Time for solicitors to embrace new technology?

 In Practice Management

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Time for solicitors to embrace new technology

Well-designed, secure technology can help private client solicitors to manage their clients’ affairs more efficiently and avoid some of the most common problems associated with carrying out duties as a professional attorney, court-appointed deputy or executor. Forward-looking professionals are starting to adopt proven technology that centralises key legal and financial information for advisors and clients alike.

Introducing Switchfoot Teams

Switchfoot Teams is an app that manages personal finances and estate planning. It offers clear benefits to solicitors who need access to both legal documents and financial records in order to act on behalf of their clients. The client adds their various financial accounts to the app, and these are updated via live data feeds, so financial information is always up-to-date. Clear reporting allows clients and advisors to see exact details of spending and saving, whilst the document portal can hold electronic copies of wills, powers of attorney, insurances and tax information.

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What does this mean for solicitors?

Secure and transparent, this app offers a number of clear benefits to legal advisors:

  • Everything in one place – no need to wait for clients to dig out documents, or for copies to be held at your offices. All the documents you need are held in one, secure place.
  • Controlled access – only authorised people can access your client’s account, and levels of access can be controlled. So your client’s financial advisor may have access to financial and tax information, but not to legal documents. It’s a straightforward and secure way to make sure only the people who need access have access.
  • Smooth transitions – if your client dies and executors need access to the information in the app, new permissions can be set, and old permissions for attorneys removed. The transition is simple and secure.
  • Safeguarding client funds – bespoke financial reporting means you can set alerts for certain types of spending – such as cash withdrawals from ATM machines, so you can keep an eye out for unexpected spending on your client’s account.
  • More productive client meetings – having all your client’s legal and financial information in an accessible format means that you have all the information you need at your fingertips, making your client meetings more productive and efficient.

What about security?

The primary concern for legal advisors is whether the systems they use are secure. Switchfoot Teams uses the same 256-bit encryption and physical security that’s used by the UK’s major online banking services. The app also uses recognised third party security protection. The app is simply for monitoring and organising information – no-one can access the bank accounts to spend or move money and only authorised users can upload or move documents.

Case studies and practical questions

Over the next few months, Switchfoot Teams will provide some professional case studies that demonstrate that adopting good technology can not only make legal advisors more efficient and reduce risk; it can be the added value that puts them ahead of the competition.

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