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Case study: South London Legal Partnership

July 2015

South London Legal Partnership, the first four-borough shared legal service in the UK comprising Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Kingston Councils continue to benefit from Zylpha’s electronic document bundling software integration for their Visualfiles case management system.

Merton adopted Zylpha Court Bundling in early 2012 and has developed the use of the product across the four councils in the ensuing two years.

Zylpha has also helped Legal Practice Manager Paul Phelan standardise his Case Management Solutions providing technical and consultancy services. The South London Legal Partnership is a role model in modern public service thinking.

What were the challenges?

The primary challenge was driving down cost, this led the search for inefficiencies within the legal service departments. The key areas of focus were manual tasks, duplication of effort, waste and inefficient IT systems.

The Solution

Paul Phelan realised that by creating a substantial Legal Shared Services department he could radically change the model and the cost effectiveness by using the best of breed IT solutions.

Initially Merton and Richmond merged their Legal Services and Paul set about eliminating the inefficiencies and waste. Part of that solution was the Zylpha Bundling and Electronic Delivery software.

As Paul moved to standardise the Case Management he selected the Visualfiles solution from Lexis Nexis. Zylpha consultants helped with the implementation and the tailoring of the system to suit the needs of the South London Legal Partnership.

Once the model had been established Sutton and Kingston then joined to establish the South London Legal Partnership.

This model represents one of the most efficient legal services in the country as well as being the largest currently consisting of four London Boroughs and represents the future of local authority cost efficiencies without
reducing services.

Other areas in London and the South of England will follow to learn from the process prototyped by Paul Phelan over the next few years.

Paul Phelan, Legal Practice Manager, South London Legal Partnership:

“We were familiar with Zylpha from the standalone document bundling system that we used at Merton. This had worked very well in practice, so it was a natural development to use the latest version of Zylpha as a standardised system across the boroughs. With Zylpha in place, preparing court bundles can be done in a fraction of the time previously taken and with the latest SafeDrop system from Zylpha we have greatly improved our secure document delivery systems too.

Quite apart from the benefits of speed Zylpha will also save us an enormous amount of time and money, especially in the areas of storage, printing, DX and couriers. The system is also extremely easy to use and this allows us to train staff in-house. In addition, working on a consultancy basis, Zylpha has helped us a great deal by integrating these systems with our Visualfiles case management system. Indeed, their product knowledge of Visualfiles is highly impressive and this allows us to tailor the system, as we need it. I would also commend Zylpha’s customer service in general as they are highly responsive to our requests.”

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