The Apprentice contestant
Lauren Riley
discusses The Link App, which is designed
to facilitate the relationship between solicitor and client
he idea for The Link App came out of my
experience as a family lawyer. Although
I was prepared for being put through
the mill emotionally by the nature of the work,
the amount of time spent on keeping everyone
‘in the loop’about a case came as something
of a shock.
It was a daily battle to keep up with the constant
emails, phone calls, and even letters going back
and forth.
After listening to the continued grumblings of
my colleagues, I realised I was not alone, and I was
convinced there must be a better way for lawyers
to communicate with their clients. After all, this is
the twenty-first century.
Increased productivity
My starting point was to develop an application
that reduces for a solicitor a client’s interruptions
during the course of the day, which inevitably
stifles productivity. The number of clients
struggling to access legal services post LASPO
has been well reported, as has the number of
law firms that have folded in recent times.
Increased productivity means increased
profitability and that means both lawyers and
their clients can benefit.
The Link App is very simple to use. After
downloading our system onto their computer,
the solicitor enters their user name and password,
logs in and is presented with an alphabetical list of
clients that they are currently working with. When
a client is selected, their case(s) appears and, when
one of those cases is chosen, a list of updates they
have been sent are shown.
There is an option to use pre-populated case
updates, which allow a lawyer to send regular
notifications to the client at the click of a button.
For example,‘drainage search back: no issues’or
‘contracts exchanged at 10.30am, completion due
in seven days.’However, we appreciate that
lawyers can’t always work within pre-defined
options, and additional or bespoke case updates
can be tailored to suit a particular case.
The app is equally easy for a client to use.
Clients are given a unique login which allows them
access to their own case(s) so they can see how
things are progressing. The app saves them time
as they don’t have to keep requesting updates
about their case, all the information they need can
be accessed at the touch of a button. However, if
they feel the need to talk to their lawyer, they can
request a call back via the app. Customer service is
key in the battle for client retention.
All communications via the app are encrypted
so interaction is secure and correspondence
confidential. The first version of the app is in beta
testing and will launch later this month.
Further investment
The Link App is free of charge for clients to use,
while legal firms pay costs starting from £13 per
case, varying dependent on usage, plus a nominal
annual fee. Technical support is available over the
phone or via email.
At the moment, the app is tailored to private
client users, with the pre-populated notifications
for conveyancers, with plans to add these for
additional disciplines when further investment
is secured.
In this early stage, the app’s core function is
communication, but I have many ideas how to
take it to the next level. Once it has been rolled out
in the legal sphere, the plan is to adapt it to other
professional disciplines too.
I believe that The Link App will revolutionise the
way law firms interact with their clients, increasing
productivity while simultaneously saving both
time and money. It is also a valuable marketing
tool as, in an increasingly competitive
marketplace, it will ensure a firm stays one step
ahead of its rivals.
Lauren Riley is a consultant
solicitor at Labrums and
creator of The Link App
, which is
available for download on iOS
and Android devices from the App
Store and Google Play from late
November. She was a contestant in
this series of The Apprentice, BBC1
Wednesdays 9pm
Technology Focus
Opening the lines
of communication
Customer service is
key in the battle for
client retention
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