Legal systems company Zylpha (www.zylpha.com) has launched a cloud-based legal panel automation system specifically for local authorities. The authorities use the panel system to manage the distribution of legal cases to specialist panels of barristers representing them. Zylpha’s new Panel Management System automates this process completely and delivers high quality management information to users on the progress and cost of cases.
Originally, the concept for the system was the brainchild of Gerard Kamath (Joint Legal Services Business Manager, for the London Boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark). As Lambeth is sharing legal services with Southwark, they identified the need to have an automated system to make the process more seamless for both boroughs as part of the Shared Resources initiative. With this in mind, they brought the idea to Zylpha, who were happy to develop the solution which is now in place at both Lambeth and Southwark.
The Zylpha system uses the Microsoft Azure Cloud to create a single point solution. Accessible by the local authorities, its solicitors and barristers, the software comprises a central database which holds detailed information on all the cases allocated to the barristers. Key features include: a secure .pdf format distribution facility for case documentation, the on-line acceptance or refusal of cases by chambers and case progress metrics. There is also a financial analysis function which lists costs by case, barrister, chambers, internal department and case type.
Also delivered by the system are a full range of KPI’s related to timescales and success rates. A fully automated billing system with invoice images and related XML files for both the local authorities and the Clerks of the various Chambers is being developed to integrate with back office systems, eliminating further duplication of administrative tasks.
In practise, each fee earner at each local authority has a login to the cloud-based website and once connected can add each case as part of the instruction process. At this stage an email is generated and sent to the barrister and the clerk in chambers as notification. The barrister selected then keeps the system updated, whilst the local authority monitors the progress of the case. At the completion of the case the barrister simply adds the result to the on-line system. Local authorities pay on a charge per case basis. Zylpha manage the site and cover all the costs.
Commenting on the launch of the new system Mark Hynes, the Head of Governance and Democracy, London Borough of Lambeth and Vice President of ACSeS (Association of Council Secretaries and Solicitors) said, “Now that we at Lambeth & Southwark have jointly put in the initial effort to develop the Panel Management System, by working with Zylpha, other authorities can benefit too; without the need to undertake a procurement exercise, any capital investment or any IT implementation related issues.”
For his part Tim Long, CEO of Zylpha believes the new system will succeed because the idea originated from those working in the sector. In his view, “The benefits of the system are numerous and include greater governance and enhanced control over the compliance processes involved. Costs and case times are also reduced as the KPI’s significantly improve the Panel selection and management processes. All in all, therefore, there are benefits for all parties at all levels. Consequently we are already seeing that interest in this new system is extremely high.”
About Zylpha (www.zylpha.com)
Headquartered in Southampton Zylpha is an innovative specialist in secure electronic document production and delivery. The company, which was founded by Tim Long its MD, has won widespread acclaim in both the legal and local government sectors for its systems which transform secure communications for court and case management bundles.
Zylpha Users also include: The London Borough of Hounslow, Leicester City Council, London Borough of Southwark, Brighton and Hove City Council and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
For further information please contact:
Gerard Kamath at Lambeth
Tim Long at Zylpha
Leigh Richards at The Right Image