News & Views
US law firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP (www.nelsonmullins.com) has selected Repstor for Teams (www.repstor.com) to support its transition to Microsoft Teams as its primary workspace for attorneys and paralegals.
The firm’s IT team strives to stay 6-12 months ahead of the needs of its users, and had already identified the transformative potential of Microsoft Teams before the pandemic struck. But it had come up against a problem: Teams’ lack of inherent support for matter-centric ways of working and organising content. When the impact of COVID-19 triggered new demand for people to work from home, activating the transition to Teams became more urgent.
“We had been a Skype environment previously, and wanted to move to Teams for all aspects of communication anyway having rolled out Microsoft 365 across the firm. But the difficulty was that Teams doesn’t have matter-centricity built in,” explains David Worth, Nelson Mullins’ CIO.
“To get buy-in from our attorneys and prevent chaos as they tried to organize and find the right Teams for collaboration by client or matter, we needed a more intuitive and controlled user experience.”
A trusted legal industry-focused management consulting firm which had been providing consultancy to Nelson Mullins, suggested Repstor for Teams. The software, which runs natively in Microsoft 365, provides optimized matter-centric capabilities and controls for Teams, in a familiar user experience.
“As well as offering all the controls and functionality we needed as a law firm, and that user-friendly experience to keep our professionals happy, Repstor brought that depth of experience of working with law firms, that understanding of our needs, and that ability to talk our language,” continued Worth.
“Importantly, Repstor also readily integrates with NetDocs and other DMSs, with Aderant, our practice management system and Intapp, our ethical walls solution. In other words, they were going to be able to cater for everything we needed.”
Repstor’s content management, governance and privacy controls will be important as Nelson Mullins pursues its wider goals – to make Teams the place where client matter management and file-sharing happens, giving professionals a single window on their work and reducing email reliance.
“Although the initial motivation for moving to Teams is for communications – chat, conference-calling, and screen-sharing – we soon realized the scope to do so much more with it, and Repstor will help us realize that. We’re an Outlook shop and traditionally attorneys’ work is dominated by email, but Teams is shifting that paradigm,” added Worth.
“I also see Teams become a quasi-replacement for intranets, supported by Repstor technology. With direct integration with our DMS, and even our financial system, our people will be able to ‘live’ in Teams and do everything from there. What’s great is that we have the right set-up with Repstor and the right advisors around us to work out how to make that look and feel.”
Once fully implemented, Repstor for Teams will be used by 1,600 professionals across Nelson Mullins’ national operations.
“People are beating down my door to get access to this, and that demand is ubiquitous from across the firm – something I haven’t witnessed before in my 30-year tenure,” says Worth. “Rolling out Teams, by practice area, will be our biggest project for this year. This is a chance to transform knowledge sharing across our 26 offices. When this is done our professionals will have one place to share knowledge and experiences, and will be able to find and consume what they need when they need to. I see Teams, optimized by Repstor, as the first real collaboration platform for law firms.”