Sherry Thakur specialises in all aspects of Family and Children law at Jane Kaim Caudle Family Lawyers in Watford where she also manages the firm and acts as the complaints manager.
With vast experience in Commercial and Civil Litigation, Sherry is also Partner of Blackstones Solicitors, based in Northwood Hills. Here she talks to us about the demands on her time and how software has a role to play.
“There is no telling what any week will entail as it is fluid and will depend on where we are with our cases, as well as taking meetings with people looking for advice about their situation.
But the first thing I do each morning is log on to Perfect Books as it acts as the backbone of how we organise the day and our workload.
Once a client gives us an instruction, we open a file, fill in the necessary fields and it allows us an easy way to keep track of all aspects of the case. I can log on from my desk and see work in progress on every file and who is working on which case.
I meet with our bookkeeper each week and as she also uses Perfect Books, she will know what needs to be paid or billed but the reports it generates also means that we have all reports that we need to give us a bird’s eye view of the practice as a whole so we can make sure that it is running as it should.
Emails, letters, time recording, updating ledgers, whether it is a private or legal aid case, it can take care of all that you need it to and although we’re not the type of practice that expects to know exactly how each six minute slot has been filled, I do know that Perfect Books helps users to asses where they are expending too much time or failing to perform as they’d like.
It is an easy system to use and it should be as we’re lawyers not IT specialists. It doesn’t take long to train anyone who joins us as to how to use the system. It can only be as good as what each user enters of course but I find that once you start using it, it’s like driving; you just do it without thinking about how you change gear.
I’ve used Perfect Books since 2006 and so it’s second nature in some ways but there are occasions when we might ask more of it. For example, recently we wanted to add an additional layer of security. I was able to call the team at Perfect Software and they got to work on sorting that out for us.
It’s important to know that you are buying more than a product but have decent service too. Perfect Software have always been very responsive and happy to help, whether logging in remotely to help a new user understand a function or to help us with something a little more bespoke.
Now is not an easy time for solicitors and it is an uncomfortable reality that the success or failure of a practice will be determined by cash flow. It may not be why we became lawyers but we can’t hide from the fact that improving efficiencies matters.”