Stewarts Law LLP, the UK’s largest litigation only law firm, has decided to adopt web-based costs management solution, Omnia, to deal with the increasing number of budgeted cases they are handling.
Partner Julian Chamberlayne, head of KM at Stewarts (and the firm’s COLP) said, ‘Whilst in the run up to the implementation of LASPO it was assumed that most law firms already had software that would enable them to cost budget, the reality is that even now there are very few systems on the market that can really address this challenge. We concluded that Omnia was the best system through a combination of its intuitive interface, powerful monitoring tools and the agile approach of the Omnia team”.
Omnia Software’s MD, costs lawyer Sue Nash, said, “We are delighted to welcome Stewarts Law to our growing number of users. We were able to show the firm that Omnia can handle the large and complex matters that they specialize in as it has already produced budgets for multi-million pound group actions. In addition its comprehensive and flexible budget monitoring capabilities mean that users can always be kept up to date with spend against budget”. Agreeing that this was one of the main drivers behind the firm’s decision, Julian Chamberlayne added, “The monitoring functionality was absolutely crucial for us; in complex and high value litigation it is inevitable that some cases will go over budget and we need to be able to spot them early and take steps to apply to revise the budget in time.”
Last month, another Omnia user firm, 20 office McMillan Williams, announced the injection of £5M of private equity to fund its expansion plans . Whist most clients export their work from their own CMS/PMS systems, Macmillan Williams fee earners, who have been using Omnia since April 2013, directly time-record their work into the program in multi-track cases.
Omnia now also functions as a costs drafting program following the roll-out of its bill of costs functionality last month . The core program already enables the production of Statements of Costs for summary assessment; with the introduction of bills of costs, available as an optional add-on, Sue Nash commented that, “Omnia is well on the way to being the one-stop solution envisaged by Lord Justice Jackson when he said that, “Software should be developed which will (a) be used for time recording and capturing relevant information and (b) automatically generate schedules for summary assessment or bills for detailed assessment as and when required. The long term aim must be to harmonise the procedures and systems which will be used for costs budgeting, costs management, summary assessment and detailed assessment.”
She added, “When the J-Codes and new format bill of costs are formally introduced later this year Omnia will be ready for them. Firms will be able to comply with the regime without necessarily having to upgrade their full case management systems”.