• December 4, 2023
 Inside the Mind of a Legal Advisory Board Member: Tips, Perspectives and Insights

Inside the Mind of a Legal Advisory Board Member: Tips, Perspectives and Insights

Legal expertise has been the backbone of Arken’s software since 1992, shaping product development and maintaining our professional standards. Our Legal Advisory Board, made up of highly experienced legal professionals, ensures our software upholds legal best practices and keeps precedents up to date – so you don’t have to. The board is responsible for a number of things, including ongoing assessment of Arken documents in line with best practice to reviewing output of client feedback. 

Samantha Warner, Head of Product here at Arken is a member of the board. We asked her some questions so that you can get to know her better.  

What part of law do you find the most interesting?

It’s not so much the area of law as a love of gnarly legals issues. There is often a Eureka moment when you have worked through a principle to a logical conclusion and all the pieces of a piece of legal reasoning drop into place, and I still find that exciting (perhaps I need to get out more!) In terms of areas of law – I love that my job is so varied bringing in all aspects of estate planning, trusts, equity and contract law on a regular basis, and lots of other more unexpected gems every now and then. 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into the legal industry?

“Lawyer” these days does not simply mean choosing between being a barrister or solicitor. When I read law initially, I had no idea that my current type of job existed (actually it was so long ago now, that it possibly didn’t!). But a background in law is incredibly valuable and opens up a world of opportunities as in-house legal counsel, in business and in legal tech. It is a question of being open to the world of opportunities that a legal background can lead to and finding the career within those opportunities that makes you want to get up and get to work in the morning. And the legal jobs of tomorrow won’t have been invented yet. 

Would you say more companies are becoming open to legal technology?

Yes, they have to be. So many efficiencies can be gained  and so much risk can be reduced by embracing the right tech solution that companies have been forced to adapt to new technologies by competitive pressures. And in some cases it really is a case of survival of the technologically fittest – companies that do not evolve and adapt to the latest technologies in the market will undoubtedly fall behind as their competitors take advantage of their reticence.  

How do you think legal technology is evolving?

There has been an overwhelming proliferation of technical solutions to every problem that you can think of (and for many that you probably can’t). The choice is quite overwhelming sometimes, and the danger is that in trying to fill various needs that they have, companies will address the solution with multiple products. The key here is specialisation and integration. Companies need to find the best in class solution which solves the biggest number of their needs rather than juggling multiple solutions. And products which integrate with other products are the holy grail – this means that you can have best-in-class solutions across the board through a single interface which is much more efficient for the user in terms of data entry and holistic data analytics. Increasingly, the best products are looking to integrate with other “best” products and I think this trend will continue. 

How long have you been on Arken’s Legal Advisory Board?

I started the Legal Advisory Board when I joined Arken in 2018 and have really enjoyed the discussion and insights provided by the other members who have such an impressive wealth of legal and industry knowledge between them. 

Tell us a bit about your role in Arken’s Legal Advisory Board.

As Head of Product, I compile a list of questions that I would like considered around the way the Arken products operate based on customer feedback, any legal developments and any questions I have as to best practice. I then convene a meeting with the LAB to discuss these questions and decide on solutions. It is then a process of specifying any changes that are required to be made to any of the products and supervising these through the development, testing and release cycle. Happily, if any question arises on an ad hoc basis, I have the enormous experience of the LAB to call on – it really is a bit like having a Bat Phone! 

What do you think of the Arken product suite?

At the risk of sounding like an advert for breakfast cereal, Arken is the original and the best technical solution for estate planning professionals. When it was created (as Professional Wills) over 30 years ago, the Arken solution was utterly novel and innovative. There was simply nothing else like it, built by a private client solicitor it addressed the needs of the market by enabling practitioners to produce nuanced and highly complex estate planning documents consistently and with up to date precedents in a fraction of the time it would take them with manual drafting. And while the product has evolved over time, becoming a cloud-based family of integrated products, it has kept its market leading position because, even with the numerous new entrants to the market, Arken Professional still stands out as the go-to tool for the estate planning professional because of the complexity it can handle and the quality of output. With over 2 million lines of code in this one product alone, with all manner of trusts incorporated as standard, I have yet to meet the Will scenario that Arken cannot cope with (normally with no manual editing required at all.) And the same spirit of innovation continues as it did 30 years ago – we are constantly creating new products to add to the Arken suite, and partnering and integrating with other best in class solutions to give our clients the end-to-end experience they deserve. But I am biased: my job is to be a product evangelist for Arken. However, our user-feedback is glowing – just last week we got the unsolicited comment from a happy client saying of Arken Professional “I couldn’t run my business without it”  – enough said. 

What do you think of the team at Arken?

Team is a much overused word, however in the case of the Arken crew, I cannot think of a better one  – they are a group of committed people working towards a common goal alongside people they really like. People tend to vote with their feet if they aren’t happy and they will move on. Conversely, we have (in the last 3 months) celebrated a 30, 26, 15 and 10 year work anniversary (and there are many people who are about to break similar milestones). We are a happy lot, and we enjoy what we do: no-one takes themselves too seriously, but we are very serious about our collective job. I have never had the Sunday night blues since working at Arken, and that is a testament to the team. 

If you would like to find out more about our Legal Advisory Board, please contact us. 

This article was submitted to be published by Arken.legal 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.



  Transforming the global estate planning industry through advanced technology Arken.legal provides expert digital solutions for the private client and estate planning industry. Its solutions deliver business efficiencies and consistency across a practice, while enabling client acquisition through an improved customer experience. Built by private client solicitors, Arken.legal products are used by more than 500 firms including Legal practices, Accountancy practices, Will writers and Legal services businesses in the UK, as well as Trust companies in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. With 29 years' experience and more than 6 million Wills having been created using its products, today Arken.legal is a software as a service business offering secure, cloud-based solutions. The Arken Product Suite Businesses are turning to technology to enable change, increase efficiency and futureproof their incomes to suit upcoming generations and demand. The Arken product suite is designed for just this – to maximise productivity, provide interactivity and lead generation, and manage risk. It can suit any business process – whether instructions are taken virtually, in an office, remotely or via telephone. For increased efficiency, reduced re-keying and a delighted client, book a demonstration today to find out how we can help your practice. Key Services Arken Professional: A comprehensive, up-to-date and secure document generation solution built specifically for the Private Client Sector. Built by lawyers, its industry-leading software has produced over 6 million Wills. Arken Professional is the only software solution specialising in Wills that is accredited by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW). All the products on this scheme have satisfied a robust technical evaluation and are from companies that are financially sound and offer strong customer support, giving you that extra peace of mind. Arken Intestacy: The new way to increase leads and grow your business remotely.  A handy customisable tool for your website that demonstrates the circumstances if your prospective client were to die without a Will – they can then fill in their details and ask for you to help protect their estate. Arken Online Wills: A secure, online Will service. Will packs – which include a client’s Will, a Will commentary, and signing instructions – can be sent to the client immediately or reviewed before delivery. Arken Acquire: A digital fact find and lead generation tool. A tool that captures data from your clients, which is then used in the drafting of key estate planning documents. Simply email a link to your client and they can input key information that seamlessly flows into Arken Professional for drafting. Arken Lifetime: Create Inter Vivos Trusts in a fraction of the time. Trust Referencer: Get the latest on tax treatments and specific Trusts. Access the most up-to-date information to generate a personalised report for your clients, outlining the tax treatment that are relevant to both Testamentary and Inter Vivos Trusts. Arken Anywhere: The power of Arken on-the-move. Access an offline version of Arken Professional that will synchronise with your account once you’re back online. Arken API: A seamless transfer of data and reduction of re-keying. Details shared between your case management solution and Arken Professional.       Dave Newick, Chief Executive Officer of Arken.legal, said:
“We work in partnership with our clients to understand their key processes and provide the most efficient digital solutions for their Private Client business. The industry has begun its digitisation journey – it’s time to consider the best route within it for your business. Can you use technology to be more adaptable, more engaged, to provide a better customer experience? Can you use technology to automate low-level tasks, enabling you to focus on what really matters? It’s time to take the digital leap and benefit from the efficiencies it provides.”

          Testimonials Sophie Yates, Director, Fodens Solicitors Limited
“Arken is an absolutely fantastic tool. It is extremely easy to use and has helped our practices in Will drafting to a huge extent. I could not be without it now. I would recommend to any legal specialist looking to invest in Will writing software. Very cost effective too.”
Gemma Garen, Director of Quality and Compliance, Ellisons Solicitors
“We did a careful review of available solutions and chose Arken, as it has a very user-friendly and intuitive user experience, helped us with an improvement in our working practices, introduced time efficiencies and facilitated our ability to standardise our processes and mitigate our risks. The support team at Arken are excellent – very responsive and invested time to understand our needs. We had extensive support before and after going live. Arken is very easy to use, the templates are consistent and we have reliable support.”
Craig Webb, Head of Legal Operations, Brethertons LLP
“…Our staff have found Will drafting in Arken very easy to use and enjoy the questionnaire format which guides them through the process from beginning to end. It is very reassuring to know that our lawyers are all following the same process, producing Wills with a good level of consistency and that all clauses used are up to date. Preparing ‘mirror’ Wills is now particularly easy using Arken, and the systems’ intelligence to amend third person singular pronouns (he, she, his, hers), has eradicated these type of typographical mistakes. We have recently added Arken Acquire to our subscription and are looking forward to the further streamlining of our processes that this service can offer.”
Matthew Field, Director, SMR Solicitors
“We have found Arken to be a valuable tool for our private client team in terms of efficiency and consistency and we would highly recommend it to law firms looking for a professional solution.”
Eric Britt, Executive Consultant, Integrity Wills & Legal Services
"I have been using Arken Will writing software for a number of years, and have found it excellent, and easy to use. The support from the office has been exceptional whenever I have needed it, with a quick response and great patience at times. I would certainly recommend the software and also the company without any hesitation."
Contact Details
Address: Arken.legal (UK) Limited General Wolfe House 83 High Street Westerham Kent TN16 1PG
Tel: +44 (0)1732 867792 Website: www.arken.legal
LinkedIn: arken-legal
Key Contact
Name: Bethany Crease
Tel: (0)1732 867792
Email: bethany.crease@arken.legal
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