A secure online portal for the residential property market has been developed as a result of a collaboration between an IT specialist, business technology expert Thomson Reuters Elite and the UK’s largest high street law firm.
Fusion IT has developed a unique client portal solution for McMillan Williams (MW) Solicitors, dramatically reducing time spent on the conveyancing process for both the client and the firm.
The company has made a significant investment into the project, which was developed over the course of 18 months and works seamlessly with MatterSphere; the globally used case management system developed by Thomson Reuters Elite.
MW Solicitors, which employs more than 500 people at 28 branches across London and the south of England, required a solution to address the length of time and inconvenience to the client involved in the conveyancing process, while ensuring compliance and accuracy.
Director and chief information officer David Fazakerley said while other online portals allowed buyers to scan in documents, they were unable to enjoy the same trusting relationship that qualified, local, solicitors were able to establish with clients.
However, gathering identification documents and other confidential data is often a difficult and lengthy process. Not only does the purchaser have to bring documents into the office in person, the potential for inaccuracies exists if information is typed in incorrectly.
This, he said, had led the company to seek a ‘best of both worlds’ solution that protected the client/lawyer relationship, and quality of service, yet offered the convenience of an online portal to the end user.
He explained: “We wanted to give people the convenience of filling in forms and sharing data online while retaining the quality of service for which we are renowned; to be the trusted high street lawyer with local knowledge.
“Our new system enables clients to key in everything they have to provide in their own time, without needing to come into the branch, which is far more convenient for them. And from a business point of view, this has dramatically reduced the time spent logging client details to the system, in addition to being completely secure and accurate. What once took two weeks to complete now takes just two hours.”
Mr Fazakerley said the firm already used a suite of document, project, and case management solutions installed three years ago by Thomson Reuters Elite. Thomson Reuters Elite recommended West Yorkshire-based Fusion IT as experts in working with their platform. In addition, the company had been highly recommended by fellow legal firms, therefore the decision was taken to bring the team on board to begin developing the system to MW Solicitors’ precise needs.
Working collaboratively with the law firm’s in-house tech team, who mapped out the workflow required, Fusion IT developed a portal which seamlessly integrates with MatterSphere.
Mr Fazakerley added: “Fusion IT had excellent technical skills and were incredibly straightforward and agile in their approach. So far, we have put around 1,400 clients through the portal and the feedback has been extremely positive – there’s no requirement to download separate apps, and it is designed to guide people through the process while allowing them to break off and log in later if they find they don’t have everything they need to hand.
“We wanted a new solution to deliver a unique client experience and, thanks to Fusion IT and Thomson Reuters, we have just that. Dependent on the individual’s technological capabilities, clients can input everything we require in as little as 20 minutes.
“The portal integrates with the entire conveyancing process, enabling us to offer the latest technology while retaining the quality of service a qualified solicitor brings. It’s a revolutionary development among high street law firms and without doubt, the best IT project I have worked on in the six years I have been at MW Solicitors.”
Jamie Watson, managing director of Fusion IT, commented: “As the biggest MatterSphere consultancy practice outside of Thomas Reuters Elite, we were able to develop a bespoke solution for MW Solicitors that enabled them to enhance their client offering while reducing the amount of business hours spent inputting data.
“We saw the project as a new but totally practical way to drive a conveyancing case through from its conception to completion. It was the perfect opportunity to work with a forward-thinking large high street law firm, our perfect client relationship. We look forward to continuing to work with the company in the next phase of development for the programme, which includes enhancing the functionality and improving the ease of use.”
Patrick Hurley, vice president, Customer Advocacy for Thomson Reuters Elite, described the project as “a perfect trifecta of collaboration between our teams. MW Solicitors has always sought to use our solutions in new and innovative ways, and we are thrilled to have Fusion IT as a certified Implementation Partner for 3E MatterSphere helping them achieve such ground-breaking success.”