Afternoon global sharedoer’s,

As we continue to broaden our global jurisdictional coverage so we are enhancing the sharedo platform to meet these challenges!

The challenges of global legal service delivery however come in many forms.

On one hand we are enhancing the platform to enable our clients to produce complex quotes on multi-jurisdictional matters and on the other hand we are enabling the micro personalisation of data capture and processes for Australian workflow processes.

Being able to take on these challenges is, for me, one of the true benefits of building the platform from the ground up rather than leveraging more restrictive platforms .. Simply put if there is a good idea it can (with lots of hard work!!) be turned into reality.

Anyway on with the highlights!

This month’s highlights

This month brings two new large features into the platform, as well that the general availability of some enhanced Core APIs for Matter and User creation. We have also been improving areas around Finance and how we handle budget accounts and visualisation of financial information on matters.

This month’s new feature highlights are;

  • Fee Groups – enabling the definition and creation of complex fee structures for … dare I say it … complex matters!
  • Data Personalisation Rules – you only want certain data items to show for a particular user, jurisdiction or on a Tuesday .. Now you can
  • Enhanced Public APIs for Matters and Users – plumb in your HR and InTapp open apps with ease!
  • Address formatting can now be specified at country level – who would have thought there were so many different address formats across the world.

New Features

Fee Groups
For those that prefer videos, there is a demo of the feature here –

Currently, our Fee model is used by our customers in a number of ways;

  • At a Statement of Work level, the Fee models define the default charging model that is used against instructions and matters created against the Statement of Work. The Fee models described at a Statement of Work level provide us the default and allowed charging schema for instructions and matters created against the Statement of Work.
    • For example, a client could define a Fee model that means every piece of work created under a particular statement of work must be done as a Fixed Fee model.
  • At an Instruction level, we inherit the Fee model from the Statement of Work. This provides a guide for how to charge for this work. The guide can be a template, or can be prescriptive to the type of work being done. In some engagements this is seen as a Quote and is how the charges are negotiated/agreed between the Firm and its client.
  • Once an Instruction has been converted to a Matter, the Fee model is copied and becomes the agreed charging model for delivering the Matter. Changes to the Fee model beyond this stage are usually controlled with a change management process with the clients of the matter.

What’s changing?

For complex cases, or those that span multiple geographies, our customers often use a combination of suppliers and Fee structures. Our existing model only allows a single Fee structure per instruction or matter, and this doesn’t provide enough flexibility for those cases.

Consider a trademark case for a large corporate client. The work on this matter will often require more than a single law firm, with lawyers operating in multiple working locations against different jurisdictions. Law firms often contract out work in jurisdictions where they do not have coverage to local relationship firms or specialist lawyers. These local relationship firms or specialist lawyers may operate on different fee structures, or have their own rate cards.

As the law firm estimating the fees for the client, you will need to gather the quotes from the supplier firms and your own firms estimate and create a quote for the client.

The Fee Groups feature allows us to do this. This has been achieved by allowing an instruction or matter to have multiple sharedo commercial models and then extending the existing model for Fee Templates.

In order for the user to understand which Fee Template in their Fee Group belongs to which supplier or which country of work, we have also allowed aspects to be defined against a Fee Template. This allows us to capture custom properties against each Fee Template – i.e. Country of Work, Jurisdictions, Supplier, Fee Earner etc.

In practice, this means that we can now handle instructions and matters that are global and involve many suppliers, countries of work and jurisdictions.

Fee Groups – Statement of Work
Defining the applicable Fee Templates

Fee Groups – Instruction
Specifying the quote values for each Fee Template

Fee Groups – Matter
Comparing Estimate to Actual

Why is this important?
As with the work last month on Time Targets and our ongoing work on Delivery Cost Structures, this enhancement if another step towards adding end to end financial tracking within sharedo, where we can estimate, track and manage the change of the quoted cost for work on our cases. Even on the most complex of global matters.

Data Personalisation Rules (aka Aspect Striping)
Following on from the June features of Allocation Rules, another consumer of the Striping rules is the Aspect Striping feature.

The aspect model within sharedo has existed for some time. This allows us to specify the components which are provided for users on the add/edit blades for their sharedos. For example;

The above image shows the definition for the Real Estate Acquisition instruction blade. There are some standard inherited aspects which have been added to the blade such as the Ribbon Bar (from Instruction B2B) and Property Details (from Instruction Real Estate). There are also some aspects which are unique to this type of instruction i.e. the Acquisition Details aspect.

Against each of these aspects, we have some menu options;

The padlock allows us to specify the view and edit permissions for this aspect, leading to a blade with these options;

The cogs allow us to configure the widget, leading to a blade with the configuration options;

The eye is where we can start to configure the aspect striping rules. This leads to a panel which allows us to specify which rules should be applied to determine visibility of this aspect.

We can now use any of the defined rule sets to determine if this specific aspect should be shown when the blade containing it is opened.

Ruleset administration
Rulesets can be created from within the admin area.

When we define a new ruleset we are presented with a list of rule types that we want to configure;

We can select and configure each of these rules;

The above example rule tests that the logged in user has a persona of B2B client. If this rule was added to an aspect then only users with this persona would be able to see the aspect.

Multiple rules can be added;

Now when this rule is added to an aspect, the logged in user has to be a B2B Client persona and the work type has to be a Breach of Contract type in order for the aspect to be shown.