When David Lee, IT Director at Bond Dickinson decided to implement the review and upgrade of the firm’s legal templates and their integration with the document management system, he was faced with three options:
Despite having excellent in house skills, the first option was not considered viable within the time constraints of the project. The second option did not offer the flexibility that the firm needed and moreover it would still have involved further development and coding. The third option allowed Bond Dickinson to specify exactly what they wanted and keep control of time and budget.
Armed with a list of requirements, a time frame for delivery and a budget, Bond Dickinson arranged a meeting with Brochet, Microsoft Word and software developers. From the outset David was impressed by Nikki Pike’s (Founding Director of Brochet) knowledge of the legal market and her understanding of what clients needed from a legal template system. Underpinned by Brochet’s ethos of developing solutions that are matched to the users’ needs and the founders’ commitment to understanding Word, the relationship was formed.
Bond Dickinson and Brochet share the understanding that Microsoft Word is a business critical application. The team at Brochet are dedicated to providing a user-experience tailored to their clients’ way of working so that user training needs are kept to a minimum.
Throughout the project, the teams at Bond Dickinson and Brochet worked together to ensure that the end user had everything that they required to deliver the quality of service that Bond Dickinson represents. The Brochet team’s unique ability to understand what the end user needed at their fingertips met Bond Dickinson’s list of requirements and developed and improved some of them along the way. Not only did this give Bond Dickinson a more flexible approach to their legal template system, it also gave them control of the IP, so now Bond Dickinson was not just working within a set framework – they owned their framework.
One of the first developments resulting from this close working relationship was the installation of Brochet Paste. At this stage Brochet Paste was in its embryonic stage, but the close working relationship between client and developer allowed Brochet Paste to evolve whilst in a real environment. Officially launched to the wider legal market at the end of 2015, Brochet Paste allows users to convert or repair legal numbered documents into the house style. It will clean up documents removing unwanted Word styles; re-applying styles to ensure accurate auto-numbering (removing manual numbering, correcting non-sequential numbering, applying correct Operative and Schedule styles); and inserting numbered text from other sources – email, web, pdf.
The result of this close collaboration between supplier and client was the roll out of the new legal template system to 1,350 desk tops over a 24 hour period with no service issues, along with the installation of Brochet Paste. This exceptional achievement was delivered on time and within budget. 18 months later it has bedded down to a well-used, stable system.
David puts the success of the project down to trust.
“In this type of project you must have faith in the people that you involve and trust them to deliver. This can only be achieved if you feel 100% confident that the people you are working with understand your requirements and have the technical ability to deliver – this is what I have with Brochet.”
The roll-out stretched across numerous sites. The template suite is used on a day-to-day basis by a range of users, from senior fee earners to legal secretaries. Reflecting back on the project David reiterates what he wanted from the outset:
“We wanted to engage with someone, we wanted to communicate with a company that could offer us solutions, not amendments to an existing off-the-shelf product. We wanted the expertise of a developer who understood how law firms work with documentation at a detailed level. We wanted the ongoing support from a company not just an after sales call. This is what Brochet offered us and this is what we still have with them. I am immensely proud of what we delivered to the company and without Brochet, I know we would not have achieved this as easily as we did.
“I value Nikki’s knowledge and passion for her work and I consider her and the team at Brochet to be an extension of my department. By having such a relationship with Brochet I am able to call on them for advice and support and to discuss new ideas which are in the pipeline, which all have the same desired outcome – to facilitate and deliver the high levels of service that Bond Dickinson stand for by allowing our end users to have the very best applications at their fingertips.”