burnett & reid legl

Burnett & Reid, a full-services law firm established in 1754 and based in Aberdeen, Scotland, specialises in residential conveyancing as well as private client, agricultural, corporate and commercial matters. The firm was looking for a technology solution to improve productivity and internal processes.

We spoke with Helen Strachan, Practice Manager, to find out how Legl was able to assist with improving client payment processes and building efficiencies with client onboarding and ID verification.

The Challenge

In her role as Practice Manager, Helen effectively is in charge of everything aside from client work. Her responsibilities include getting the day-to-day business running as productively and efficiently as possible.

With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, she realised that Burnett & Reid’s existing processes for payments and onboarding were not sufficient to handle the requirements of the “new normal” – the company was opening a new office and many people were also working remotely. Helen realised that leveraging a hand-held card reader for payments would not work.

For onboarding new clients during the pandemic, clients weren’t coming into the office. Instead, they were scanning passports or photocopying documents and sending them in. For those that were emailed to the firm, there was less of an issue, but many clients were sending in the copies via direct mail, which caused a time delay in the firm receiving the documents.

In addition, once Burnett & Reid received the copy of the identification document, the firm would then upload it into an external system that would verify the document and return the report. “Independent verification was being done through the external provider, but the timescale was up to a week,” said Helen.

"Legl has a finger on the pulse of what we in the legal industry want. The organisation knows enough people in the industry to be able to tick the boxes around what people are looking for, straight out of the box."
Helen Strachan
Practice Manager
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Three Reasons to Work with Legl

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Faster client payments
"We've seen a reduction in payment time from a matter of weeks to just a day in many cases."
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Customisable workflows
"We can already customise them as much as we want to, but there is room for growth. As Legl develops [the functionality] more, it will be tailored more narrowly to the different areas in which we work."
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Improved security
"Clients are already hesitant about sending sensitive information to us via email. Using a portal, like the one Legl provides, is more secure."
The Solution

Leveraging Legl’s onboarding capabilities, Helen said that now most clients respond within a day; the firm will send a custom link to the client and get the information back quickly. This has improved the onboarding experience for clients dramatically. “Clients are already hesitant about sending sensitive information to us via email. Using a portal, like the one Legl provides, is more secure” and gives clients more peace of mind when sharing this kind of information.

One of Helen’s favourite features within the Legl platform is the ability to build workflows for various tasks. Previously, everything was done on an ad hoc basis. With workflows, the back-and-forth activity is made more efficient by having everything done digitally and in an automated manner. Plus, Helen and her team are able to build a variety of workflows within the platform quickly and easily without having to go through their Legl account manager.

“We would receive documents, send out an engagement letter, and then wait for the client to print out the letter, sign it, and post it back – a process that could take up to two weeks or more,” Helen said. Now many people respond within a day – we send out the link and get [the documents] back extremely quickly.”

For client payments, there has been a dramatic improvement to the process and to the time frames required to receive funds. “Our internal credit control team uses the individual links functionality in the Legl platform and includes them in the credit control letters to clients. We’ve seen a reduction in payment time from a matter of weeks to just a day in many cases,” said Helen. In fact, Burnett & Reid are seeing an overall average response time across the board of just 23 hours from the time of the request being sent to a client to when the firm receives the payment.

A Strong Partnership

Regarding the development of new features, Helen mentioned that she loves the fact that Burnett & Reid are able to be involved in the process and give feedback and comments around what they want to see and how they want the platform to work. “A lot of times with tech products, companies will say that they listen to their customers, but it doesn’t always happen. [With Legl], customer feedback really is helping to develop the products further,” said Helen.

With Legl’s workflow functionality, as an example, Helen added, “We can already customise them as much as we want to, but there is room for growth; our corporate and commercial team want to use KYB, for example, and conveyancing asks for more information than with just a will or power of attorney. As Legl develops [the functionality] more, it will be tailored more narrowly to the different areas in which we work.”

And how does Helen see Legl’s specific legal expertise? “Legl has a finger on the pulse of what we in the legal industry want. The organisation knows enough people to be able to tick the boxes around what people are looking for, straight out of the box.”

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