Partners Insights – April 2023
Please use the arrows to flick through our latest insights. You will find the contents of this newsletter also below.
Inside this issue
- Playfair Partnerships
- MITIGO Cybersecurity
- Browns recruitment group
- ntitle Solutions
- DNS Document Network Services
- Comms Consult
- Collards Accounting
- 11 little Films
Cybercrime Warning – A Must Read
At The Strategic Partner, we provide outsourced compliance solutions for several firms. Although cybercrime is prevalent across the industry, since 1st March 2023, we have had four reported instances of Cybercriminals infiltrating law firms’ systems.
What is concerning about these more recent instances is that they have ALL followed the same pattern and profile, which indicates that a team of cybercriminals are actively targeting law firms and their staff.
Typically, the cyber-attack cases we see are random with limited commonality other than with the intent to obtain data or infect a system with Ransomware. However, the pattern of the recent attacks have all been the same.
Read the full article here:
The Economic Crime Bill – Ensure you are meeting requirements
The Economic Crime Bill, currently going through Parliament, will likely increase regulatory expectations and greater scrutiny, with the Solicitors Regulation Authority confirming ‘there will be no let-up in the requirements made of law firms to prevent money laundering’. Furthermore, the government is preparing additional provisions that would introduce a criminal corporate offence targeting commercial organisations for ‘failure to prevent fraud, money laundering and false accounting’. Updated legislation is also being proposed to give the SRA unlimited fining powers for firms that have facilitated economic crime
Introduction to Playfair Partnerships
Playfair Partnerships provide financial management services on behalf of The Strategic Partner. Find out more about these services in this months newsletter.
Law Firm Financial Management
The Strategic Partner in Association with Playfair Partnerships
Playfair Partnerships is a business advisory firm with 30 years’ experience in offering finance led advice to a broad spectrum of clients with specialist knowledge of services in the legal sector.
Playfair’s initial reputation was earned in the business turnaround environment. Therefore, they have extensive experience in dealing with businesses in distress or needing support with the ability to spot any early warning signs, preventing potential problems from developing into more significant issues.
Thanks to their knowledge and breadth of services in the legal sector, they will work quickly to support your legal services business. Using an integrated, proactive approach, you gain anytime access to the level and volume of resources you need without having to bear the costs and complications of full-time staff.
In addition to its turnaround service Playfair has developed a unique outsourced financial management service. The offering covers the whole spectrum of strategic and operational financial management – from finance director to management information and financial control, whether as part of an ongoing partnership or a one-off investigative project. Find out more.
What We Can Offer
We can offer a range of financial management services and assistance to suit a firm’s specific needs. We have an ability to get ‘under the numbers’ and explain business performance to banks, partners and other stakeholders and we can also help clients in distressed situations. We list below some of the services we provide, but being a bespoke service, our wider offering encompasses most financial requirements that a firm would have and we would tailor a service offering to individual client needs.
Find out more about the services available:
- FINANCIAL HEALTH CHECK
- FINANCIAL BUSINESS PLAN
- FULL FINANCIAL REVIEW
- FINANCIAL OUTSOURCING
- BUSINESS RECOVERY
Playfair Partnerships provide financial management services on behalf of The Strategic Partner. Find out more about Playfair in their brochure below, or you can call us to discuss on 0203 911 9710 or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cybercriminal Ecosystem: Evolution and Extortion
Law firms rely on their reputation, hold lots of confidential and valuable information belonging to their clients, and handle financial transactions. This combination makes them the ideal target for cybercriminals who once inside a law firm’s IT systems will use a number of different tactics to hold a firm to ransom.
The legal profession has seen a worrying number of cyberattacks in recent years. Ward Hadaway were threatened with the publication of confidential documents obtained in a cyberattack, which the hackers were holding to ransom in a bid to blackmail the firm out of $6 million.
Meanwhile listed law firm Ince Group suffered a devastating attack which is estimated to have cost the firm £5 million, with other far-reaching consequences. The attack on Simplify Group in which personal information was stolen, resulted in extensive disruption to parts of the conveyancing market. Criminal defence firm Tuckers Solicitors’ £98,000 fine by the ICO is another reminder of the potential repercussions that firms can suffer as a result of a ransomware attack. There are many other examples.
Cybercrime is a dynamic landscape, with not only the types of attacks but the nature of the operators or gangs involved becoming ever-more sophisticated. Understanding the ecosystem in which cyber criminals operate is the first step in understanding and managing the risks involved.
The Mitigo Cybersecurity Solution
Mitigo’s support has been designed for law firms, to offer proportionate, affordable, ongoing security, to safeguard against cybercrime and includes a dedicated expert client helpdesk.
After assessing your risks, they will take care of the three areas needed to keep your firm safe:
- technology – includes detailed technology assessments, penetration testing and vulnerability scanning
- people – includes eLearning, testing and simulated phishing
- governance – includes policies, personalised staff cyber security handbook and risk management framework.
Emergency Cyber Breach Response
If you’ve suffered – or even just suspect that you’ve suffered a cybersecurity incident, you need to act quickly. Mitigo provides a rapid response, containment and investigation service, and can assist you with reporting obligations to regulators and clients.
Find out more about Mitigo’s Cybersecurity Services. Or to arrange a free, no obligation consultation, call 020 8191 1592 or email email@example.com
The Strategic Partnership has partnered with Mitigo to offer technical and cyber security services with exclusive discounts for our members.
Browns Recruitment Group
Who are we?
Has finding staff for you been difficult? We provide first-class recruiting services that increase staff productivity and allow you to focus on the core areas of your business without worrying about finding the right candidate for your business.
Our candidates range across from all legal sectors including Conveyancing, Family, Private Client, Employment, Litigation, Corporate and Commercial.
We actively support candidates ranging from Administration through to Partnership and are therefore well placed to support our clients with all levels of Recruitment.
If you would like our assistance, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our Consultants will be in touch.
Our Recruitment Consultants will get to know the candidates they are interviewing, taking into account not just technical ability, but personality and cultural fit. We’re also easy to get hold of; we appreciate that when looking for a new role it can be difficult to talk during the working day, so we will make ourselves available and find a time that works for you.
When a client instructs us to commence work on an opportunity within their law firm we will always take the time to really listen and understand what our client is seeking so that we are able to both work the role to the best of our capability and manage expectations fully. We are a proactive team and will always come back to you with updates as soon as they become available.
In March 2023 ntitle celebrate three years since its launch and its safe to say, that today’s ntitle is completely different to the ntitle of 2020, at the start of the pandemic.
ntitle has come a long way from lockdown where two conveyancers were working endlessly to promote a new business and work on all instructions, all whilst homeschooling and never actually being in the same room as one another! Whilst we all still work endlessly, we have grown! We are so proud of our team of carefully chosen, experienced, knowledgeable conveyancers and Sophie, our Operations and Marketing Manager.
Artificial Intelligence v Human Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is essentially where technology is being used to mimic human behaviour and thought processes. In recent years we’ve seen an increased number of legal suppliers offering automated services, powered by this type of technology, designed to cut down the time spent on areas of the conveyancing process.
Since 2020 electronic ID providers have been at the forefront of change for client onboarding, providing ID and source of funds using AI to scan biometric data and extract information from the client’s ID. The use of electronic ID has been widely praised and endorsed by the industry with many feeling reassured that the technology can help flag fraudulent ID where a person might not.
The future of efficient and profitable conveyancing relies on firms embracing technology and automation. Utilising technology can significantly reduce the time spent on each matter, speeding up transaction timelines and giving more capacity to increase caseloads.
ntitle is an award-winning, UK based company providing a 100% paperless, secure & compliant title investigation service. With a 48-hour turnaround on all tenures (no matter how complex) we aim to significantly reduce transaction timelines and overheads allowing firms to focus on exceptional client service and increasing instruction levels.
Backed by over 30 years of combined experience, ntitle was founded in 2020 following many years of planning, research, and development. ntitle has grown rapidly, expanding our client base in the conveyancing industry ranging from local, independent and high street firms to many high- volume conveyancing firms.
Our flexible service allows you to instruct us when required with no minimum or maximum instruction level allowing conveyancers to maintain service levels at busier times without the need to recruit additional resources on a permanent basis.
Within 2 days, conveyancers will receive:
- A list of title enquiries before contract to be raised with the seller’s conveyance.
- A detailed and comprehensive title report to be forwarded to the purchaser.
- A Title Snap Shot, unique to ntitle.
We can deal with the most complicated and time-consuming titles in this niche and complex area of legal service.
XBundle is a litigation support company created by legal professionals. We excel at building electronic bundles, electronic trial presentation and fully supporting in-person, hybrid and remote hearings with tech and same-day or real-time transcription. We are a legal service business that is here to help you through every step of the litigation process, from the first data collection to the judgment. XBundle is the only organisation that can provide a genuine end-to-end service under one roof.
Create Your Own Electronic Court & Trial Bundles – Right First Time
Without an efficient and considered process in place, preparing electronic bundles for court and counsel can create a lengthy and costly headache that legal teams should not need to deal with.
XBundle::CREATE is an innovative electronic creation and trial presentation platform in the Cloud, designed by industry leading experts to solve this problem.
Introducing XBundle::Create – Key features and benefits
XBundle::Create is a unique software explicitly designed to give legal teams the ability to create their own court-ready electronic document bundles.
Unlike other platforms, XBundle::Create has been built out of our original in-house utilities and is now offered for client use. Clients gain the unique advantage of an effective platform coupled with the highest level of support when needed.
Smart eBundles with intuitive hosting dashboard
- Drag and drop – Build bundles quickly and efficiently with simple drag-and-drop technology.
- Export to PDF – Trial-ready bundles can be exported to PDF or viewed within the platform in real-time.
- Dynamic Cross Referencing – Dynamic cross-referencing that automatically updates when you add new documents to a bundle, meaning you only need to create cross-references once.
- Page Ranging – Automatic page ranging, including automatic suffixing of insert pack documents.
- Effortless page assembling – instant indexes, hyperlinks, and bookmarks.
- Hosting Platform – View and present all your ‘active’ matters within the one platform.
XBundle a proud sponsor at the British Legal Tech Forum
XBundle Ltd. is delighted to announce its sponsorship of the British Legal Tech Forum which takes place on the 9th May 2023 at Old Billingsgate, London
#BLTF2023 represents a great opportunity for XBundle to get our litigation support products and services noticed by more law firms.
What do we offer?
XBundle challenges the traditional methods within litigation to deliver a cost-effective solution. services.
As a litigation support business, XBundle offers a range of extensive services under one roof, including (but, not limited to):
- Electronic bundles
- Electronic Presentation of Evidence (EPE)
- Expert Witness Statements
- Data Hosting
Bluebird Innovative Office Support
Conveyancing Assistant Service
Costs of employing in-house staff compared to outsourcing
As an employer, you have responsibility for paying salary, Employer’s National Insurance Contributions and pension contribution. Salaries are based on productive time which is 52 weeks, fewer holidays, fewer break times, and less any absences such as sickness that may be agreed under the contract.
We have created services for which you pay only for productive time, without any costs – or risks – of employment.
A fair way of paying for your services
Outsourcing is not the same as off-shoring, and our UK-based workers will earn the same rate of pay as employed staff. How and where they earn their income is what is different from being employed.
We have created a shared service resource for you to tap into where you pay only for the productive time of staff for the tasks you need to do.
We call it a pay-per-task way of charging. It means that you are always in control of what you spend, and you are guaranteed a service level for the work that is done. It also means that each task can be tracked and quality checked and leaves an audit trail.
How we charge for Conveyancing Assistant service
We have dissected a standard sale and purchase conveyancing transaction (registered title) and listed all the elements into a series of tasks. We have listed the associated time needed to complete it and, from then, calculated the cost-per-task. This is how we deliver you fixed-price admin support.
We can send you the full list so you can request a quote for our services. As it is National Conveyancing Week, it is the perfect opportunity to refine your firm’s internal conveyancing processes.
Confidence in qualifications and experience
Conveyancing can be a high-risk area for law firms that rightly demand qualified and experienced staff to deliver a transaction on time and on budget. Especially when lots of firms are competing with fixed prices for their services.
It’s vital that the law firm has control of all aspects of the legal transaction for compliance purposes. Outsourcing any aspect of your work requires comprehensive service agreements to be in place, as, ultimately, the law firm takes full responsibility for every element of a transaction. Nobody wants to be negatively impacted by professional indemnity premiums. Our team are experienced in working with a multitude of legal technology systems and are highly experienced in Conveyancing.
Now is a great time to consider outsourcing
A large majority of professional services now have experience working remotely and flexibly. Plugging in a Bluebird flexible resource helps you expand your practice without disruption or increasing payroll costs. You will have a greater ability to deal with peaks and troughs in workflow and manage urgent deadlines. You won’t need to spend on recruitment costs or invest in training new staff. We already have lots of know-how in our knowledge base and can hit the ground running for you.
A low-risk proposition
Our pay-per-task fixed price Conveyancing Assistant support is designed to be a help to you, and we want it to be as lowest risk possible. Let us know which tasks you need help with, and together we can design a new way of working.
DNS – Document Network Services
Providing first class services that increase productivity and allow you to focus on the core areas of your business
Established in 1996, Document Network Services have over 25 years of experience supplying and supporting award winning hardware and industry leading software whilst delivering first class Managed Services and help desk support facilities – helping businesses to reduce costs, increase efficiency and innovate.
Centrally located within the Midlands, DNS work with local and national organisations of every size, from small businesses to global enterprises, providing responsive and approachable services alongside the products, resources and support of leading international solution partners.
The DNS approach is to recognise what people’s frustrations are in regards to their print environment and document management and find a solution to overcome them. Their dedicated team of Admin, Finance, in-house Technical Support, Sales and Marketing work hand in hand to ensure that their customers are at the centre of what they do.
Top Tips for 2023
- With utility prices increasing, consider a Print Assessment of your business to evaluate the consolidation of printers (especially costly A4 ones).
- If you’re now using Microsoft 365 – then it is a bare essential you implement MFA (Multifactor Authentication) to help protect your company’s data, adding an extra level of security into your environment.
- Stop doing those repetitive paper-based tasks – there’s usually an App that can resolve these much quicker.
- Ensure your Printer fleet is running the latest firmware and the devices are locked down for unauthorised access, helping to avoid security breaches.
- Consider migrating to the ‘Cloud’, with increased security, document content security and less touch points for on-site issues to occur.
“The bespoke, innovative solutions created by our team deliver three critical business advantages – Cost Reduction, Control & Convenience.”
Darren Marsh, Managing Director
PracticeEvolve understand the path to perfection is a constantly evolving journey.
Mid-tier firms require technology that will remain relevant in a rapidly changing environment. It’s why PracticeEvolve, incorporating Linetime and SOS, are providing progressive, reliable Practice Management Software with a clear pathway to the Cloud. We take responsibility to innovate across products, services and support for you and your future because legal business management matters.
It’s not just about the software either. As the world around us continues to adapt, businesses are always looking for ways to reduce the costs of physical servers with Cloud solutions. Our technology roadmap provides firms with a clear Pathway to the Cloud strategy, enabling you to take advantage of Cloud hosting as a first step towards a native, browser based cloud solution.
PracticeEvolve work for the future of our clients by committing to an ongoing level of service that includes dedicated resource and regular training. Everything we do is designed to ensure you are always maximising your return on investment.
Just some of the benefits enjoyed by firms globally.
- One-for-all system – removes the hassle of linking different data bases together and eases the strain placed on your firm’s architecture.
- Comprehensive feature set – our feature-rich solution completely eliminates unforeseen add-on costs with all PracticeEvolve functionality included as part of your standard package.
- Deep customisation – whether it’s workflows, precedents or data, the system is easily customisable to suit the unique needs of your firm.
- Complete oversight – detailed reports, support and guidance empower you to control your business.
- Exceptional support – all clients have regular access to a customer success consultant to ensure a first class implementation and ongoing guidance focused on regular training and support.
“By being reliable, responsible and reputable, we will recognise our vision to be the most respected legal technology provider by constantly exceeding expectations globally.”
Whether you are scanning incoming correspondence, digitising complete case files or registering incoming email, EzeScan can provide the solution that meets your needs.
Make documents available to your legal teams faster by creating one central location to access all incoming correspondence whether it enters the business as hard copy, fax or email. Securely capture and access your case-related documents wherever and whenever you want.
With EzeScan’s Digital Mailroom solution you can eliminate the delays inherent with physical mail distribution and get your information to the correct people faster. Capture and distribute your incoming correspondence instantly to users via our web browser interface and facilitate an agile working environment to ensure your team have quick, easy, compliant, and secure access to information wherever they are working.
Securely capture and action your matter related documents wherever and whenever you want with EzeScan’s Remote Indexing WebApp. Your staff can now effortlessly capture documents from your MFD or upload digital born documents when they are out of the office, directly to your matter files in your practice management systems. EzeScan’s web browser interface enables staff to QA, validate and register their documents from their computer or mobile device, anytime, anywhere. By simply capturing one piece of information (e.g. Matter ID), EzeScan can perform a database lookup to return the rest of the information required to register new documents.
Simplified Back Scanning
Effortlessly capture high volumes of existing case files with EzeScan’s professional production batch scanning capabilities. Digitise your existing hardcopy matter files that have been sitting on your shelves for years so that your legal team can effortlessly search and utilise information previously locked in hardcopy documents.
EzeScan provides both centralised production capture solutions for your records and document control teams and decentralised self-register solutions for your general staff. Save valuable time and limit unnecessary data entry and manual processing by leveraging your existing client and case information already in your line of business applications. By simply capturing one piece of information, EzeScan can perform a database lookup to return the rest of the relevant information required to register new records. Spend more time practicing law and less time on your repetitive administrative tasks.
- Capture case documents on the fly
- Minimise document handling
- Accelerate document delivery
- Reduce or eliminate data entry
- Increase document security
- Digitisation, compliance and goverments standards
Law Firm Marketing
Law firms are a specialist and unique type of business that requires specific expertise to help deliver effective and compliant marketing campaigns. The Strategic Partner and FireTap Ltd work in unison to deliver law firms with industry-leading expertise and an insight into law firm marketing that is unrivalled.
Not only will your firm benefit from full-service marketing agency support, but also a robust legal strategy that drives your business forward.
Here are some of our top 5 Digital Marketing tips for 2023
- Short form Video content is crucial – Trends over 2022 and for the start of 2023 show that a user’s attention span is getting shorter, with video one of the main ways to capture that attention for longer and with a better engagement rate. Businesses need to incorporate video as part of their marketing strategy to ensure bite-sized information can be delivered efficiently. YouTube is still one of the main ways to share video content. Still, because of the rise in popularity of other networks such as TikTok, other leading platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all following suit and improving their video-sharing capability.
- TikTok will continue to rise in popularity – Due to the rise in views of short-form video content, TikTok is fast becoming one of the most popular ways to engage with a target audience, and more and more companies will adapt their marketing strategies to share content via this platform. In 2022, TikTok overtook all other major social platforms regarding engagement rates. While traditionally, ‘Generation Z’ seemed like the highest user profile, other key demographics are fast following suit, and businesses should consider how to reach audiences in this way.
- Growing your social audience will grow your client base – Keeping up with how your target audience connects to others and content online via social networks will keep them engaged and loyal to your brand. Loyal social followers who are interested in the content you are sharing will be more likely to use your services and help spread the word about your brand.
- Social audio (podcasts) will grow in popularity – Audio content in the form of podcasts and lives on social media platforms will gain more popularity. Similar to short-form video, audio content is easily accessible and can keep users engaged for longer and interested in the information you are sharing.
- You don’t have to do it all, and social media trends change – It is essential to keep an eye out for how your target audience is behaving online and what digital trends are coming up next. However, just because something is popular doesn’t mean it is necessarily suitable for your brand, especially if you do not have the time to do it correctly. Focus on where your target audience will be, what you can fit in your marketing plan and if you can implement your ideas efficiently. Consider using outside help, like speaking with our team at FireTap, who can work with you to improve your marketing strategy and complete the tasks you do not have time for.
“With an approach that is flexible, transparent and engaging, we can work as your outsourced solution or as a marketing partner alongside your existing in-house marketing team.”
Comms Consult have been providing Telecom solutions to the Legal sector for over 20 years, so they have the knowledge to always deliver the right solution first time, every time.
We adopt a consultative approach to any potential new customer so that we fully understand each and every aspect of their requirements before we recommend which telephone system would be the right fit. Whether it be an on-premise Mitel solution or a Gamma Horizon hosted phone system.
Our key services include:
- ISDN lines
- SIP Trunks
- Fibre Broadband
- Leased lines
- Free calls to UK landlines & mobiles
- In depth call reporting & analytics
- Full call recording
- Business Mobiles
- Dialler solutions (on-premise or hosted)Inbound contact centre functionality
- Social media interaction
“We only ever suggest the most beneficial solution that works for your budget. Our commitment to you goes beyond the managed provision of your communication package and we pride ourselves on our extensive after sales care and support.”
For more information about Comms Consult, including exclusive offers for TSP Members, call us on 0203 911 9710 or email us at email@example.com.
Collards Chartered Accountants
Collards are a general practice accounting firm covering a large range of services. At Collards, we have a close working relationship with our clients, which enables us to better understand their financial affairs.
Our unique approach ensures clients have a close working relationship with our partners and qualified staff members. We ensure that our clients can comply with all statutory regulations and advise on tax and business planning.
We cover a wide range of business and other activities, including manufacturers, media, retailers, wholesalers, solicitors, publishers, IT solution providers, sports clubs, charities, television personalities and designers. From large companies to small sole traders, we are able to encompass and deliver to a vast range of clients.
“Our expertise encompasses the requirements of small to medium sized businesses and the audit of major companies, together with personal and corporate tax planning and advice.”
For more information about Collards Chartered Accountants, including exclusive offers for TSP Members, call us on 0203 911 9710 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
11 Little Films
11 Little Films are experts at creating professionally crafted video content.
Whether you are seeking a corporate video, showreel or product demonstration through the use of video, 11 Little Films have the creativity and expertise to meet your requirements.
With expertise across a range of sectors, including professional services, 11 Little Films are able to understand and interpret your needs to ensure you receive a perfectly presented video for the intended target audience that will gain the expected level of engagement.
visit their website
or view their showreel http://11littlefilms.com/wordpress/showreel
11 little films have full songwriting and recording facilities. They are able to create bespoke musical scores in any style for your videos. They can even make cover versions of existing songs to avoid high licensing costs.
The Strategic Partner provides essential support to law firms. We offer a range of services and consultancy tailored to the Legal sector including guidance and services for regulation and compliance. We have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in the overall management of law firms and work with them to achieve profitability, stability, and efficiency.
Our goal is to become a valued and respected partner to our member law firms providing high-quality services and solutions at all times.
If your firm wishes to review or strengthen its approach to risk, compliance and regulation, you can;
call us on 0203 911 9710
email us email@example.com
or make an online enquiry.