Document management systems designed to fit the bill

Whatever your legal business, the new widely available document management systems can work for you.

In the dim and distant past, long before technology took hold, working in accounting and finance meant entering figures manually which, in turn, could lead to countless hours spent recalculating and tracking down errors. Thankfully such labour-intensive work is in the past and thanks to developments in technology, tasks which once took many hours for several people to carry out, now takes as little as ten minutes for a single software programme.

Although you would think that the use of accounting and finance technology is now commonplace, according to research carried out in Germany in 2010, just 5% of the 30 billion invoices processed across Europe in 2010 were handled electronically.  This highlights the need for financial documents to be handled electronically as manual processing can increase the cost of processing a single invoice by as much as 20%.

However, although the significant cost differential between manual and electronic processing is a serious issue, perhaps of greater concern is the delays which can be caused by manual processing.  When an invoice, for example, is processed manually 20% of the time it spends working its way through the system will be in ‘transit’, with 5% in actual processing and a staggering 75% of the time doing nothing at all.  During the 75% of time that an invoice is doing nothing at all, the chances are that this idle time is caused by a system which requires a high level of managerial or supervisory input.

Anything that reduces the time that invoices and other financial documents spend being idle can only be seen as a good thing and as something which will save money and time.  Clerical tasks which are simply demanding in terms of time but could be carried out electronically, can no longer be justified in a dynamic business environment.

Nowadays there’s no good reason why an invoice should remain idle for so long.  Businesses have at their disposal a wide range of different options for dealing with invoices far more quickly than they are doing at present.

Using an e-invoicing system really should be seen as an urgent goal for businesses of all shapes: not only will it help to improve the management of cash flow and spending, it will also provide enhanced visibility of the entire invoicing process. E-invoicing needs the minimum of human intervention and signals an end to invoices sitting dormant for 75% of their life time and this is something that has got to be a good thing for everyone.

If you are looking for further advice and information on how to streamline your financial systems, you’ll find that there are a number of document management companies and associations based across the UK.  Working with an established, reputable document management company has the potential to reduce your reliance on paperwork, streamline your systems and increase efficiency.  So rather than relying on out-dated paper-based accounting systems, why not choose to automate your accounts department?




Safe and secure document management for legal companies

Document management is a huge issue for many legal companies and striking the balance between client security and paperwork storage can be costly and time consuming.  Streamlining your legal documentation can help save time and effort, whilst also reducing printing costs and you’ll find that there are a wide range of document management services available, specially designed to meet the needs of legal companies.

Many legal companies face significant costs incurred through the reproduction of documents, costs which are often never recovered.  Copying and reproduction costs are incredibly hard to calculate on a daily basis, whilst the time-consuming task of photocopying legal documents is usually passed on to junior staff.

Using a specialised legal document scanning and management service is a great way to cut the time and money you spend on copying whilst providing you with an accurate record of your copying costs which can then be passed on to your clients.

Once scanned or photocopied, legal documents can normally be returned in a number of different formats.  A digital format – normally PDF – is one of the most popular options and provides a number of different benefits.  Digital files don’t take up valuable office space and when used with OCR software (optical character recognition) will allow phrase or word searching capabilities within each file or throughout an entire bundle of documents.    Your electronic files can be returned to you in a range of different formats such as CD, DVD, external drive or a memory stick.

Many document management companies also offer the option to store documents in a secure online facility or virtual data storage room.  Online storage facilities offer a wide range of benefits including multiple user access with different levels of user access security.

If you’d prefer to receive your copied or scanned documents as hard copies, large-volume printers are used by document management companies, with the capability to produce copies in a wide range of different sizes, normally up to paper size A3.  It is also possible to produce copies of photos onto photograph paper and copied documents can be collated, stapled, punched and with the insertion of dividers.

Another incredibly useful service which is now widely available to legal companies is electronic disclosure.  Electronic disclosure or E-disclosure is the process of capturing, collecting, restoring and searching very large volumes of documents which have been electronically scanned to be used during disclosure in civil litigation.

E-disclosure is designed to locate quickly relevant documents from a large number of randomly stored files in a way that is accurate, thorough and cost-effective.  When combined with the scanning and digitisation of your paper documentation, E-disclosure will result in a complete library of legal documents, ready to enable full disclosure as and when required.

For additional security and peace of mind, most E-disclosure systems allow data and files to be readily available but with enhanced levels of security and safety.  For example, the majority of actions can only be carried out with user permissions, including file uploads, file reviews, file amends and file approval.  In addition, the release of documents to third parties is controlled and highly secure at all times.

So rather than writing-off the costs you currently loose on legal copying and document storage, why not consider using the services of a professional legal document management company?  A great way to free up office space and your employees time, legal scanning and document management will also help you tackle that paperwork mountain!


Collaborative family law lowers emotional cost

Over the past decade, collaborative family law and family mediation have become widely recognised as being extremely beneficial in helping divorcing couples minimise the emotional impact of their marriage break-up.

Unfortunately the process of divorce is often associated with untold stress, upset and the potential for causing long term damage to family relationships.  However collaborative family law now offers an effective alternative to a ‘traditional’ court-based divorce; an alternative that can help couples protect themselves and their children from the worst aspects of the divorce process.

Developed as a more amicable approach to divorce, collaborative family law was created in the United States in the early 1990s.  During the 1980s the number of high profile, long drawn out and bitter divorce cases had spiralled, leading a group of like-minded US family lawyers to look for an alternative.   The result is the collaborative approach to family law, a divorce process that puts couples in control and is conducted outside the courts.

A collaborative divorce is based around a series of face-to-face meetings which are attended by the couple and their respective lawyers.  The meetings are designed to provide an amicable, constructive forum for discussion on all matters relating to the divorce.  However where these face-to-face meetings prove to be most beneficial is when contentious issues such as the children and the division of assets are discussed.

Before the first collaborative meeting can take place, couples are asked to sign a ‘collaborative agreement’ to confirm that they will attend all of the collaborative meetings – should either side decide to seek resolution through the courts, the collaborative process will be terminated with immediate effect.

Because collaborative divorce proceedings are conducted in face-to-face meetings rather than in court with a judge setting the pace, the majority of couples who opt for the collaborative approach find that their divorce is concluded much quicker and often at a much lower cost than if they had gone down the traditional route.  Collaborative divorce allows couples to make decisions together, working towards effective, long-lasting solutions that not only benefit themselves but feel fair for everyone involved.

Family mediation has also proved to be extremely successful in helping couples to minimise the potentially negative impact of divorce.  Family mediation is not necessarily a route to divorce in itself – it is often simply used as a way for couples to resolve contentious issues – however some family law firms now offer specialist family mediation services that are run by practising solicitors, barristers and legal executives.   These legal experts are also trained mediators and work towards helping couples in the process of separation to resolve matters quickly and amicably.

Many divorcing or separating couples are now opting for a more amicable, less confrontational route to divorce, thanks to collaborative family law and mediation.  Both of these routes to divorce are helping couples resolve the issues that would have once resulted in bitter courtroom battles, reducing the negative impact that divorce and separation once had on families and in particular any children.  If you are facing the prospect of divorce, why not contact your local family law firm for further information?



Courtroom bitterness resolved

In an effort to limit the rising number of bitter, courtroom divorce cases, the collaborative approach to divorce and family mediation are being promoted by the UK government as effective tools for helping couples reach amicable solutions when their marriage ends.

The collaborative approach to divorce is relatively new, having been developed by family lawyers in the United States during the 1990s.  Collaborative divorce is very different from a ‘traditional’ divorce because proceedings take place in face-to-face meetings, rather than in the often fraught, intimidating atmosphere of a court room.  Collaborative divorce puts couples in charge rather than letting a judge decide, allowing the couple to reach decisions at their own pace.

The collaborative approach to divorce begins with the couple signing a collaborative agreement.  By signing this agreement, the couple agree to use collaborative meetings to reach resolutions – if either side seek resolution in the courts, the collaborative divorce process is terminated with immediate effect.

Face-to-face meetings are designed to provide a calm, amicable forum for amicable discussion on sensitive or contentious issues, such as the care of the children or the division of assets.  Collaborative family lawyers know from experience that when couples are allowed adequate time and space to work through their differences, they are far more likely to arrive at long-lasting, effective resolutions that have been designed to benefit the whole family.

Because the collaborative approach to divorce encourages constructive discussion, the process is now widely recognised as being extremely beneficial in shielding children from the worst effects of a marriage breakdown.  The emotional and physical needs of children are at the forefront of collaborative meetings and couples are encouraged to listen to and take on board the concerns of their ex-spouse.  Collaborative divorce can help couples to reach safe, secure agreements for the care of their children and because these agreements have been arrived at mutually, they are far more likely to be practical and long-lasting.

Family mediation services can either be used alone or alongside the divorce process.  Like the collaborative approach to divorce, mediation is now widely recognised as being very effective in helping couples improve the outcomes of their divorce, whilst shielding children from the more destructive aspects of divorce.  The UK government is currently changing the law to ensure that all divorcing couples attend a mediation information meeting to see if mediation is suitable for them before the divorce process is allowed to get underway.

Many collaborative family lawyers work in conjunction with other professionals such as financial advisors, divorce coaches and mediators to offer couples additional support and guidance during the divorce process.  Whilst collaborative lawyers are present at every collaborative meeting, they are not on hand to give legal advice to their clients, simply to steer discussions to ensure that any agreements that are reached are made within the law.

The collaborative approach to divorce or family mediation are not suitable for all couples and further advice can be found by contacting your local family law firm or family mediation service.






Collaborative family law helps minimise the cost of divorce

file000704919536 (1)Collaborative family law helps lower the cost of divorce

Divorce is often ranked alongside other life-changing events as being one of life’s most stressful experiences.  However there are now several alternative routes to divorce that can not only help you minimise the emotional impact, they can help you protect your finances too.

‘Traditional’ divorce cases that are conducted in court with a judge setting the agenda and making decisions, have reputation for being long, stressful and very, very expensive.  However several alternatives are now available; collaborative family law, for example, is being increasingly seen as an effective, more amicable option to litigation, proving highly effective in helping couples separate quickly, constructively and often at far less expense.

The collaborative process is practised by specialist family lawyers who have trained in collaborative law.  The idea behind collaborative divorce is simple: amicable communication.  Proceedings take place in face-to-face meetings, rather than in a court room, and it is the couple themselves that set the pace and agenda.

During the first meeting, the collaborative family lawyers will outline the principles of the collaborative process and then everyone will sign a collaborative agreement to confirm that they will not seek resolution through the courts.  Issues are then discussed at a series of collaborative meetings with take place at the office of one or other of the solicitors.  Collaborative meetings are designed to facilitate constructive discussion; the content of the meetings is confidential and should the process break down, neither side would be allowed to refer to the discussions during court proceedings.  This confidentiality allows everyone to talk freely, often leading to faster conclusions.

One of the main aims of the collaborative process is to reduce the hefty costs that are often associated with divorce.  Many collaborative family lawyers prefer to work with independent financial advisors who are on hand during meetings to help with valuations and financial disclosures.  This helps speed things up and when mutually beneficial agreements are reached quickly, this can help to keep costs down.

It is important to note that whilst collaborative family law can prove beneficial in reducing the stress and expense of divorce, the process is not appropriate for everyone.  Collaborative divorce is not suitable in cases where there is a history of abuse or domestic violence; to be successful, the collaborative process works best when both partners are highly committed and effective communicators.  However, collaborative family lawyers have been trained to facilitate discussions in a way that is fair and provides equal support, even in cases where there is an inequality of negotiating experience.

In a further effort to help reduce the expense of divorce, many collaborative law firms now offer a fixed-fee pricing structure.  A fixed-fee divorce offers the huge advantage of making couples fully aware of the cost of their divorce from the very start, helping them to plan their finances accordingly whilst avoiding any unpleasant financial surprises at the end.

Increasingly seen as the most constructive, amicable route to divorce, collaborative family law could help you separate in a way that protects your family relationships and your financial interests.  If would like further information or to find out if the collaborative process is appropriate for your circumstances, please contact your family lawyer for further information.



The Changing Face of Family Law

lawyersThe Changes of Family Law

For couples facing the end of their marriage, there are now several different alternatives to divorcing through the courts.  Contrary to popular belief, divorce rarely requires going to court and the latest options for divorce are designed to address the legal consequences of separation in a more amicable and constructive way.

Developed in an effort to counteract the spiralling numbers of acrimonious battles in the divorce courts, new approaches to divorce such as collaborative family law, family mediation and family arbitration are becoming increasingly popular.  The negative effect that divorce has upon children is now widely understood and these alternatives to the courts offer separating couples the opportunity to work out their differences amicably, therefore helping to protect their children from some of the more stressful aspects of divorce.

Most family law experts now agree that the majority of issues that need to be resolved during divorce can be addressed outside the courts in a more informal, amicable environment.  Courtrooms do have a reputation for bringing out the worst in people; relaxed, non-confrontational communication tends to be difficult and even small issues can quickly spiral out of control.  Family mediation and collaborative family law provide couples with the time and space to negotiate settlements with each other in a relaxed atmosphere, giving them control over the pace of negotiations and the final outcome.

Collaborative family law and family mediation also provide a level of privacy that is often sorely lacking in the divorce courts; couples can negotiate resolutions with their ex-partner through their family lawyers in face-to-face meetings, whilst still maintaining an amicable relationship.  When divorce is handled in this way the whole family benefits – from the couple themselves who have the opportunity to reach agreements that feel fair to both of them, through to their children who are offered the security of reassurance of having parents who have amicably resolved their issues.

Family arbitration offers a kind of halfway house; used as way of reaching difficult decisions about property or family finances, arbitration provides an alternative to asking a judge to make the decisions.  Both sides must agree to arbitration and arbitration is used in cases where a couple are unable to sort things out between themselves or through another form of dispute resolution, such as family mediation.  As in a ‘court-based’ divorce, an arbitrator will gather together all the facts of the case – as a judge would – taking into account the views of both sides.  Once the information gathering stage has been completed, the arbitrator will issue a binding ruling, often referred to as an ‘award.’

Family law now offers couples a wide range of opportunities to avoid the conflicts, negativity and the disagreements that were once associated with divorce proceedings.  Of course these alternatives aren’t appropriate in all divorce cases, especially those where there is a history of abuse of domestic violence, however they are helping thousands of couples protect their family relationships whilst securing long-lasting, amicable agreements.

Looking To Lawyer Up? It’s Time For Some Good Tips!


Do you need a great lawyer? Are you clueless as to what you need to look for? Continue reading to learn how to choose the right lawyer for your case.

Consider having a lawyer on retainer to prepare for the worst before it happens. This will ensure that you’re not pressured into taking the first lawyer that comes along, you will already have an established relationship to rely on. They can give you advice as necessary, too.

Do not pick a lawyer because you saw their ad on television or on a billboard. Many big firms that can afford this type of advertising use lawyers that are fresh out of school for most of their cases, but charge you for the experience held by its highest lawyers.

If your lawyer does or says anything you don’t understand, speak up. They should be more than happy to explain anything to you, from what a fee is for to a document they’re having you sign. If your lawyer doesn’t want to talk about anything related to your case, drop them immediately.

Decide ahead of time what kind of budget you have to work with. Can you afford to go forward with your case? Research the types of fees you will absorb if you choose a certain attorney. By meeting with each lawyer and discussing your financial resources, you can avoid unpleasant surprises down the road. Get a feel for the ways in which expenses could rise.

Make sure you understand the process involved with firing your lawyer. There are many lawyers that still require you to pay a portion of your fees even if you fire them. Read over all contracts carefully, so there are no surprises later in the event that you need to seek out a new lawyer.

Make sure that you and your lawyer communicate well with one another. In fact, it is important to discuss in advance how often you will be talking and by what means. Will your lawyer email you weekly or biweekly? Does he prefer to call you with updates instead? The form of communication doesn’t really matter as long as you and your lawyer stay in contact often.

When looking for a lawyer, time is significant. However, it is not so important that you hire the first lawyer you meet. Always consider more than one lawyer. You need to make sure they have the skills you need, that you can afford them, and they will fight for your best interests.

Do not underestimate the importance of your lawyer’s personality. An aggressive lawyer can be an advantage but an experienced and confident lawyer could help you win your case too. You should meet with different lawyer and find one who has the kind of personality and philosophy you need for your case.

You should feel confident now in your ability to deal with lawyers. Begin your search and remember everything you have learned from this article. You case is important, so you should use all your newly acquired knowledge.


How To Find The Right Lawyer For Your Needs

Do you need legal advice? Are you looking for someone to stand in your corner and fight for you? If so, you probably need to consult with a lawyer. Choosing a good lawyer and working with one you trust isn’t always easy. But with the tips shared here you should be able to find a lawyer to fit your needs.

Imagine taking on a lawyer who is about to enter court for the first time. That’s what will happen if you take a general lawyer into a case where a specializing lawyer is a better bet. Ask any lawyer you know for their recommendations, and you’ll be pleased with the outcome.

When you think about hiring a specialized lawyer, do you worry about the associated increase in fees? Well, what are you willing to pay for a positive outcome? Consider the cost of losing! Also consider that the savings in time of a specialist over a generalist will save you money, lowering the total bill.

A lawyer who specializes in a specific issue will be an advantage for you. Specialized lawyers can be more expensive but these lawyers have extensive experience with cases like yours. You should avoid lawyers who spend most of their revenue on promoting their services and rely on their good reputation and results instead.

If you have been in an accident, do not hire any lawyer that comes to you and tries to solicit your business. This is not only unethical, but it is against the law. You do not want to hire anyone to handle your legal case if you have to worry about their legal ethics.

Recommendations from your friends is one of the most reliable methods to find a great attorney. If someone you know had a great experience with a certain lawyer, you will more than likely have a good experience with this lawyer or other professionals from the same legal office.

You really need to understand what you are paying for when you hire a lawyer. These fees can be complicated. You need to make sure you have all these fees in writing up front and that you understand how they are calculated. If you do not, they are required to explain them to you until you do.

Talk to friends and family. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find a lawyer. You get first hand information from someone who has been through the legal process with your potential attorney. Even if your friends or family have had a bad experience, that information is valuable so you don’t make the same mistake.

When you are trying to hire a lawyer for your case, do not hesitate to ask them for some references. You should talk with two or three people that can give you a good idea of what to expect. You should hire someone else if they give you a hard time about providing references.

Hopefully you have learned some things about lawyers from this article. Using a good lawyer can make your life much easier. Use the tips you learned here and you can find and use a trustworthy lawyer that will work for you and help you out with whatever you are dealing with.


Finding Good Representation: Tips And Tricks

Have you ended up in a situation that requires a lawyer? The reasons for needing a lawyer are many and varied. Regardless of your reason for needing one, you should keep certain things in mind. This article will tell you how to find the right lawyer for you.

A good tip to remember if you’re thinking about hiring a lawyer is to take your time and make your search thorough. You shouldn’t impulsively hire a lawyer just because you need one right away. There are so many lawyers out there, that you need to be selective to get the best one for you.

When you think about hiring a specialized lawyer, do you worry about the associated increase in fees? Well, what are you willing to pay for a positive outcome? Consider the cost of losing! Also consider that the savings in time of a specialist over a generalist will save you money, lowering the total bill.

Work with your lawyer to figure out the best time to get together with them. A lot of attorneys are hired and are hard to find for quite some time afterwards. You may be able to avoid this if you come up with a schedule soon after you hire your attorney.

A good tip if you’re looking to hire a lawyer is to try to find the right lawyer for the task you need. If you’re simply wanting to draw up a contract, hiring a big shot, corporate lawyer is probably overkill and is just going to cost you a lot more.

There are some cases where you can represent yourself without an attorney, but most of the time you should get one. There are many things that a layman does not understand about the law, which is why you should hire a lawyer. You don’t want to lose your case due to a lack of common legal knowledge when you could have hired someone.

Keep away from lawyers who leave you feeling uneasy. This also goes for their fee structure. Don’t give them a blank check! Legal fees can easily spiral into the stratosphere, so get an estimate so you know how to plan.

Try to match the firm that you choose with the seriousness of the situation that you are in. If you are in a serious bind, you will want to have a big firm by your side. If you are trying to beat a moving violation, you can get a lawyer that belongs to a smaller firm.

When you hire a lawyer for a lawsuit case, hire one that will take your case on a contingency fee. If a lawyer is not willing to take your case on contingency, consider looking for a different one. If a lawyer wants to charge your hourly for this type of case, then he thinks he cannot win.

When hiring a lawyer, you want one who is productive and helpful. You ought to feel like there is someone who is on your side, ready to help you out as best as possible. Take the knowledge you have gained to navigate the legal world successfully.

Smart Tips To Help You Hire A Great Lawyer

Going through the legal system is no simple matter, no matter how uncomplicated your reasons for doing so seem to be. It’s just not wise to enter into the situation without good legal advice. The following article can help you make the right decisions when looking to hire a lawyer and what your best moves are.

Finding a good lawyer is a lot of work. You should put some time aside to do some research and give yourself a few weeks to compare different options. Meet different lawyers to get quotes and ask for advice. You should not expect to find a quality lawyer right away.

You should establish a budget before you start looking for a lawyer. Go over your finances and assess how much you can afford to spend on a lawyer. You should not let lawyers know about your budget when you ask for quotes but this is a good way to narrow down your research.

It is important that the lawyer you hire is one who is experienced on the field you need help with. For instance, if you need a lawyer for a divorce, it would not be wise to hire a lawyer specializing in taxes. When you hire a lawyer familiar with the problem, you need help with, you have a better chance of positive results.

If you have been charged with a crime, are in an accident or think you need legal help, you need to hire a lawyer. The amount of time that you wait to make this decision can be a critical factor. You want to have someone on your side that knows the law as quickly as possible.

Always communicate clearly with your lawyer. If your case involves approaching deadlines, make sure your lawyer has all the information needed. This will give you the best chance to win your case.

Always be mindful of how well you are communicated with by your lawyer. If it takes days or even weeks to receive replies to phone calls or emails, then two possibilities exist. Either your lawyer does not consider you a priority, or they are overworked. Neither situation is good for you.

Once you have decided to hire a particular lawyer, make sure you receive a written retainer letter that specifically defines the scope of representation, the details of the services you are to receive and the applicable fee structure. By doing this, you will stand a much better chance of getting precisely what you bargained for and you will have useful documentation of the intended relationship should you need to pursue the lawyer in a malpractice action at some point.

Often, lawyers are specialized in a specific area of the law. If you need a lawyer, make sure you find one that can help you in the exact area that you need. Do not try to hire a personal injury lawyer to help you with your bankruptcy. Even if you are referred by a friend, if the lawyer is not specialized in the area of law you need, then keep looking.

The legal system is complicated and overwhelming; don’t try DIY style or you risk losing before you even get started. Use the advice above and hire reliable representation for your ordeal. The lawyer you choose can mean the difference between resolution of your issue or a prolonged and dreadful experience.