Conexus Law Upgrades Matter-Management System to Store Data Natively in Microsoft 365 Using OnePlace Collaboration & Content
When Conexus Law wanted to run legal-specific matter management natively within Microsoft 365, firm leaders chose OnePlace Collaboration & Content to enable consistent, transparent, and integrated worldwide service.
London-based Conexus Law, a specialist provider of legal advice to businesses, operates at the intersection of the built environment, technology, and people. The firm’s typical clients are ambitious, trailblazing real estate construction and infrastructure companies, especially those looking to reinvent what they do or how they do it. The firm serves multinational clients around the world, from Europe to India and Japan. It combines its own sector-specific legal and commercial expertise with on-the-ground knowledge of local law firms to provide fully integrated service.
Within days of the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, fast-growing Conexus Law saw a rapid acceleration in demand for its services. “We had clients suddenly building out lots of data centers and technology infrastructure to support all of the virtual activity, such as distributed workforces, remote access to data, and the surge in activity on Zoom,” said Ed Cooke, the firm’s CEO.
For cutting-edge companies — like many of the firm’s clients — new operating models can alter risk profiles and require changes in commercial contracting, which is where Conexus Law’s specialist expertise comes in.
“These companies needed the expertise and experience of professional advisors who are already up to speed on these trends, who could help them get moving quickly,” Cooke said. “The value we add has really stood out — our ability to come up with creative solutions, not just legal advice and contract oversight.”
Consolidating Matter Management in Microsoft 365
Working across multiple territories and time zones places a strong emphasis on tight collaboration, process consistency, and matter visibility, so Conexus Law leaders had to think strategically when designing the firm’s IT infrastructure. Basing everyday work on Microsoft 365 was an easy choice, given that a vast majority of the firm’s laywers prefer working with Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Word, and — increasingly — Microsoft Teams; the also firm sees this setup reflected across its enterprise client base. Familiar, intuitive, and easy to use, the cloud-based Microsoft suite supports secure access to matter content by international teams and clients from any location.
The firm’s next choice was to select a matter management system to track its vast volumes of information and emails linked to client matters. “We couldn’t leave these in people’s inboxes and comply with SRA [Solicitors Regulation Authority] requirements specifying a single point of truth for all client matters. We needed a robust system for managing everything,” explained Cooke.
Choosing a Consistent, Integrated System
To survey the market and narrow the choices, the firm engaged Hyperscale Group, a respected legal technology consultancy. Hyperscale owner Derek Southall helped the firm create a shortlist of options, including OnePlace Collaboration & Content, an Intapp solution that provides legal sector–specific matter management capabilities natively within Microsoft 365.
Although many law firms opt for stand-alone platforms like iManage and NetDocuments, Conexus Law leaders felt it would be less economical to purchase a separate system for storing content, given that Microsoft SharePoint could fulfill the same role with the addition of specific controls and workflows. Conexus Law’s existing practice management system integrates readily with Microsoft 365, and its international team defaults to the Microsoft 365 suite — including Microsoft Teams and Power Automate — so it made sense to concentrate its matter content and knowledge on the Microsoft platform.
“Having decided on Microsoft 365, we didn’t want to put all of our data into another DMS repository,” Cooke said. “In this day and age, that would be absolute nonsense. Everything is done via email and, increasingly Teams, so why wouldn’t we try to keep, and work with, that information and content within the same platform?”
OnePlace Collaboration & Content quickly emerged as the standout option. “Centralizing matter management in Microsoft 365 via OnePlace Collaboration & Content has been crucial in enabling consistent, transparent service worldwide,” Cooke concluded. “By joining all of our systems together, we’re honing our knowledge management. We work with clients who are pushing the boundaries, so we have to do the same.”
Optimizing for Analytics
“Using a separate DMS would also compromise the scope for analytics, with data locked away somewhere else,” Cooke noted. “And no specialist vendor, no matter how big, has Microsoft’s scope to invest in the latest software development — in AI, analytics, and other relevant technology. So these were important factors in our decision, too,” he said.
However, simply defaulting to Microsoft SharePoint wasn’t an option. “In its native form, SharePoint didn’t really offer us the kind of experience we needed,” Cooke explained. OnePlace Collaboration & Content lets the firm harness Microsoft SharePoint via client-matter portals, with rules-based workflows and controls that smooth the experience and ensure lawyers default to Microsoft SharePoint when storing matter details.
Conexus Law, a London-based law firm, provides its lawyers a consistent, transparent matter-management system running natively in Microsoft 365 using OnePlace Collaboration & Content. As a result, the firm operates on a vital integrated platform that simplifies user adoption and sets up the firm for future growth.
- Collaborating across multiple territories and time zones with most staff and clients working virtually
- Complying with SRA requirements that specify a single point of truth for all client matters
- Using a separate DMS would compromise the scope for firm analytics, with data locked away and inaccessible within Microsoft 365
Results with Intapp
- Robust system for managing matters: By integrating all firms systems together, the firm was able to hone their knowledge management.
- Better data tracking: The new matter management system can track the vast volume of information and emails linked to client matters.
- Native integration with Microsoft 365: The firm’s matter management and legal DMS workflow happens directly within Microsoft 365, letting the firm retain control of its data.
- Optimized analytics: The firm can harness Microsoft SharePoint via matter-specific portals, with rules-based workflows as well as controls that smooth the experience and ensure hat lawyers default to SharePoint for storing matter details.
Retaining Data Control
Because OnePlace Collaboration & Content provides matter management and legal DMS workflow natively within Microsoft 365, Conexus Law also benefits from retaining control over its data. “We don’t have to worry about a software vendor suddenly not being there. The data remains very much within our access and control,” said Cooke.
A further advantage of choosing OnePlace Collaboration & Content is that it offers complete Microsoft Teams information governance, which could become important in the future if the firm’s lawyers and clients want to use Microsoft Teams more extensively for matter-based communication and file sharing.
Preparing for Future Requirements
Conexus Law is actively investigating AI, too, with a view to helping clients review high volumes of documents to assist in their investment decisions as part of their due diligence, via a new product-based service. Again, OnePlace Collaboration & Content helps the firm’s legal teams maximize Microsoft 365 capabilities in this area. “To know our future roadmap is well served by OnePlace Collaboration & Content is important,” said Cooke. The responsiveness of the [Intapp] service team really stands out — they have been phenomenal. They’re genuinely keen to build things with us, and understand where we want to take the product, which is crucial given that it’s often impossible to predict future needs.”
Boosting User Adoption
Regarding the OnePlace Collaboration & Content software itself, Cooke added, “Our lawyers ‘get it’ really easily. They can simply go into it and use it — and they do. Adoption is high. People like it and it’s reliable. It lets us store masses of email and documents, and manage all of that without tripping over.” Given that Conexus Law manages deals valued in excess of £300 million, maintaining professional, stable, and consistent capabilities across its global operations is critical. Thanks to Hyperscale and OnePlace Collaboration & Content, Conexus Law now has the vital platform it needs for future growth.