How Digital Law keeps data security front of mind with ClioDownload This Article as a PDF
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Niche Technology Sector
Data (and how it’s treated) is one of the most crucial concerns of running a business today, but making sure that all of the regulatory i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed is no easy feat. That’s where innovative law firms, like Digital Law, come in.
Find out how Digital Law is helping clients navigate the data maze, using Clio’s technology to help them practice what they preach: With Clio’s cloud computing case management solution for law firms, Digital Law can ensure that they are helping their clients meet their data security needs while ensuring law firm data security is built into their own day-to-day operations.
How Digital Law is playing it safe (in the best way possible)
Cybersecurity and data protection regulations these days are a key area of concern for all business and law firms. No one knows that better than Digital Law founder Peter Wright, who has been at the forefront of data protection security best practices within the business and legal communities for more than a decade.
While working as a solicitor at a busy city firm, Peter had been working on dispute resolution in 2009 when one of the practice’s most prominent clients—a department of the UK Government—sought advice about applying the Data Protection Act in terms of dealing with data subjects in bulk.
Peter had a strong feeling that the future would be about data and the legal issues that come with it—particularly if the UK government needed help in the area! On pitching the idea of building a team of experts that would specialise in legal advice around online security, others weren’t convinced of the plan’s viability. So, trusting his expertise and intuition, Peter set up his own law firm, Digital Law, in 2014.
These days, Digital Law is a booming law firm, specialising in online, data, and cyber law. The niche practice has a number of consultants around the UK, as well as apprentice solicitors who are based in the head office in Barnsley.
With a diverse roster of clients from the UK, Australia, the USA, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, the firm provides advice on legal and regulatory compliance around data, eCommerce requirements (privacy policies, cookies), and cryptocurrency, as well as guidance on selling highly regulated goods and services in different jurisdictions.
Placing trust in Clio
Choosing a case management system requires law firms to put a lot of trust in technology—particularly when the day-to-day running of their business depends on it.
Peter is even more conscious of the risks and considerations when it comes to ensuring data security for law firms. In addition to being the Managing Director of Digital Law, and previously a board member of the Law Society of England and Wales, and the first Chair of their GDPR Working Group, Peter literally wrote the book on data protection and cybersecurity for law firms: He is the author of The Law Society’s Cyber Security Toolkit.
As such, he knew that for Digital Law, a firm whose foundation is built on the safeguarding of data and cybersecurity, he had to be extra vigilant: the technology the firm used would have to deliver on all fronts as far as compliance was concerned.
Clio met that vigorous standard.
Before starting his firm and choosing Clio as his case management system, Peter was already familiar with the software: His wife, a fellow lawyer, was an early adopter of Clio, using it to run her U.S. law firm from the mid-2000s. Because of that, Peter had confidence that the software would suit Digital Law for the long haul.
“Our main concern was always around security and encryption and location of data,” Peter says when discussing how to choose a case management system for his firm. The level of data and information security Clio provided impressed him, particularly in regards to how customers’ identities, sensitive information, and personal data were kept completely private to the firm within the software.
“From an encryption perspective, we could see that not even the teams at Clio could get access to client data.”
The fact that the brand is globally operated gave Peter an additional level of conscience.
“Because Clio has been successful in all of the jurisdictions it has operated in for a prolonged period of time, it gave us assurance that Clio was also across the detail in the legal and regulatory environment in the UK.”
Flexible features for a growing firm
Having used other software in the past and experiencing some challenges that hindered productivity for the firm, Peter and the team at Digital Law wanted to be sure that the software they used could be moulded to their own individual needs.
“Every other system I’ve ever used has been ridiculously restrictive. Software suppliers think that law firms operate in a certain blinkered way and inevitably we don’t fit that model. For example, we don’t record time. We don’t do hourly rates; it’s all fixed fees.
“Clio’s inherent flexibility is good for us and it doesn’t become an inhibitor for getting stuff done.”
Client communication was also at the forefront of the firm’s agenda. Wanting to move away from traditional email, Clio’s client portal and messaging features helped Digital Law to eliminate unnecessary back and forth communications while providing a fully secure place for storing important client information.
The added benefit of not having to obtain multiple licences on contract was also a major draw for Peter, as the firm continues to expand. “Clio is flexible to use, so we knew that as a firm that was growing, it would be easy to add on additional licenses.”
The ease of use and being able to get started with Clio with no additional costs, software, or hardware was also a benefit.
“All you need is a login and password, so no downloading specialist software to a laptop or tablet,” Peter says. “To get people set up on Clio and to give them access to the software means it’s never a case of reinventing the wheel every time you have a new starter.”
Peter spent a lot of time to choose the software that he felt provided both usability and security, comparing a lot of competitors.
“There aren’t many providers out there who are completely across the legal and regulatory side of the cloud while producing a good, practical, user-friendly product. In fact, I think it’s a very small Venn diagram and the one in the middle of that is Clio.”
Security without compromise
When it comes to choosing a case management system, Peter’s advice to law firms is to do your homework. Having a data breach can cause irreparable damage to a law firm, and Peter advises all firms to do their due diligence and ask all of the right questions from a technical security perspective when reviewing providers.
“Increasingly, regulators make it very very clear that they hold law firms to a higher standard than other organisations and therefore it is squarely on the shoulders of law firms to have appropriate technical measures in place,” he says.
“By using Clio you are going a long way in demonstrating compliance with best practices.”
While online, data and cyber law is destined to evolve for years to come, with Clio’s agile functionality and the next generation of data experts at the helm, the success of Digital Law is well and truly safeguarded.