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Drydens continue to expand with the help of Liberate from Linetime


Drydens, the specialist recoveries and litigation lawyers (who are ranked number 1 in the North East and Joint Number 1 nationwide by Chambers & Partners and joint first by The Legal 500), became independent of their parent firm Hammonds in 2003.

Based in Little Germany, Bradford, Rachael Charmbury, Partner in Charge and CEO commented, “Our overall objective as a business is to be different from the competition and due to the diversity of our client range we need to offer tailored solutions of the highest quality. To do this we recognise that we need to have the highest calibre of staff, trained to the highest levels using the latest cutting edge software technology.

“This focus on quality combined with effective recovery services has shown substantial dividends in terms of our high profile clients such as ‘Egg’ and ‘HBOS’ whose business we obtained during our first year as an independent organisation.”

Drydens has built their impressive client base through the management of volume litigation matters including debt claims, contract disputes and other repetitive litigation that can be processed through workflow management and the intelligent use of precedents.

The Opportunity

As Rachael said, “We began our relationship with Linetime many years ago through the use of their original Unix based Debt Recovery system Debtime, which at the time was ideally suited to our needs. However as the company grew our requirements changed, as did the available technology.

“When we de-merged from Hammonds we decided to instigate a comprehensive review of our IT strategy, both hardware and software. As is well known, success in modern business demands the application of modern business practices and modern systems. We therefore felt that our reliance on what was considered to be quite ‘old’ software technology was running counter to this ideal. In addition we were also acutely aware that our business required a solution that would enable it to continue to compete successfully in what was becoming a highly cost sensitive market”.

The Search

As Rachael emphasised, “We wanted to find a solution that could replicate our existing procedures, as far as possible, but also gave us all the advantages of more efficient and speedy processing. We also decided that the system would also have to be based on a modern SQL database.

As one would expect from a professional organisation like Drydens, Rachael assembled a strategy group to specify a set of criteria that their new system would have to meet. This list of criteria included practical items such as the ability of the chosen supplier to help with software migration and the level of integration between the case and financial management systems. This point was of particular importance as Drydens business is focussed around an integrated approach to actions and their financial outcomes.

Rachael again, “We began by searching the legal software market, however because of the way in which we had structured our system specification we managed to produce a short list reasonably quickly.” 

The Solution

After an in-depth series of demonstrations and user visits Linetime was appointed as the preferred supplier, and their market leading Liberate DebtimeSQL system with integrated Liberate Accounts as their chosen solution.
When asked why they chose the latest technology from Linetime Rachael commented, “The reason for making the decision to go with Linetime was complex. However they did score highly in all of the key areas of our specification, including; total accounts integration, the scalability of the Liberate software, the use of an industry standard database system in Microsoft’s SQL Server technology, the flexibility and ease of use of their Case Management system, the reputation of their DebtimeSQL product and of course the technical and business expertise of the Linetime people themselves.

“It’s often easy to forget that irrespective of how technically efficient a system is, it is the personal and business relationships that often make the difference. An example of this was how the Linetime implementation group worked with our internal project team. They showed the kind of professionalism and flexibility that I’ve come to value so much as the business relationship has developed.

Drydens currently have approximately 100 concurrent Liberate users including 82 on the debt system.

The Future

Drydens is an ambitious dynamic business and as such its IT requirements will undoubtedly continue to grow accordingly. Along with the majority of modern organisations it is looking to standardise its IT philosophy, in as far as possible, across the whole firm, with a view to seamlessly automating as many business processes as is technically possible.

The whole concept of automation of the legal process is something that Rachael sees as crucial as the firm moves on into the 21st century with all its opportunities and challenges. To this end they have recently implemented the latest in Linetime’s Liberate business automation suite, ImageRouter.NET.

ImageRouter.NET provides for the potential of a paperless office with a faster, more efficient distribution of all images (documents, photographs, video or audio) enabling fee earners immediate access to all aspects of the file, even if someone else is working on it. Another important factor is that security copies of all images are taken with every system backup so there is no possibility of loosing important documents or images.

Rachael’s final comment, “We see the Liberate system as a critical element in our overall strategic plan and look forward to continuing to work with Linetime as we move towards even more business automation with the introduction of a ‘less-paper’ office, which we believe is the way forward for both our firm and for the industry in general”.

The Product

Liberate DebtimeSQL is a market leading County & High Court Debt Recovery system designed to meet the needs of modern credit departments. Unlike the majority of its competitive products it is not an adapted case management system. It was designed specifically for use by credit management professionals like Drydens and is constantly evolving to meet the needs of both the commercial and consumer debt recovery market alike.

High quality customer service is guaranteed with DebtimeSQL through, for example, the use of customised charging profiles and billing templates, allowing users to meet individual client requirements. Clients receive the information they want, when they want it and in the format they want. Authorised clients and referrers can access matter details in a secure ‘real-time’ on-line environment at any time from anywhere, saving the user and the client valuable time and money.

In addition to a host of modern features designed to provide the very best management and reporting controls over the whole recovery process, DebtimeSQL also benefits from complimentary Linetime products such as the performance analyser MyView.NET and ImageRouter.NET.


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Moorfield House
Moorfield Close
LS19 7YA
0113 250 0020