Established in Gloucestershire in the 1940s, today Willans is a full service law firm that is based in Cheltenham. It has one of the strongest private client teams in the region, with around 10 wills, trusts & probate fee earners and 5 support staff.
We spoke with wills, trusts & probate solicitor Jennifer Cockett to understand how the department is benefitting from the use of the Intelliworks case management system from Ochresoft in administering the requirements of its private client work.
“At the start of 2019, we started using the Intelliworks case management system for our private client work. We didn’t have a dedicated tool before this and our head of department had previously used a case management system at another firm and he could see the advantages. In particular relating to creating efficiencies across our growing team, as well as supporting our overall risk management.
“Having assessed various tools in the marketplace, a decision was made to select Intelliworks. We really like that from an estate accounts point of view it provides a very structured process to work to, meaning you can’t miss anything. The system provides useful prompts at each stage and this risk management tool is certainly one of the major benefits.
“From my personal perspective, when preparing Inheritance Tax papers, as long as everything is set up correctly at the beginning, it now only takes me around 30 minutes to complete the IHT400 form. Previously this would have taken well over an hour. I use the system everyday and because I’ve used it very early on in my career, Intelliworks has simply become embedded in the way I work.
“At around the same time we began working with Intelliworks there was a regulatory change from the SRA, which focused on transparency of fees and required solicitors to publish pricing details for certain areas including probate online. For us, we were better able to calculate how long it would take to undertake specific tasks as a result of Intelliworks, and price accordingly. For example, we could more easily calculate how long it would take us to obtain a grant of probate, providing us with confidence in the costs we have published and adhering to the the transparency requirements as stated by the regulator.
“In terms of the team at Ochresoft, I find them to be super helpful. I mostly speak with Jo and Marie and although we don’t have many technical problems, they are always there if we need them.
“We’ve also used the training and find the webinars easy to follow. When we have a new member of staff join the team, the series of five Intelliworks webinars are part of their induction.
“Today everyone in the department uses Intelliworks and for me I can’t imagine not using it to manage and support our private client activities. It’s easy to use, gives us guidance to ensure no steps are missed and provides a layer of risk management that we didn’t have before.”
Jennifer Cockett, Trusts & Probate Solicitor