Ultimately, the move could spell the end of the court-based insistence that all parties should work purely with paper based files and documents. Annual savings in excess of 60% are expected when compared with like-for-like manual processes. Over the course of a year it is expected that these savings could exceed £100,000 per court.
The new solution digitally replaces the time-consuming and expensive paper-based administrative processes that inhibit the effectiveness of the UK court service. By eliminating paper-based practices the Digital Courtrooms solution enables court processes to be streamlined, significantly reducing costs, removing the stress of missing files and greatly boosting efficiency.
The digital courtroom process has three key components: the Data Room, Digital eBundling and Technical Support.
The Data Room is the digital courtroom component, supplied by ProjectFusion. This provides a simple to use virtual interface, which delivers a secure digital space protected by the latest and leading security technology. Here, all the files and bundles required for cases are held in one single repository, which is accessible 24/7/365. This means that, for the first time, those wishing to prepare for a case in advance can do so securely online at their own convenience.
Zylpha’s widely acclaimed digital bundling software eliminates the strain of creating and maintaining paper court bundles and removes the risk of lost documents. The digital bundles can be updated, repaginated and distributed safely in a matter of minutes – a process that previously took many hours to complete. Zylpha’s software also ensures that the highest levels of encryption and security protect documents and files sent between parties. This eliminates the need for expensive mail and bike couriers.
The final element is a high quality support programme, which has been exclusively developed for Digital Courtrooms. The support team is supplied through South London Legal Partnership, the shared legal services operation for Kingston, Merton, Sutton and Richmond councils. With their considerable expertise SLLP will manage the onboarding and support of clients, using the latest techniques to ensure the highest levels of practice and compliance.
Commenting on the launch Zylpha CEO Tim Long noted,
“The time has come to move the court system into the 21st century. The legal profession should be free to concentrate on the law and not be tied up with paper-based administrative duties. The Digital Courtrooms solution makes this possible and we are delighted to play a part in this historic development.”
ProjectFusion’s MD Angus Bradley welcomed Tim Long’s comments adding,
“The court system hasn’t moved to digital before now as the quality of the technology did not warrant it. Now, however, the technology to effect this change has arrived using the very latest digital data room and document bundling systems, backed by the highest quality support. With these factors in place, the UK court system can now rest assured that the documents held for a case are safer, managed more efficiently and far more accessible. There is no reason then why this solution should not soon become a best-practice approach for all the UK’s courts.”
For his part, Paul Phelan Legal Practice Manager of South London Legal Partnership noted,
“ With our experience of delivering legal services across four London boroughs and the successful pilot we are involved in at West London Family Court, we have the knowledge of how a digital courtroom system should be run. We are ideally placed to onboard and support people as part of this exciting new service and we are confident that this new solution will deliver major benefits. We are already seeing the benefits of this approach to UK courts, Local Authorities and all those connected with cases run through digital courtrooms.”
Those behind Digital Courtrooms expect to announce details of the first courts to go digital in the very near future.