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How one legal firm seeking to modernise their department, sought help from Exizent and gained unexpected benefits

Burrell Jenkins Solicitors have offered bespoke legal services in Cannock, England for over 100 years. Their aim as a company has always been to provide clients with their vast experience and expertise, ensuring that cases are managed with the utmost professionalism and excellence, every time.

Jack Parton, Trainee Solicitor, joined Burrell Jenkins Solicitors in 2020 with a wealth of knowledge, not specifically on probate practices, but in other areas of law from his previous position at a legal 200firm and within the criminal defence sector. He saw first-hand how technology was a common tool in these roles and the potential that innovative cloud-based software has. It was these skills that Senior Partner, Paul Jenkins, saw as a real advantage to their high street firm and sought advice from Jack on helping the company improve, bringing his experience gained through other firms to help modernise the business, as part of the Private Client department.

Download the full case study to read later here.

First Impressions of Probate

As someone who hadn’t worked in probate before, Jack was able to take a fresh perspective on the department and look at the processes in place. He immediately observed that with no specific software in place it was very much paper-based and highly time consuming. As a team of two, Jack and Julie Minton, Secretary, knew it was vital to make big changes within the department that would significantly reduce time spent on administration and allow the department to grow.

“After spending a bit of time getting my head around how probate works, how you administer estates etc. and as I was just becoming more comfortable with that, it just sort of happened! I got a call from one of the sales team at Exizent who said, ‘we’ve got this great probate platform that I think will really help your business and save you lots of time, would you like a demo?’ And I jumped at the opportunity, had the demo and instantly saw the advantages of the platform!”

Reaping the benefits of introducing technology

There were three big factors in selecting an appropriate software that Jack looked for.

  1. The software had to be user friendly in order for the whole company to successfully adopt and buy into the solution.
  2. The next point, of course, was cost. Jack needed to ensure that the software he chose was cost efficient and that he could successfully show return of investment to the Senior Partner.
  3. That led him to his final point, the software needed to save the team time, so that the company can operate efficiently, and expand.

Exizent ticked all of these boxes for Burrell Jenkins, but it wasn’t until they began to use the software to its full potential that they saw just how important it would be for their department’s growth.

Prior to using the platform, the probate team were completing a large probate case involving around £130,000 in Inheritance tax; this meant a lot of administration, a full IHT400 with schedules and a complete PA1A. Having to use their old process of excel documents and a document sharing solution, meant laborious time spent for both Jack and Julie to complete the case. Speaking of the case Jack commented:

“It took me hours and hours probably about three and a bit hours to get it to a point where I could park it to the side, come back to it at a later date and proof it to make sure it was accurate and OK to send.

That really showed me the advantages of Exizent because going forward I’d input matters onto the platform, and it was great, really quick, and easy to use! I just click go, click autofill and it automatically does the IHT400, all of the schedules and the PA1A for me! So, all I have to do is proof it, and that takes me about 20 minutes. To go from three and a half to four hours down to 20 minutes is a huge advantage!”

Time saving benefits were seen by everyone involved, Julie significantly reduced her time spent on administration per case and was able to focus on other value adding matters. The partners of the firm saw the efficiency benefit with the value of being able to do other tasks and the clients experienced a more streamlined department.

Prior to using Exizent, when clients would call for an update, it would take Jack some time to go and explore their case through the paper documents, the online files and excel spreadsheets they used, to get an overview of where the case was. The team were missing that quick case overview. With Exizent, they can now give clients an update there and then on the phone. Having a quick 30 second glance at their case dashboard they can easily see where they are with that case, if they’re waiting for institutions to respond or waiting to receive more information, or if in fact they’re ready to apply for the Grant or not. This improved case overview not only benefits the probate team and Burrell Jenkins as a whole but significantly helps build that relationship between the firm and the client, with the clients significantly benefiting.

“From a relationship perspective, it improves the relationship with the client and provides that more personal touch which many seek during this difficult time. If our client’s happy and feels we’re “on it”, then ultimately, they are going to trust that their matter is being handled and managed effectively.”

Overcoming pushback

As with introducing any software into a firm, particularly one which ran a certain way for many years, Jack wasn’t surprised to receive a bit of initial reluctance in adopting Exizent’s technology.

Continuing reading our Case Study by clicking here and discover the pushback Jack received and how he turned the team around to full adoption.

This article was submitted to be published by Exizent as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Wills and Probate. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Wills and Probate.

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