Legal firms, like all businesses, can make efficiency improvements by using technology to transform processes that are traditionally manual and people led. Yet despite this, there is one activity that remains labour-intensive and that is the trips staff make to court to stamp legal documents. However, that needn’t be the case. Instead, firms can access credit and stamp court documents from the comfort of their own offices. 

Automation transforms administrative processes, saving time and therefore cost. So much so, that over a fifth (22 per cent) of technology decision makers in a survey from HR specialist Randstad point to employee productivity as the motivation for redesigning their businesses and embracing technology. Unfortunately, digital processes often end at the point where documents need to be verified. For legal firms, that means staff going to the courthouse to stamp court papers. 

The 6 challenges of taking papers to court

This creates a number of challenges:

  1. Time – the time staff spend on this part of the process could be better spent on client work. Neither is it just travelling to and from the courthouse, when they’re there they may have to wait as well, adding to the number of hours this activity takes up 
  2. Restricted opening hours – if staff don’t make it to the courthouse in time, papers won’t get stamped and cases that should have progressed may be unnecessarily delayed
  3. Payment – staff need to pay, in cash or by credit card, for court fees once at the court. This means tracking and managing spend and potentially holding cash in the office. Taking forms of payment out of the office also poses a security risk  
  4. Contact – at the present time, businesses are reassessing their in-person activities and questioning if they are necessary. Processes that bring people together are ripe for change to reduce contact
  5. Mislaid paperwork - taking documents out of the office creates the risk that they could get lost in transit. That would inevitably cause a delay to cases and create additional workload regenerating paperwork to take to court once more
  6. Security – the biggest issue of sensitive paperwork getting lost outside the office is the potential data protection breach that represents. In that case, repercussions and reparations can be long-lasting and damaging. 

Transforming documentary processes

Court documents must be stamped, but legal firms don’t need to make time-consuming, labour-intensive, inconvenient trips to the courthouse for that to happen.

Instead, they can securely stamp court documents with a Court Services approved fee franking machine for the Irish legal sector. This takes away the need to go to the courthouse to pay fees and adds the convenience that documents can be stamped at any time when they are ready, including out of hours.  

The machine can be quickly and simply recredited online anytime with just the required funds. This is a benefit Denis I. Finn Solicitors noticed, as Michael Nuding, Partner, explains: “We can download credit from the internet as we need it, rather than having to buy credit in bulk. This helps us maintain our cash flow.”

Furthermore, the data that comes from the fee franking machine tracks total and spend on stamps. This information provides useful input to cost forecasting, management, and auditing, and enables cost apportionment. 

To find out more about accessing credit and stamping court documents from the comfort of the office, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, take a look at the CS-200 court fee franking machine from Quadient. 

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