Barhead’s August 2021 release of Consensus, an end-to-end contract and matter management platform built on the Microsoft Cloud, is poised to be an asset in the legal industry. Early adoptees, Marrickville Legal Centre, are looking forward to the time savings that will be put back in the hands of lawyers, thanks to diminishing organisational overheads.

‘Marrickville Legal Centre is set up to provide free legal advice or affordable representation for members of the community who would otherwise be unable to access assistance. As a large community legal centre, you can imagine the volume of clients we have coming in,’ says Vasili Maroulis, Managing Principal Solicitor.

‘There’s a huge amount of administrative work that’s associated with that. As part of our insurance requirements, we need to comply with the Risk Management Guide, which requires employees and supervising solicitors to review and follow very specific processes for all of our legal work, especially in the case of volunteers.’

With around 400 volunteers at the Centre, this amounts to significant overheads for paid supervising solicitors. For Marrickville Legal Centre, Consensus represents better operational efficiency.

‘Adopting Consensus, we anticipate we will deliver between a 20 to 30% administrative efficiency for paid staff and employed lawyers across the organization,’ says Maroulis. ‘What that will then translate to is freeing up that time to enable solicitors and employees to deliver more frontline services to the community.’

As the not-for-profit organisation currently works within the Microsoft stack, Consensus and Barhead were a natural fit. ‘Considering we’re already working within the Microsoft stack, it makes perfect sense to work with a Microsoft Gold Partner like Barhead. Consensus’ email integration and ability to dual sync from the app to SharePoint is going to be incredibly helpful for client file management.’

‘Barhead were friendly, supportive, and responsive. Most importantly, they think outside the box in relation to approaching solutions within our organisation. That’s critical for us with the breadth of everyday operational requirements and the number of projects we have. They’ve been pivotal in mapping out where we can be and the improvements that we can make.’

Consensus as a Microsoft enabler for legal, procurement and contracting teams

Consensus is a complete contract lifecycle and matter management solution, designed to create new efficiencies within legal, procurement, contracting and risk and compliance teams.  These teams are often burdened by significant amount of information, and, as organisations move from paper-based to digital and from on-premise to cloud based systems, need systems to manage their data efficiently and effectively.

By allowing users to surface knowledge at speed, Consensus is designed to give time back to employees and therefore reallocate resources and time to add more value to the business.  Consensus allows users to manage contracts and matters end-to-end, with easy, automated workflows, advanced search, email management,  reminder notifications, in-situ version history and SharePoint integration, actionable emails, insight and reporting capabilities and more.

The Barhead-produced app allows users to work on the Microsoft Cloud, with integrations into Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Office 365 apps such as Teams, Outlook, SharePoint, as well as other web apps, for data unification and acts as a single source of truth across the entire organisation. As a leading Microsoft solutions provider, Barhead has designed Consensus to feel native and intuitive to Microsoft business users. The cloud and mobile -based solution runs on Azure, leveraging Microsoft’s security guarantees.

Consensus reduces the paperwork, process, and asynchronous overheads in these industries by orchestrating and streamlining these activities, with software doing the heavy lifting. Improved compliance reporting, efficiency, and higher operational capacity are the result.

Barhead is a specialist Microsoft solutions consultancy, dedicated to demonstrating the power of combining MS services for business. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, they deliver tailored technology implementations as well as produce a range of commercial apps for business that leverage the Microsoft services ecosystem.