The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Insight Legal is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.
Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
9INSIGHT LEGAL |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
Professional Services Director,
Our accessible and intuitive software
brings together law and finance to
address clients’ software needs
Insight Legal is an independent software company dedicated
to the design, development, supply and support of specialist
software for law firms. Since launching in 2011, the firm has
grown from a single location in Hampshire to opening additional
offices in Belfast and Glasgow. With a sound foundation of
expertise and a fresh approach, it brings together law, finance,
technology and business. Professional Services Director Deborah
Edwards discusses the challenges and successes of a start-up
company that has grown from strength to strength.
Law firms are unique entities, and they have a number of factors that set them
apart from other commercial organisations and professional service providers.
In launching Insight Legal, our primary goal was to produce a fully featured and
easy to use software system specifically for legal practices, while ensuring that it
remained usable, affordable and accessible.
What we do
We produce software for law firms. Our system enables firms to manage their
finances and clients’ legal accounts, alongside producing letters and documents,
completing legal forms, recording their time and managing their compliance.
There are many software systems available to law firms, offering varying levels of
assistance and automation. Having all worked in legal technology for many years, we
as directors of the company saw the launch of a new software product as an exciting
»Directors: Deborah Edwards,
Brian Welsh, Tim Smith
»Established in 2011
»Head office in Farnborough,
»Offices also in Glasgow and
»Services: Design and
development of specialist
software for law firms
»No. of employees: 22, plus
»We combine technology,
business, law and finance
»Our staff are spread across
our offices in Farnborough,
Glasgow and Belfast and
range in age from 21-68
»Customer retention currently
99.3 per cent
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
10 | INSIGHT LEGAL
opportunity to return to basics and
place the focus back on customer care
and personal service. At the same time,
we had to appreciate that encouraging
firms to invest in new technologies was
likely to be achallenge.
Launching a new company during
the recession was daunting. We put
many hours into driving the business
forward, and we could see the results
first-hand. The exact figure is unknown,
but somewhere between 40 and 50
per cent of new start-up businesses in
the UK fail within their first five years.
We realised we had to have something
unique, and that if our business was to
succeed, then we would not only have
to be efficient and effective ourselves,
but also bring those same efficiencies
to our customers.
Doing things differently
Back in 2011, when we first formed,
it was traditional in the legal software
market to charge an upfront purchase
fee for software and then a smaller
ongoing monthly or annual fee for
software updates and support. It would
have been tempting for us to do the
same to recover the inevitable start-up
costs of the business, but we knew a
different approach was necessary.
We built our business model around
recurring revenue on an SaaS –
software as a service – basis. We made
it easy for firms to afford the software
by eliminating any upfront cost and
instead only charging a monthly
fee. This meant that they could
consider changing software systems
without the prospect of taking out a
finance agreement or making a large
We also ensured that we priced
our software and services extremely
competitively, offering not just
software and training, but also project
management and data migration.
All of this was provided on a rolling
monthly contract, so customers would
be taking very little risk and could walk
away at short notice if they chose.
To do so much work for no immediate
financial return must have seemed
ridiculous at first. Indeed, some
potential customers thought it too
good to be true.
We firmly believed, however, that
our offering demonstrated our
commitment to our business and
to our customers. There could
be absolutely no doubt that our
customers’ satisfaction was our
Law is not just a profession; it is also
a business. Despite the somewhat
staid reputation that some solicitors’
practices may have, there can be no
doubt that, in recent years, there has
been a significant increase in firms
embracing change and wanting to
increase their operational efficiencies.
Encouraging firms to look at taking on
our software became not just about
explaining the cost, but demonstrating
the value. We became innovators,
thought leaders and trusted advisors,
going the extra mile to prove to
our customers that we wanted to
Insight Legal’s stand at
a legal conference in
Glasgow – one of the
many we attend
If our business
we would not
only have to
11INSIGHT LEGAL |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
Continuing our success
We’ve always been careful to not
employ “pushy” sales tactics. Despite
knowing the huge benefits of our
service, we appreciate that the time
may not be right for some firms and,
for others, it may not be quite the right
solution – which brings us to one of
our key values: honesty.
We maintain that if we feel our
software is not right for a firm, we
will be the first to tell them. We have
no intention of selling a customer
anything that they don’t need.
We continue to innovate with our
product, making sure that we stay
up-to-date with regulatory changes in
both law and finance.
The Solicitors’ Regulation Authority,
the Law Societies of England & Wales,
Scotland, Northern Ireland & the
Republic of Ireland and HMRC all
have their own constantly evolving
rules and regulations that we have to
ensure our software is compliant with
– not to mention the technological
advances we have to continually stay
While the image that some people
have of a solicitor is someone working
in an office surrounded by books, the
reality is that our users need to be
more mobile than ever.
The development of our mobile app
and the increase in the use of cloud
technology have enabled us to provide
our customers with solutions to
meet their business challenges and,
ultimately, guarantee stable growth.
As a company, we strive to provide a
personal service that some may not
expect from a technology provider.
So, instead of the usual call centre
assistance or online live chat, we
provide instant telephone-based
support to assist our customers when
they need help.
Our approach has proven to be
successful – we are the software
of choice for over 600 law firms. In
addition, we have been the proud
recipient of the Solicitors’ Software
Users Award for 2016, 2017 and 2018
from the Institute of Legal Finance
We are proud that other software
companies in our market, most much
larger than us and some multi-national
corporations, consider us to be critical
Our support staff are trained in
finance, and often come from legal
backgrounds, meaning that we truly
understand what our customers do
and want to achieve.
We’re a technology company at heart,
but we are also real people with a
passion to deliver the service that we’d
want to receive ourselves.
firms to look at
taking on our
became not just
the cost, but
Raising the profile of Insight
Legal through exhibitions
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review
This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.
In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.
We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.
With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.
And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.
As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.