Advocate Etienne De Ridder (cvba De Ridder Lahousse & Partners, Mechelen) does not mince matters: “For the organisation of our law firm, Cicero LawPack is a mission-critical tool that we cannot do without. I should add that, mainly due to a lack of time on our behalf, we do not yet fully utilise all the features the software offers. We do hope to remedy this in the future.”
Advocate De Ridder sees many advantages in using Cicero LawPack. “First, you can access all information from your workstation, be it your correspondence, your accounting, or whether or not a client has already been billed for a certain item. That way one does not have to race around the office to gather all information that would otherwise be stored in different locations. It saves a lot of time and work.”
Cicero LawPack also ensures that throughout the handling of a case all services rendered for a client, are billed correctly. “This does require us to meticulously keep track of all data, but, then again, this is to every one’s benefit. Finally I want to cite the immediate availability of all case-related information as one of the main assets.”
To Etienne De Ridder the software solution for his law firm above all had to be user-friendly and as complete as possible. Cicero LawPack scored very well on both fronts.
His first introduction to the program was at a commercial presentation, organised by the “Conferentie van de Jonge Balie” (The Young Bar Association). Then, in 1991, the implementation of Cicero LawPack in advocate De Ridder’s practice became a fact.
Etienne De Ridder is also pleased with the support he gets from Informa Europe bvba, the company responsible for Cicero LawPack. “At first, support happened by phone and we could always rely on the same person. By now, support is organised by e-mail, which is a logical evolution, as Informa Europe is an ever-expanding enterprise. Yet, we are still pleasantly surprised by the speed with which our mails are answered.”
Etienne De Ridder has been an advocate since 1977. The current law firm in Mechelen was established in 2001. It presently consists of five advocates, two apprentices and one secretary. Advocate De Ridder himself primarily deals with assignments ex officio by the tribunals of commerce and of first instance (bankruptcies, unclaimed inheritances, liquidations, etc.), apart from the occasional more common cases. One of the partners mainly focuses on labour law and social security law, while another one for the most part does family law. The other domains of law are practiced by the other partners and co-workers.
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