Aidan Donnelly - Partner Solicitor, Murlands.
I first became aware of Briefed when I noticed some Counsel using the software at Court. I spoke to Orlagh about the product and realised that although Briefed was specifically designed with Counsel in mind this was clearly a product that would also be useful for Solicitors, particularly court-based solicitors who are often on the move between offices, courts and consultations. And so I took on a licence to test run that theory.
Having now used Briefed for quite some time I am impressed with the results for several reasons:
1. The product is designed to be quick and simple to use, and it is. It has easy to manage drop-down menus and a facility to incorporate customised fee items. I have it running on my office PC, iPhone and iPad. It is also running on my PA’s PC so that she can also upload fee-earning items. This enables me to keep track of all work done whilst on the move by recording it instantaneously and accurately in seconds. This means that phone calls, emails and even text messages that might previously have gone unrecorded are now all accounted for. These days clients will invariably have my mobile number and it was difficult to keep track of all mobile calls, especially when out of the office. Not any longer.
2. The fact that I now have a contemporaneous note of all fees and outlays on every case means that I can keep on top of interim billing which is something that most solicitors will recognise as an important area which required improvement especially in the last few years. The net result has been a welcome improvement in cash flow.
3. I am also able to better manage clients’ expectations regarding their bill with the service of detailed, itemised accounts with each bill, especially interim bills.
4. Finally as most Legal Aid solicitors will recognise often many hours are spent completing fee schedules once a case is complete. By keeping a contemporaneous track of all fee-earning items Briefed allows me to simply hit ‘print’ for the delivery of a schedule of work and the total claimed.
5. An advantage with Briefed is that individual solicitors within a firm can use the licence to independently manage their own caseload, in accordance with their particular needs, without having to integrate with others.