Running Milner Elledge is easier with Osprey Approach software
Discover how Milner Elledge utilise technology to improve cashflow and operational efficiencies.
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About Milner Elledge
For over 30 years, Milner Elledge has been representing and supporting clients in all child and family law matters. With two offices in Romford and Dagenham, the team offers a safe space to discuss cases for private or Legal Aid matters.
Building digital-first processes improved operational performance
Milner Elledge implemented Osprey Approach over 12 years ago. Senior paralegal, Georgia Smith, has used Osprey since joining the company six years ago and has been paramount to fully utilising the system and becoming a digital-first firm. “We’ve always used Osprey and there’s never been a discussion about changing our software because we’ve always been happy with how it works, but nobody really knew Osprey’s full potential.”
Georgia explained how lockdown was the catalyst and driver for becoming a more digital firm: “During lockdown… the business was still busy and so [the directors] realised we needed to review our systems so we could go fully digital.
“Everyone needed access to case files because everyone was working from home and that was when we had the realisation that we had a system in place that we weren’t taking full advantage of.” Like many firms, the pandemic highlighted how effectively teams could work when remote, but they needed the right digital tools to better service clients, improve collaboration, and increase efficiencies. The pandemic provided a reason to adapt and change, which for Milner Elledge, had lasting benefits for their performance and their culture.
How to increase value from your legal software investments
If you’re only utilising a fraction of the features within your practice and case management solution, then you’re not going to reap the full benefits across the firm. For Milner Elledge, the pandemic was the perfect opportunity to review their current processes and the available features in Osprey to improve their operational processes.
“Our Account Manager at Osprey emailed us asking for an account review meeting, which we booked in. We wanted to have a chat and see how we can better utilise the system to meet our goals.”
Recommendations were made from the initial meeting to help implement new features that would have the biggest impact. The next stage was to roll out the new functionality and processes to the rest of the firm. Georgia explains how important the unlimited training has been to the team: “We started implementing change by enrolling staff on training courses. The fact that the team could book themselves on any training when they had a spare minute meant we didn’t bombard everyone with training courses and they could do in their own time.
“We now also book all our new starters on an induction meeting with Osprey to get them set up and trained on the system straight away.”
Even though there’s plenty more features Milner Elledge want to implement over time, Osprey has now become their core platform that houses all data, documents, and processes. “We’re now completely paperless. We use all aspects of the Osprey case management system, not just the accounts. If you need anything, it’s so much easier to search in Osprey. We used to have to get files from storage if clients wanted to reinstruct us – which was off site – but now they’re always right in front of us.
“To be honest, I don’t know how we’d function without having the Osprey system.”
Osprey case management software increases efficiencies, enhances client service, and improves cashflow
By fully utilising the features available in Osprey, Milner Elledge have realised benefits across the firm both internally and for clients.
A crucial goal for the firm is to attract new clients and improve their marketing efforts. A key component of effective marketing is quality service and with Osprey, the team can deliver a quicker and more convenient service for their clients. Georgia explains how it helps them deliver a more supportive service: “In family law, we often have clients who are vulnerable, irate, or stressed. Osprey makes it very quick for the team to deal with queries or questions because accurate data is stored centrally and accessible at a click of a button. That means we can reassure them quickly. When we were paper based that was a lot harder.”
Crucially, Osprey’s features like workflows, court bundles and email management increases efficiencies and saves time. Georgia explains why the court bundles feature is her favourite: “Osprey has cut the time it takes to create court bundles in half – if not more – that’s why it’s my favourite. You can just drag and drop the documents and it’s done.”
Managing a hybrid team means flexibility and accessibility is important. The Osprey centralised cloud database enables effective collaboration so the team can deliver quality client service no matter where they work. “Everyone always has access to what they need. If anyone goes on holiday and we need to progress a case, we’ve got all the documents and communications right there. It’s those little things that make you think, ‘why have we not done this before?’ “
Improved client service, increased efficiencies, and effective collaboration inevitably has a positive impact on profitability, but Milner Elledge has benefitted from improved cashflow using various features within Osprey including the reduced printing and storage costs of becoming paperless. Georgia also highlights how much easier and quicker it is to be paid for Legal Aid cases that previously were delayed for months: “We do a lot of Legal Aid work where we have to get our files sent off to be costed. Now our files are electronic we can simply download the file and send it on. It’s much quicker and easier. Sending off old paper files took so much longer and it can take months to be paid from the Legal Aid Agency.”
Utilising legal tech helps to make running a law firm easier
Building a digital-first culture within a firm means to consider digital tools and tech when solving problems or strategising for the future. By utilising the tools in Osprey, Milner Elledge has seen benefits across the firm that have helped them achieve a more agile operation and work towards their goals of growing the firm.
“We want to keep developing how we use Osprey because there’s so much we still don’t know. And it’ll be so beneficial for us and our clients to use more of what we’ve got. Implementing the client portal is the next stage for us.”
Georgia sympathises with firms who are yet to make the move to becoming digital. “I can understand people’s worry; I think we were initially a bit worried about the change. But after discovering what we could be doing with the software, it’s made our lives 10 times easier and less stressful.
“You have to just take the plunge: if you don’t you will regret it. I’d recommend just making the first move and have a chat with someone to discuss what’s possible. Allocate someone in the firm to manage it and ensure they ask the right questions.
“It’s been really easy to get training booked in and support from Osprey. Unlike other companies where you might wait days for a response, Osprey will email you straight away and keep you in the loop.” Whilst you need the right legal software to benefit your firm, a crucial element of fully utilising a system and achieving ROI with your investment is having a supportive software partner that can provide guidance and training when needed.