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NetDocuments enables Keystone Law’s ‘lawyer-first’ approach

NetDocuments enables Keystone Law’s ‘lawyer-first’ approach

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By leveraging NetDocuments’ Document Management System (DMS), Keystone Law has enabled its lawyers to securely access, share and collaborate on documents from any location.

Background on Keystone Law

Established in 2002, Keystone Law is an award-winning UK law firm that operates a consultancy business model wherein lawyers use technology and modern working practices to drive productivity and deliver results. It provides clients with high-quality legal advice from lawyers who are of an exceptional calibre. In 2017, it became the third firm in the UK to be listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Today, Keystone Law has more than 400 lawyers, 47 support staff and many thousands of clients. The firm was also named Law Firm of the Year at The Lawyer Awards 2020 and recognised as one of the best law firms in UK by The Times.

Keystone Law continues accelerated growth and ‘lawyer-first strategy’ supported by NetDocuments

Unlike traditional law firms, Keystone Law operates a consultancy business model. It puts the lawyer first, giving them the tools and flexibility to run their practice from any location. The lawyers are self-employed consultants, who retain up to 75% of their billing. This business model provides Keystone Law with several competitive advantages over traditional law firms including reduced overhead costs, attractive remuneration and the ability to provide a high-quality service from wherever the lawyer feels comfortable.

Despite the challenges presented by the global pandemic, Keystone Law has continued to grow as the consultancy model has been truly validated. It has shined a light on the importance of flexibility, agility and having a ‘lawyer-first’ approach, something that has been at the heart of Keystone Law since it was founded.

In 2020, Keystone Law achieved revenue growth of 10.9% to £55 million. It also welcomed 58 new senior level lawyers to the firm, increasing the total number of senior lawyers by 16% to 369. New lawyers joined from top UK firms such as Charles Russell Speechlys, Clifford Chance and Fieldfisher.

At the same time investors have recognised the potential in the consultancy model with the Keystone Law’s share price increasing over 300% since its listing on AIM – now valued at a significant premium to its listed peers.

Adoption of NetDocuments underpins consultancy model and improves productivity

In 2015, Keystone Law implemented NetDocuments as its Document Management System (DMS) which became an integral part of its suite of technology tools to enable its lawyers to work flexibly, from anywhere and on any device. Now supporting around 450 users, NetDocuments’ cloud-based platform ensures files and documents can be easily and securely stored, and accessed from any location. Having this central storage and the collaboration it enables is core to supporting the business consultancy model.

NetDocuments provides a single point of truth, enabling lawyers to collaborate with each other, ensuring documents can be easily accessed. NetDocuments’ predictive filing capabilities also improve productivity, reducing the time spent searching for documents. The advanced versioning feature also ensures the latest document can be found and there is no confusion when reviewing and editing documents. The firm uses a full set of NetDocuments products including:

  • ndMail integrates with Outlook, providing an improved user experience ensuring files are never lost and can be easily accessed whenever they are needed. It uses predictive filing – powered by Artificial Intelligence – to make inboxes more organised, collaborative and efficient for users.
  • ndOffice integrates with Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, Outlook and Adobe Acrobat and Reader to help manage documents and emails without leaving the Office application, providing a seamless user experience.
  • ndLink links to the time and billing software ensuring client matters lists are easily and quickly updated. 
  • ndSync is a robust, reliable two-way file syncing solution for Macs and PCs that supports remote users’ productivity by giving them secure, local access to every file and document they need, regardless of Internet connection.
  • ndMirror backs up data and metadata to a local server or network drive. Its primary purposes are for Disaster Recovery and to facilitate external searching. Metadata is stored in SQL databases, which offer access to metadata for queries.

Maurice Tunney, Director of Technology and Innovation at Keystone Law, said: “Our IT infrastructure reflects the firm’s ethos by ensuring that, from the moment a lawyer joins, they are fully equipped to work securely – from any location and without restrictions on connectivity. NetDocuments is core to enabling this, providing a central location for lawyers to work on and save files anywhere, while also improving their productivity.”

A marriage made in heaven with Keyed-In

NetDocuments integrates perfectly with Keystone Law’s own platform called Keyed-In. Keyed-In is a collaboration hub that is used every day, bringing the benefits of NetDocuments while also providing a central workspace to improve productivity and collaboration. NetDocuments integration with the Keyed-In platform provides all the tools required for lawyers to deliver a seamless service to clients from anywhere they choose, ultimately letting them work in a way that is best suited to them. The combination of both platforms provides a central workspace that helps to reduce processes and makes the lawyers’ lives easier. By automating mundane tasks, lawyers save time and effort, giving them more time to spend on higher value tasks such as client management.

“NetDocuments integration with our own platform Keyed-In provides the perfect foundation for lawyers to work together seamlessly, helping to provide a collaborative team-based environment. We designed the platform with the lawyers in mind, constantly evolving it to meet their needs. It gives them the power to run the business from wherever they are, enabling them to control their own destiny when it comes to working,” Tunney continued.

Increased security and compliance

NetDocuments also ensures the firm’s document management is compliant and secure as possible. The advanced security capabilities provide the firm with added confidence that sensitive documents and files are safe from improper and unauthorised use. Only lawyers working on a particular matter will have authorised access to it. The platform’s advanced security features ensure data is always backed up, secured and properly regulated to maintain compliance.

“One of the biggest benefits of the NetDocuments platform is ensuring compliance. As our teams continue to grow and there is much more information to manage, it really comes into its own by helping to see who is working on each matter while making sure data does not fall into the wrong hands,” added Tunney.

A robust and agile platform to support future growth

As the global pandemic has shifted working practices, demand for the consultancy model is only set to increase. It has broken down traditional barriers and promoted better flexibility, giving even more validation to move to the consultancy model. NetDocuments’ integration with Keyed-In will support Keystone Law’s flexible business model as it continues on its upward trajectory. Ultimately, providing lawyers with the best possible technology tools to make their lives easier and gives the ability to run and a build a practice the way they want to.

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