The American Law 100 firm, which recently deployed Microsoft 365, sees Teams as the key to coordinating matter management, knowledge sharing and client collaboration in one place – with full privacy and information compliance control delivered by Repstor for Teams
Belfast, April 9th, 2021 – Repstor, the Microsoft 365-based information management specialist, has announced that prominent US law firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP has selected Repstor for Teams to support its transition to Microsoft Teams as its primary workspace for attorneys and paralegals. Repstor will provide the client matter-centric management for content, as well as privacy and information compliance controls, that will enable the firm to exploit Teams to its full potential.
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP (better known as Nelson Mullins), headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina, is one of the largest law firms in the US with 26 offices across the country, from Boston and New York to Miami and Atlanta. It provides advice and counsel to private individuals and large businesses, across a broad range of practice areas. In 2020, American Lawyer ranked Nelson Mullins as the 68th largest law firm in the US based on gross revenue.
The firm’s IT team strives to stay 6-12 months ahead of the needs of its users, and had already identified the transformative potential of Microsoft Teams before the pandemic struck. But it had come up against a problem: Teams’ lack of inherent support for matter-centric ways of working and organising content. When the impact of COVID-19 triggered new demand for people to work from home, activating the transition to Teams became more urgent.
“We had been a Skype environment previously, and wanted to move to Teams for all aspects of communication anyway having rolled out Microsoft 365 across the firm. But the difficulty was that Teams doesn’t have matter-centricity built in,” explains David Worth, Nelson Mullins’ CIO. “To get buy-in from our attorneys and prevent chaos as they tried to organise and find the right Teams for collaboration by client or matter, we needed a more intuitive and controlled user experience.”
A trusted legal industry-focused management consulting firm which had been providing consultancy to Nelson Mullins, suggested Repstor for Teams. The software, which runs natively in Microsoft 365, provides optimized matter-centric capabilities and controls for Teams, in a familiar user experience.
“As well as offering all the controls and functionality we needed as a law firm, and that user-friendly experience to keep our professionals happy, Repstor brought that depth of experience of working with law firms, that understanding of our needs, and that ability to talk our language,” David notes.
“Importantly, Repstor also readily integrates with NetDocs and other DMSs, with Aderant, our practice management system and Intapp, our ethical walls solution. In other words, they were going to be able to cater for everything we needed.”
Repstor’s content management, governance and privacy controls will be important as Nelson Mullins pursues its wider goals – to make Teams the place where client matter management and file-sharing happens, giving professionals a single window on their work and reducing email reliance.
“Although the initial motivation for moving to Teams is for communications – chat, conference-calling, and screen-sharing – we soon realised the scope to do so much more with it, and Repstor will help us realise that,” David says. “We’re an Outlook shop and traditionally attorneys’ work is dominated by email, but Teams is shifting that paradigm.
“I also see Teams become a quasi-replacement for intranets, supported by Repstor technology. With direct integration with our DMS, and even our financial system, our people will be able to ‘live’ in Teams and do everything from there. What’s great is that we have the right set-up with Repstor and the right advisors around us to work out how to make that look and feel.”
Once fully implemented, Repstor for Teams will be used by 1,600 professionals across Nelson Mullins’ national operations. “People are beating down my door to get access to this, and that demand is ubiquitous from across the firm – something I haven’t witnessed before in my 30-year tenure,” David notes. “Rolling out Teams, by practice area, will be our biggest project for this year.
“This is a chance to transform knowledge sharing across our 26 offices. When this is done our professionals will have one place to share knowledge and experiences, and will be able to find and consume what they need when they need to. I see Teams, optimized by Repstor, as the first real collaboration platform for law firms. It will be attorneys’ first real opportunity to collaborate with clients too, without the need to build an extranet which would be a lot of work. It will make them more nimble, able to address clients’ needs more swiftly.
“Repstor is our ‘easy’ button,” David concludes. “As CIO, I don’t have to worry about figuring out how to manage the archiving or the compliance, as Repstor takes all of that pain away. Repstor are so aligned with us, it’s fantastic. They understand our goals and are providing excellent guidance. Taking this forward is proving a very enjoyable experience.
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