Star of the South. How a Cork firm is a shining example of an efficient, paperless practice.
O’Flynn Exhams LLP is a very successful and highly reputable law firm in Cork city with a team of professionals that understands the importance of using technology to provide their clients with the highest standards of client service. The firm has been careful to foster a culture that is committed to efficiency, client responsiveness as they move away from paper files to digital files.
O’Flynn Exhams LLP had very busy litigation and property departments and the team needed help to organise the business to handle the caseload, improve efficiencies and deliver an even better quality service for their clients. Pat Mullins, Senior Partner, told us: “Culture is the key. You can only change a culture from the top down. If you don’t have support at the partners table, [bringing in a practice management system] won’t work.” To become more efficient the firm had to adapt its work practices and take advantage of what a Keyhouse technology platform could do for them. The key challenge was to buy in and redefine their work processes and standards for the different areas of work, for example, in litigation in the compilation and building of briefs for counsel.
While implementing Keyhouse Case Management the firm began to introduce workflows for their litigation and property work. They immediately started to put a process in place for scanning in all hard copy documents with structured naming conventions. This meant that the digital file was immediately available with all documents and emails being easily accessible. As Pat says, “The search functionality within the file itself is invaluable. The ability to be able to share information allows for purposeful meetings with clients. I am constantly looking at ways to use the system to increase efficiency. Using the client overview function to know when the client last signed their will, or when they bought property. Everything is scanned up to Keyhouse meaning the client overview function allows for easier communication with the client. It’s invaluable.”
With the firm’s commitment to maximising the use of Keyhouse, moving to digital files has paid dividends. The firm has implemented its work process strategy by developing workflows for different types of work and constantly investing in training for its staff to help them use the new Keyhouse tools fully and effectively. This has allowed them to deliver a better client experience with more efficient work practices which in turn helps the solicitors to spend more time on more valuable work.
“If you input the information the system will whistle for you. I have greater capacity with the same resources. (With) Keyhouse Brief Builder, when you walk the team through it, they get excited because they can see what they don’t have to do anymore.”
The other immediate benefit for the litigation department was that they could now harness the power of the brief builder tool. The time savings that the firm achieved was in excess of 80%.
“A typical brief of 300 pages would have taken at least 2.5 hours to prepare, with Keyhouse Brief Builder it’s taking approximately 30 minutes. It’s completely invaluable” says Pat.
The partners estimate that for every five minutes of preparation work on the Keyhouse Brief Builder saves approximately 25 minutes at the production and distribution stage throughout the life of the brief: “When everything is in there it only took 5 minutes to get the book of pleadings, if it wasn’t in Keyhouse, it would have taken hours. It would also have to be done with physical files, which I don’t use anymore. For us, Keyhouse Brief Builder is important, staff are shown how to build a brief from start to finish. Stressing how important it was to naming items properly, to make it easier to search later. Document class is critical, we’ve added these to the (Keyhouse) Document Manager to prevent things from going to parties that shouldn’t receive it. Important for brief and tracking purposes (and it) prevents duplication of work.”
Finally, Pat said: “Keyhouse is a very good product, no doubt about it. I am often asked by the opposing side in District Court what’s that on my desk as they gesture to the small file I bring, and they wonder where the rest of my files are – that’s my brief – it only took me five minutes to prepare.”Go to Client Stories