GADENS Lawyers is well advanced in testing an internal matter management system in its Victorian office and has plans to role the system out nationally.
The system, whereby lawyers can essentially type in a matter number and then have all documents and information, including emails and originally hard copy documents, relating to that matter number brought up before them, is being developed by Gadens in concert with a local IT solutions provider.
“It’s all working in Melbourne beautifully,” said Gadens’ national IT manager David Stevens.
Integrating the firm’s practice management, customer relationship management and document management systems, the matter management system provides the mid-tier firm’s staff with all the information they need to answer client queries expediently.
Melbourne office staff can now look up a matter and on screen see all the financial information; then they click a button and they can see all the marketing information such as “who the contacts are, whether they play golf, what their wife’s name is”, said Stevens. They click another button and they can see all the tasks attached to that matter — who is doing them, when each task is due to be completed or whether it’s been completed. Users of the system are also able to see if there are any precedents attached to those tasks.
Similarly, the system ensures staff are just one click away from having every document, email and letter that has been generated on that matter. If the correspondence was via hard copy, those documents are scanned so they can be displayed on screen as well.
“It’s definitely a one-stop-shop for everything the lawyer needs,” said Stevens. And the technology is proving popular among fee-earners, he added. “A guy who left us to work at one of the ‘megas’ sent me an email today saying that [the top-tier firm] was in the dark ages compared to Gadens’ capabilities.”