Welcome to the ‘Horizon’

October 2020 Issue

Well, hello to you all and I hope this latest edition of our Horizon publication finds you well.

Richard RoebuckThere’s been such a lot of activity in and around Legal IT in recent times, so it was difficult to know how to use my strictly limited column space to best effect! There’s, some interesting articles in this edition particularly “A whole new world of security”. It’s an area which everybody seems to be mindful of, but also an area where people don’t really know where to start or what to do when facing the day to day realities of running a busy practice. Sadly, it seems to me that true and meaningful engagement on this, only happens when either an individual or an entire organisation has succumbed to the ever more advancing (and usually costly) exploit. It’s an area that we ourselves take very seriously indeed, but one where we are only one piece, albeit significant, in the overall jigsaw.

At the root of all evil at this moment in time, email! For legal firms, the hustle, bustle and everyday pressures upon fee earners make them particularly vulnerable to email-based attacks, the most prevalent being ‘Man in the middle’, ‘Phishing’ or a clever combination of both.

A man-in-the-middle attack usually involves three players. The victim, the person with whom the victim is trying to communicate, and the criminal, notably the “man in the middle,” i.e. the actual real-world person who is intercepting the victim’s communications. Critical to this scenario is that the victim isn’t aware of the man in the middle.

Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting the email accounts of banks and other financial institutions. Once they gain access (usually by enticing unsuspecting users to click on a link embedded within an email – the Phishing element), they then monitor transactions between the bank and its customers e.g. your organisations accounts department. The attackers then spoof the bank’s email address and send their own instructions to your hoodwinked user, usually within meaningful context, making the intrusion even harder to detect. This in turn convinces your employee to follow the attackers’ instructions rather than the bank’s. As a result, an unwitting employee may end up transferring funds directly into the attackers’ hands.

As with the last decades drive to reduce the burden of paper within our sector, today we need to look at how we drive down the sheer volume of email transactions we undertake daily, especially those where content is financially based. Every ‘type’ of email we remove from circulation is one more significant threat removed. As with the reduction of paper a long and arduous process for many, we must start somewhere. Over the weeks and months ahead, we will be sharing with you further detailed insight and the viable steps you can take towards greatly improving your resilience to such vulnerabilities.

Enjoy the read and do stay safe.

– Richard Roebuck, Managing Director

Virtual LALY Award Show

In light of the recent Covid-19 climate, this year’s LALY award show was held as a virtual event! This not only allowed the event to trial a new era of hosting and connecting with legal aid workers, but it also opened the doors to many new attendees that may have not been able to attend otherwise. It was truly a delight to watch the night unfold and to sponsor the “Legal Aid Team” category, Nicola Burgess accepted the award on behalf of the team over at JCWI – it was clear that the team had demonstrated through their tireless efforts that they go above and beyond for their clients to provide them with justice, ongoing legal support and much needed compassion. A huge well done to them!

A big well done to the Legal Aid Practitioners Team for pulling off a great virtual event!

New and Improved Products to Watch Out For

During the past few months our dedicated team have been able to assess what a firm needs to survive the current climate and come out of the other side successfully and in better shape. As a result, we have looked at our product portfolios across all three brands and have added new and exciting products to the mix and upgraded existing website integrations to ensure a more effective online presence for your firm.

Online Will Planner
Website Integrations
Security & Hosting Solutions

What’s new?

A Whole New World of Security

At Accesspoint Technologies we have seen many SME firms benefit from a recent wave of new opportunities as the world enters a new digital way of life. However, along with those opportunities a new wave of security threats, have come along as well and SME firms continue to be the most vulnerable to it.

Recent Data Breach Reports state that 52% of all breaches featured hacking and 71% of breaches were financially motivated. As cyber-attacks are becoming more intelligent the security solutions available must also become more sophisticated.

Our team of legal IT specialists are trained to ensure that firms have the best support and maintenance available to stay protected from threats.

Need to know – Cyber Essentials now form part of the Lexcel requirements, as such all Legal Aid firms will need to comply and attain accreditation as soon as possible – We can help your firm gain its certification through our partners and security consultants.

Discover our Cyber Security Solutions

Cyber Essentials
Penetration Testing
Phishing Awareness
ESET Anti-Virus
Mimecast Mail Protect
Device Encryption
Mobile Device Management

Check IT Out!

We have recently revamped our Accesspoint Technology website to include a wealth of new informative material as well as useful features to improve your experience and suit the dynamic needs of your firm.

Check IT Out

New Features

Support Service

The new site is equipped with an easy to use ticket request feature, so any issues our clients may be facing can be dealt with as soon as possible.

Interesting Articles

Our articles page is the best place to help you keep up with relevant news and industry insights from our highly experienced team, so you don’t get lost in the noise.

Product Offerings

Now you can have the wide range of product offerings at the touch of a button, we’ve provided an easy to read layout by creating two categories of essential legal software and innovative solutions, so picking out products is well navigated and informed for your firm.

Technical Services

The services page is equipped with our latest offerings in cloud hosting, Microsoft services, business continuity and device management.

New Solutions

As experienced legal IT specialists we make it our mission to partner with the best companies that can assist us with providing your firm essential backup options, cyber security, business and printing solutions.

Online Booking

For convenience with our new online booking feature your firm can choose from a range of options including free consultation appointments, booking project meetings, site surveys and more.

Meet the Teams

Our team’s page allows you to get a better look at who you’re dealing with and see their personal description of what makes them such an essential part of our team. 

Visit Our New Website

Case Study

Embracing the Cloud

Prince Evans Solicitors LLP, is a leading West London law firm, offering a full-service range of legal advice to their diverse client base. Prince Evans work in a number of specialist areas and niche markets, their experienced team continue to provide excellent expertise in all areas of business, property and people law to include corporate transactions, commercial property, social housing and new build homes conveyancing, litigation and personal injury, private client work and much more.

The issue seen in this case was that for some time, Prince Evans had been operating with a myriad of site-based software controlling the various aspects of the firm, which as a result didn’t provide the joined-up approach the firm was looking for. With a software vendor issuing end of support on one of the software provisions and their site based network infrastructure coming to its replacement anniversary, Prince Evans proactively began to investigate their desire to not only consolidate their software provisions, but also embrace cloud hosting technology.

Consequently, Prince Evans explored their options and engaged with software vendors and Accesspoint Technologies who helped them ensure the best plan of action was provided to cater to the current and future needs of the firm.  Prince Evans selected their new practice management software and removed a large footprint of their site-based network infrastructure.

Accesspoint Technologies partnered with Dell, investing in the very latest generation of server hardware and infrastructure, based around Hyper-Converged technology in a private datacentre built a new hosted platform for Prince Evans. This combined with Microsoft’s 365 platform created, in essence, a hybrid cloud technology service available across multiple cloud environments, be that public or private, to deliver the latest and greatest best in breed legal IT platform to help drive a more secure and unified process.

Through our partnership with Prince Evans we are now providing them with a broad range of services which includes cloud hosting, necessary consultancy, training and development on their new practice management software.

“Our legacy systems had served us very well for many years but the lack of modern functionality and disjointedness of having separate systems was holding us back. We are very ambitious and determined to be at the cutting edge of legal IT technology, and as a result, we teamed up with Accesspoint, who we knew had a wealth of experience and knowledge in this area, to produce and implement an IT strategy which would take us on our journey and fulfil the ambitions of the partners.”

– Lee Davis

What’s new?

Website Payment Portal

Accesspoint’s Payment Portal is deployed as a secure, easy to use standalone portal that can be integrated with your website to facilitate client payments for greater efficiency and more convenience.

There are many reasons as to why your firm should explore integrating a payment portal to its website. Offering your client’s a speedy, convenient and secure option to pay their fees will ensure your firm gains a competitive edge as well as a greater level of assurance for the future.

The main features

Easy to use

Clients simply access the portal with a ‘Pay Invoice’ button on your website, hyperlinks on an email or even a hyperlink embedded into your letter templates.

Once on the portal, simple default fields are required: payment amount, invoice number, client name and email receipt address. Once submitted they are presented with a highly secure payment page in which card details can be entered and submitted.

Customisation

As standard your portal will be customised to your firms branding, but we also provide a customisation service which allows you to edit the entire design to suit your requirements. Our portal is deployed with our standard data fields but can be customised to accept any data fields your firm requires.

Payment Gateways

Our portal integrates seamlessly with over 50 payment gateways such as Stripe, WorldPay, Sage, Global Payments and more. This allows us to integrate the portal with your current financial setup to create a streamlined payment process.

Security

The portal uses secure payment gateways to provide you with a PCI-compliant experience that works across browsers and devices of all sizes. No card details remain on the portal, sensitive data is tokenised and sent directly to the payment provider without passing through our servers so you remain PCI-DSS compliant at all times.

Discover Payment Portal for Law Firms

“Our new payment portal has had a huge impact when dealing with client payments. It’s now much easier for them to pay and it demonstrates our commitment to making their lives easier by using a convenient modern method, plus we benefit from more streamlined and traceable transactions. Accesspoint were very professional and a delight to work with”

– GC (Finance and Practice Manager) at Dawson Cornwell

“The payment portal for us really has been a no-brainer. It was up and running in January before the lockdown measures took hold, and has been an invaluable mechanism for ensuring that team members working from home have been able to provide a facility for clients to make payments and settle bills that are easy to reconcile for accounts purposes.”

– JL (Partner) at Luqmani Thompson & Partners

Web360 Integrations

There is a whole world of web-based integrations at your fingertips and we believe the Web360 package is a perfect place to start! It can instantly provide clients with a modern, convenient, and effective way to stay engaged with the firm as well as provide your firm with an efficient streamlined approach to transform how it works and stand out from the competition!

Our FormShare integration allows your website to be integrated with Tikit FormShare (FormShare enables firms to use PDF Forms to electronically capture client data). The FormShare PDF data fields are linked to a custom built webform on your website, allowing clients to self-start the process by populating their information digitally. This data is seamlessly injected into your chosen FormShare.

Our website integration allows your firm to seamlessly link your websites data directly into your PMS. As clients populate webforms on your website, the data will be automatically injected into your PMS within seconds. Your PMS will be configured to automatically validate the enquiry against existing entities and create a prospect/opportunity from the enquiry whilst notifying designated fee-earners of the new client. The prospect will also receive email confirmation that your firm has successfully received the enquiry.

Web Forensics allows you to track the entire digital journey of a client, from clicking on a Google advert or Facebook post etc, right through to the completion of their case – all within your PMS. This allows you to identify which marketing channels are providing quality leads and which aren’t. It also provides a highly tangible ROI by cross referencing the cost of acquiring the client i.e a £2 advert click (PPC) against the final matter value. Forensics also maximises cross selling opportunities for your firm by automatically sending an e-shot to clients that visit chosen pages on your website.

Discover All Features of Web360

Bracing for Impact

We all know the legal industry is constantly adapting and throughout these past six months, the changes have continued to come at full speed with new guidelines from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) taking effect. New opportunities as well as challenges have arisen, specifically from the advertising rule that prohibits solicitors from making unsolicited approaches to members of the public. We now find ourselves asking SME firms “are your current marketing tools enough to stand out from the competition and what could you be doing with what’s available in the world of legal marketing IT?”

Branding your firm is a form of advertising in itself and is the best place to start. However, most firms think that creating a catchy slogan and delivering a good service is all it takes to have a memorable brand and as a result fail to stand out from larger competitors. Think about where you want your firm to be and now ask yourself, are you on the right course to achieve it? If not, then consider and maybe reassess your overall strategy with an internal and external audit. Identifying your firms current position and matching it with what your agreed vision is may be hard, so don’t be afraid to get help from an external source, as it will provide you with an experienced view of what to do next. Remember, addressing all of your brand touchpoints, along with exploring what you want your customers to see is only half of the battle, your branding must also be communicated and adopted within your firm to be completely effective.

When people within the firm are on the same page with its vision to delive