, with iManage Work paying for itself in less than six months. It’s very impressive and compulsive by anyone’s standards!
  • Will the DMS provide the highest levels of cybersecurity? – Rightly, security is a major concern, and even more so now that firms must cater to physical, hybrid and remote work environments equally. This actually makes cloud adoption even more important than before because the truth of the matter is that the cloud is more secure than any single, firm’s on-premises environment can ever be. Not even the largest firms can now make the level of investment that is required to ensure that same level of security.
    The iManage Work DMS embeds security principles and technologies such as Zero Trust and Zero Touch, which are essential to providing the highest level of protection for business-critical data. These technologies utilise automation to remove the human interaction across the security environment completely. The solution also provides a suite of security products to enforce need-to-know security and enable proactive threat management.
  • Will the DMS integrate with other third-party systems and newer technologies? – Foremost, firms want tight integration with Microsoft Office 365 – an environment in which lawyers live and breathe. Then they want the DMS to integrate with all the other third-party applications that may be already implemented including case management, practice management, accounting and finance, electronic signature and so on, to help create a seamless work environment firm-wide. iManage Work satisfies these requirements, and more. For instance, the DMS provides firms the opportunity to adopt artificial intelligence technology for search, contract intelligence and knowledge management. There are other solutions that can be integrated such as legal transaction management, and risk and governance management, should there be a business need for it, immediately or in the future. This ensures that the investment is optimised across the iManage portfolio and indeed other vendors’ applications.
  • Will the DMS ensure business continuity? – Given the year and a half we’ve all experienced, business continuity has once again earned a top position on firms’ agenda. Yet again, the cloud is key to this capability. There aren’t many DMS providers who have their own unique cloud infrastructure – the iManage Cloud and its integration with the Microsoft Azure platform is exceptional. The stability, reliability and security that this provides law firms is genuinely hard to beat.

    So, if you are a growing law firm who is “making do” with limited document management capability that is available to you through some of the other applications you deploy – because you think that a best-in-class DMS is outside your reach – think again. You can benefit from the same best-of-breed functionality for DMS as the likes of the Magic Circle firms.

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