Changing the practice of immigration law
Being expats themselves, David and Emil Manasyan understood that earning the legal right to live and work in the UK could be a long and arduous process—and one that didn’t always result in a positive outcome.
Their experiences with the legal system revealed to them that there were flaws in the traditional model of law practised at immigration firms, and that this model wasn’t adequately serving the people who needed legal assistance the most.
They also believed that they could create a better model, one which leveraged the many technological advances in business software that have transformed other industries, but have not been significantly incorporated to a similar degree in legal. They wanted to create a truly digital law firm focused on creating the most positive experience possible for its clients—and that’s what they founded Edmans & Co to be.
“We wanted to introduce a law firm with more of a technological edge, or what some might call a ‘new age’ approach,” David says. “We realised that with a lot of lawyers still following traditional methods, we could gain an advantage by offering our clients a better experience.”
Edmans & Co knew that by adopting this digital approach to its in-house processes, the firm would be able to free up more time for its staff—a team of 9—by automating tedious administrative tasks. This would them allow the staff members to focus on what really matters most to the law firm: helping clients.
To make their vision a reality, they decided to make use of technology created specifically for law firms and legal professionals. In Emil’s opinion, that meant starting with cloud-based legal case management software.
“Quite early on, it was clear to us that we needed some sort of case management system,” he says. “And we chose to use the most trusted one for UK solicitors: Clio.
Client data management made simple
When Edmans & Co first made the switch to Clio, David and Emil found that the firm could significantly improve the way it manages client data. This would be particularly beneficial to an immigration law firm, which at times requires speedy access to client and case information.
“Every day is a deadline—you may have someone’s visa expiring, an appeal you have to lodge, or a hearing coming up—and to stay on top of those deadlines, you need to make sure all the information is there the moment you need it,” says Emil.
With Clio, Edmans & Co can track all of its client information by creating relevant custom fields and task lists. This helps the firm monitor the information submitted by clients, so staff members know what information is still outstanding.
The firm’s staff can link related cases and connect contact information of spouses and other family members to relevant case files in Clio’s database (which features unlimited, cloud-based data storage).
And as Emil notes, one of the biggest advantages of making the switch to Clio was the fact that the firm can now do all of this on the go—thanks to Clio’s mobile app.
“After a hearing, you need to take notes,” Emil says. “Having access to the Clio app allows me to do that. I don’t need to wait until I get back to the office; I can do it on the go while the memory is fresh.”
On the mobile app or the desktop version of Clio, multiple members of staff can work on the same case remotely, with all relevant files updated instantly in the cloud. As a firm with clients both in the UK and abroad, the ability to add information to case files remotely is a feature that Edmans & Co find extremely convenient.
David also feels Clio’s features help improve every aspect of interactions between the firm and its clients.
“Clio helped us to connect together a lot of loose ends from the initial stages of the client journey, all the way through billing,” he says. And this enables them to spend more time counselling their clients and creating better client experiences, which the firm’s founders consider to be paramount to their long-term success.
Streamlining processes to help more people
Taking a digital approach to law firm operations comes with its own unique set of obstacles. A challenge for Edmans & Co was that the firm’s staff use multiple software applications to manage and complete tasks. This would result in a lot of wasted time and redundant data entry if the various software systems couldn’t be centralised in some sort of primary platform. David felt it was essential that all the firm’s tools could work in tandem with one another.
Thanks to Clio’s comprehensive App Directory—which enables applications to easily sync directly with Clio—Edmans & Co could integrate its existing software applications with their new case management software, which acted as the central hub for all the firm’s digital workflows.
Clio’s Zapier integration, for example, allowed the firm to streamline its client intake process by feeding new client information (generated from online intake forms) directly into Clio. This, along with the ability to choose from an array of more than 50 UK-specific partner integrations —including Xero for accounting—meant that changing over to Clio caused no disruption to the firm’s everyday operations.
Making things even smoother, Edmans & Co was able to migrate to Clio’s case management system with ease.
“Migrating to Clio was seamless and straightforward,” David recalls. “The whole system was up and running in a couple of days, with all of our old client information successfully moved to the new system.”
By using Clio as its command centre, Edmans & Co was able to connect its existing tools, incorporate new ones into its practice, and make its processes more efficient. As a result, David says, the firm was able to take on more cases and help more people.
“Clio has helped us to keep on top of things,” he explains. “With Clio, we can increase our caseload without increasing our workload.”
By not overworking themselves or their staff, David and Emil are now able to focus fully on delivering the best experiences for their clients. This level of professionalism has won Edmans & Co numerous awards, and recognition as one of the best immigration law firms in the UK. Streamlining processes to help more people.
The future of immigration law
Looking ahead, David and Emil share a long-term vision for Edmans & Co. They see the boutique law firm as an example of how a business doesn’t need to conform to the traditional model of its industry, whatever that industry may be.
In their eyes, Edmans & Co can show other law firms that it is perfectly acceptable to embrace the technology that legal clients already use in their everyday lives. The firm’s cloud-based and paperless approach to immigration law proves that going digital can yield tremendous benefits for solicitors and their practices.
David and Emil love to talk about their success stories—the numerous Edmans & Co clients who have now gone on to start their own businesses in the UK. David and Emil see a fantastic opportunity to continue their working relationships with these clients and expand Edmans & Co’s business beyond immigration law—to take on other legal specialties such as commercial dispute resolution, corporate, and commercial law.
With these new goals in mind, Clio continues to help fuel Edmans & Co’s development and growth: David and Emil now need to show and maintain compliance with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), and Clio provides them with peace of mind because it enables SRA and GDPR compliance.
“Clio has already proven very useful in terms of the SRA Accounts Rules compliance, which can otherwise cause a lot of strain on a smaller law firm,” says Emil.
Furthermore, Clio is working in partnership with the Law Society of England and Wales, the representative body for solicitors in the firm’s region.
Clio is key to Edmans & Co’s success—and Edmans & Co’s success shows other UK firms a road map for what a modern law firm can be.