Q&A with Angus Niven from Coulters

Coulters, an Edinburgh-based solicitor estate agent, have recently begun trialling the Altis platform to improve their efficiency and the service they can provide to clients. We caught up with one of their solicitors, Angus Niven, to find out about his experience with Altis so far and the importance of technological advancements in the legal industry.

Can you tell us about your and Coulter’s experience with Altis so far?

We’ve basically been trialling it mostly towards the end of last year. I’ve been doing cases through it. I put my first couple of cases through it in September – it’s a really good system. It’s just about getting that practical experience within the firm of someone using it and actually pushing it on.

What would you say are the main benefits of the platform?

It’s a smooth way of doing things. I think it all being so centralised and readily accessible is a benefit. Generally, we have one point of contact for a case, but if that person was unavailable for whatever reason, it’s all there, and if you pick up the phone to speak to the client, you’ve got everything there for you at a glance. Having a dashboard with all the information in front of you makes it easier when you’re speaking to clients.

Have you found Altis to be user-friendly?

It’s straight-forward and there’s nothing off-putting – you can pretty much go on it straight away and know roughly what’s going on. A lot of systems have been designed in the USA or down south in England, but because it’s been designed in Scotland, it’s designed for exactly what we are doing.

How have you found the training and onboarding process with Altis?

It’s been good – we had a number of meetings with Mike and Jamie and we’ve had them in to train the partners, as well as train junior members of the team. Having their support is excellent.

2018 saw the Altis integration with Registers of Scotland and First Scottish go live – do you think these developments will benefit users?

Yes, it makes complete sense. Having that at the click of the button makes complete sense, rather than having to double key information onto different online platforms.

Altis integration with LawWare is something that Coulters is interested in – can you talk a bit more about this from your side?

There a lot of information put into LawWare that we would also like to put into Altis and vice versa. It’s all to do with having everything speak to each other in the best possible way. If it’s easier for us, it makes it easier for the client.

Does Coulters aim to be at the forefront of the legal technology industry?

It’s something that Coulters is really keen to be at the forefront of. If you’re not completely on the ball at making sure you’re efficient as you can be, whether that’s in communication or document production, it’s the clients who miss out at the end of the day. You can keep going with the old-fashioned ways, but that’s at a cost to your clients. It’s not just Altis, it’s all over the business that we’re trying to bring in anything to ensure that we’re offering the best service we can. The technology side is vital to that.

Do you think there is an appetite for technological change in the legal industry?

There is an appetite for change, and I also think a lot of the work done by junior solicitors could be done by automated systems, so everyone is focusing on what the process is and where you can gain efficiency. So what solicitors are going to have to do is focus more on clients, because the main part of our job will be client care. And if, in the background, we can have things running more smoothly because of technology, be more efficient and effective because of technology, then that’s better for the client.

If you would like to speak with one of the Altis team about trying our system, get in touch today!