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    June 15th, 2009

    Well its time to change
    when its time to change
    …when its time to change you’ve got to rearrange
    move your heart to what your gonna be…

    Words and Music by: Raymond Bloodworth, Billy Meshel, Chris Welch, recorded by The Brady Bunch.

    A lawyer friend of mine lamented recently about an experience he had in running an in-house education session for his partners on web 2.0, social media, blogs and their implications for marketing by lawyers.  One of his partners in the middle of the presentation asked how the teaching partner was recording his time spent learning about this stuff. My lawyer friend was expressing his frustration regarding this partner who not only was not connecting the dots, he wasn’t even seeing them.  Unfortunately, there seems to be an ever-increasing gulf between those lawyers who ‘get’ the positive implications of technology, who see the benefits of learning about them and who know that entering into a dialogue with their partners regarding how to best take advantage of these new developments will result in the betterment of all; and those that don’t.

    Perhaps those who do not ‘get it’ do not want for clients or are satisfied with the state of their practice and see no reason to change. But that does not accord with what I am told daily by many many lawyers who are constantly looking for ways to improve their practices. There are shining examples of lawyers who do ‘get it’ and who have embraced technology and have seen huge changes in their practice as a result.  I will be shortly running interviews of select  lawyers in upcoming posts under the new category “30 Questions for Busy Lawyers who use Technology” in order to shed some light on real examples of lawyers who are leaders in their understanding, use and application of technology.

    But to introduce these interviews, I thought I would look at one technology that is already built and available for lawyers in BC.  This is Dye & Durham’s Ecorp. For any solicitor who maintains corporate records, limited partnerships, proprietorships, partnerships and societies in BC or Federally, this is one incredible system.

    From incorporating a new corporation from the precedent and form library, to maintaining the corporate records in an online library, to establishing a Trust or s. 85 or s. 86 transaction – the system is automated (and has built-in checks to ensure that you have dotted every “i” and crossed every “T”).  Existing corporations can be brought into the system. Historical searches are straightforward (imagine trying to read an older paper-based minute book and trace what happened to a particular share issue…).  The software maintains shareholder rights and restrictions – preventing you from inadvertently causing a problem.  The document assembly and document library allows for quick generation of forms and documents once the data is in the system – without any spelling or typo errors. All filings are done electronically  – and if you wish to also extraprovincially register the corporation in Alberta – that is also available.

    You can upload your own share structures into Ecorp and have them available to you in future transactions.  Tracing affiliate references between corporations can be performed, allowing you to produce graphical organizational charts simply and easily.

    The system is web-based; Dye & Durham has taken the US Patriot Act and its privacy concerns to heart as all its servers and data are hosted within Canada.  Within Ecorp, security access can be controlled via user management settings and the user administrative system.  The system uses digital certificates to encrypt communications.  Full backup of all data is performed real time and the system is further backed up onto tape throughout the day. Real customer support personnal situate in their New Westminster office are available during business hours to assist in any user issues.

    Best of all, Dye & Durham has priced the system in a manner that is eminently suitable to lawyers starting up to established law firms.  There is no purchase of software required and Ecorp bills you $29/corporation/year (or less) at annual resolution time – allowing you to run the system without any upfront costs.

    In my opinion, this system offers solicitors a very powerful, accurate and cost-effective way to build and maintain a corporate records practice, particularly those who are just starting out or in a solo or small firm and who may not have a great deal of financial resources. It allows lawyers to gain from the built-in forms, checks and balances in the system – it even does the math for you!

    When it is time to change you’ve got to rearrange – and Ecorp is a great example of how technology can be acquired, applied and appreciated by lawyers who not only see the dots, they know how to connect them to their future.

    This entry was posted on Monday, June 15th, 2009 at 11:22 pm and is filed under Adding Value, Business Development, Change Management, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Make it Work!, Technology, Trends. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

    4 Responses to “Not Even Seeing the Dots…”
    1. Nicole Garton-Jones Says:

      We use Ecorp at Heritage Law and love it.

    2. Michele Allinotte Says:

      We will have to start using ECorp for federal corporations. We use FastCo for Ontario but do it the “old fashioned way” for federal.

    3. Ron Usher Says:

      We’re very pleased with Ecorp – fits perfectly with our “much less paper” office model.

      Ron

    4. DownSouth Says:

      You might do some research on the better option out there (ALF) which does all of the above, and more. My law firm has used it since 1998, and it just keeps getting better. ALF is installed locally, making privacy issues a moot-point, and also bills “per year” in their latest version.

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