Law firm streamlines records management

New document management system introduces electronic filing to ensure Taylor Wessing meets compliance demands.

UK law firm Taylor Wessing has implemented new records management IT to transform the way it handles its heavily regulated paperwork storage procedures.

Law firms are heavily regulated in the way paper-based client and business records must be retained, managed and destroyed. But at the same time, they must be able to quickly and easily retrieve stored records as needed for research or in response to a legal challenge.

Prior to implementing new records management systems, Taylor Wessing managed wills, deeds, client correspondence, patents and other records through manually intensive processes. Unable to apply records policies in a granular manner according to the requirements of specific types of records, the firm retained all physical records for a uniform 21 years, greatly increasing storage costs.

"This system is a key implementation for us as the introduction of a unified matter and records management system enables us to push forward with our electronic filing strategy, which will ultimately streamline the way we practice enabling improved knowledge sharing, better protection for client information and considerable space related cost savings," said Tim Hyman, Taylor Wessing IT director.

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The firm has adopted WorkSite and Records Manager systems from information management systems provider Interwoven, integrated with barcode functionality, to fully modernise the firm's management practices and technologies in this key area of its business.

Barry Macdonald, IT project manager at Taylor Wessing added: "For work in progress, WorkSite provides simple, reliable access to complete matter content within a unified environment. For records management, Records Manager makes the application of records policies efficient and accurate, and will ultimately allow our staff to manage and access paper records in the same way as electronic records."

The Records Manager system has been configured to support Taylor Wessing's specific business process and records management policies in collaboration with Interwoven partners Tikit, the legal IT specialist and Oyster IMS, an information management consultancy.

"For the first time, we have the ability to manage records in a granular manner based on the type of law they relate to and the corresponding guidelines and requirements," said Macdonald. "The entire process has made it possible to greatly reduce our offsite storage costs."

By replacing manual data entry with a highly accurate, automated system based on barcodes and scanners, Records Manager is allowing the firm's records management team to focus on overseeing the application of records policies for more granular compliance practices.

Macdonald added: "Interwoven gives us a high level of control over the application of records management policies to records of all kinds and makes it simple for us to ensure that each record is being managed, retained and destroyed appropriately."

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