Consilia Legal talks to Eclipse about the joint project to build a bespoke Mediation software solution




Based in Leeds, Consilia Legal is an expanding niche law firm specialising in Mediation, Family and Employment services. The practice, which recently celebrated its 1st birthday, offers an upfront, fixed fee approach to its work, ensuring clients are supplied with manageable costs from the outset. This ethos coupled with the personal and tailored service offered by staff, explains the rapidly increasing client base and outstanding reputation already earned by the young practice.

Sally Clark and Laura Clapton, Partners, Family Solicitors and Mediators at Consilia Legal, explain why Proclaim was the system of choice. 

Why did you decide on a Practice Management system initially? 

Prior to forming Consilia, we had all worked at different practices and had a range of experience with various Practice Management solutions. The areas of law that we cover – in particular our Mediation offering – are extremely document heavy. We produce a large volume of correspondence on a daily basis and must maintain exceptionally high standards due to the sensitive nature of our work, meaning a detailed and flexible Practice Management system was very necessary.

How did you come to the decision that Eclipse would be the best software provider for your specific needs? 

We knew of Eclipse and its Proclaim solution from previous experience, as well as from the reputation it has within the legal software market, and were quickly able to organise a demonstration of the system and talk through our specific requirements in detail.

We’d previously used a very basis and disparate system for our Mediation services, but once we’d spoken to the team at Eclipse, we realised they could help us build a bespoke solution, as well as implement ready-to-go Employment and Family systems, providing us with complete access to productivity-enhancing workflow and task management tools.

The sheer inclusiveness of Proclaim means the complicated rates and structures that are inherent within Mediation work are easily taken care of, whilst the integrated practice accounting toolset ensures instantaneous access to our financial performance.

With Proclaim, our staff can now design their own workflows around the specific needs of clients and the ever-changing legal sector. In short, we can make the system work around us, not vice versa!

How have you tailored Proclaim to suit your requirements? 

In addition to taking Eclipse’s out-of-the-box Employment and Family solutions, we decided to create an entirely bespoke system for our Mediation service. As Laura and I are both qualified Mediators, we worked closely with Eclipse’s Consultancy team to determine and design the specific workflows and documents we required.

Throughout the entire process, we found Eclipse to be extremely supportive and hands-on, enabling us to form a strong business partnership – we used our industry knowledge to design the workflows and precedent documents, whilst Eclipse built the system from scratch for us.

What day-to-day benefits do you see?

We see numerous benefits! Proclaim is most definitely an integral part of our firm and provides us with a core service delivery backbone.

Firstly, given the volume of documentation linked to Mediation, the ability we now have to operate as a virtually paperless office is absolutely invaluable. All our incoming documentation is scanned into the relevant cases forming a comprehensive client history, whilst document production is now heavily automated using Proclaim’s intelligent document generation facilities. Given the time savings in terms of document production, it’s clear we simply could not carry out Mediation work to this standard without Proclaim.

Secondly, the time costing facility is fantastic. We offer Legal Aid as well as Private Client work and as part of Proclaim’s design, our standard case structure can be modified to suit our way of working, depending on client requirements. All time is recorded automatically and can then be easily uploaded to the LAA, meaning we no longer have to duplicate data entry and can instead simply submit bills directly through the Proclaim desktop. The benefit to this is absolutely fantastic as the sensitive nature of our work means we need to be as consistent and accurate as we possibly can be – Proclaim completely eliminates the risk of human error, ensuring we are fully compliant with the LAA, whilst providing high-end quality client service.

Furthermore, in terms of training and ease of use, Proclaim is exceptional. We recently hired a new member of staff who had no previous experience of the software, but after some internal training with Laura, she quickly got to grips with system and is now very confident using Proclaim and the workflows – a testament to Eclipse and Proclaim’s overall usability!

Do you have any future plans for your use of Proclaim?

Specifically, we are in the process of developing another bespoke system with the Eclipse team – this time for workplace Mediation. We have a member of staff currently training in this area so we’d love to be able to expand our services further, and after a brilliant experience with Eclipse in terms of development and support, there was no doubt in our minds as to who we would ask to help us design and implement this latest component!

Overall, Proclaim is a fantastic solution for us as it’s completely flexible, which in turn, ensures we are providing the most efficient and flexible service for our clients.
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