Lavan & NetDocuments Legal Innovation

Lavan Forefronts Legal Innovation with NetDocuments

Lavan and NetDocuments build on a decade-long relationship to keep the firm at the forefront of legal innovation. Headquartered in Perth, Lavan has been one of Western Australia’s leading law firms for more than 125 years. Founded in 1897 by Irish barrister Michael Gibson Lavan, the firm soon rose to prominence in the region.

The firm has been serving local and international clients from its iconic William Street offices since 1990, having built one of the largest litigation teams in Western Australia. Today, the firm covers practice areas as diverse as agribusiness, construction, corporate crime, and property and leasing. Lavan strives daily to uphold its five core values of excellence, integrity, collaboration, fulfilment, and courage.

The Journey to Optimising Productivity and Security

Lavan, who previously utilised an on-premise Trackfile system for document management, began their search for a cloud-based document management system as a way to improve business processes and enhance security throughout the firm.

Marco Marcello, Manager of Information Systems at Lavan had several priorities when selecting a new DMS. Secure creation, editing and storing of documents was vital. At the same time, high service availability was essential to ensure the firm’s lawyers had access to documents and matter-related emails at all times.

“High-profile data breaches were a real wake-up call to the legal sector in Australia. We quickly recognised that moving our document management to the cloud would give us an added layer of security,” said Marcello. “NetDocuments was a natural fit for Lavan because it is built in the cloud, unlike its competitors. NetDocuments’ tight integration with Microsoft’s productivity applications and the ability to manage documents and emails from a centralised location is also a big positive for us, as this means our lawyers can work productively and securely from anywhere.”

A Step-By-Step Successful Roll-Out

Just one month after signing a contract, Lavan began rolling out NetDocuments to its 200 staff. The new DMS was implemented team by team across the business, with more than a million documents migrated to the cloud.

“The team at NetDocuments was great to work with and made the whole migration process as seamless as possible, which ensured we had high user adoption from the outset,” Marcello continued.

Since going live at Lavan ten years ago, NetDocuments has expanded its presence in APAC with regional datacentres in Perth and Sydney. For Lavan, this has been extremely beneficial as it has enabled the firm to get ahead of data residency requirements while reducing service latency.

Lavan has also utilised a number of security and productivity features during its time using NetDocuments. Through the Workspace Security Manager (WSM) capability, Lavan can manage security in NetDocuments workspaces via an easy-to-use dashboard, enabling the firm to meet governance requirements simply. NetDocuments’ Optical Character Recognition (OCR) functionality continually monitors and converts imaged-based documents and files into text-searchable documents – making it easy for users to find exactly what they’re looking for. The firm is also using NetDocuments’ CollabSpaces, which allows for the secure collaboration and sharing of documents with clients, seamlessly.

Keeping the Hybrid Workforce Secure and Connected

With NetDocuments, all of Lavan’s staff work from a single source of the truth for documents and emails, minimising time spent searching for important matter-related documents and communications.

“Hard copy files at Lavan have been replaced by easily accessible online files, with everything filed in NetDocuments as a central point of truth. This allowed us to significantly reduce physical storage space and create a great office working environment,” says Marcello. “At the same time, it’s enabled lawyers to work flexibly and securely from anywhere, which has been a huge support to hybrid working.”

NetDocuments’ APIs have not only boosted efficiency through integration with Microsoft 365 and the firm’s matter management solution, but it also offers technology flexibility for the future. Marcello continued, “The decision to move our documents to NetDocuments is a decision we only had to make once. NetDocuments is a vendor we can rely on as it is continually innovating and enabling us to stay ahead of the curve.”

Using NetDocuments has provided Lavan with the peace of mind that sensitive documents are secure. Further, it has empowered its lawyers to work more efficiently while freeing their time to focus on higher-value client work. Ten years on, Lavan’s partnership with NetDocuments continues to evolve ensuring that the firm stays at the forefront of legal technology adoption in Australia.

“Our users appreciate NetDocuments’ security, usability, and reliability,” Marcello concluded. “After all, what does a lawyer want? They want a system that intuitively finds and stores documents and emails. Not only does NetDocuments check all these boxes – but we as a firm get the peace of mind knowing that we are with a true business partner who is committed to keeping our firm ahead of the curve and anticipating our needs for years to come.”

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