Event write up by Julie McCarthy, committee
I have been attending this event now for around 5 years and have to say this has got to be one of the best ones yet!! It was so well organised and ran exactly to the timings on the agenda. We started the day with refreshments and our first opportunity to network with other attendees. At 9.30 am the sessions started with Clare Waller leading the day. She gave an excellent introduction to the day with some interesting facts and figures, particularly how many total years’ experience the UKDEG team had been working in Law – too many to mention!
Throughout the day Clare has a clever method to ensure the speakers didn’t overrun with 5 minute warning, 2 minute warning and End Now signs!!
The first speaker was Marianne Armitage, from Watson Farley Williams and a UKDEG committee member. Marianne gave us a thought-provoking insight into problems faced by law firms with regards to formatting problems with documents, particularly when collaborating on legal agreements using Microsoft Word. She also confirmed why the UK Document Excellence Group originally formed to face these issues by showcasing their solution of a Standard Styles Naming Convention and more effective style structure.
Next on was Sarah Chipping (Clyde & Co and ILTA) who gave an interesting presentation on ILTA in the UK – another great organisation for law firms to use to share experiences, gain useful knowledge and attend workshops and user groups.
Just before the coffee break, Levente Nagy from Microsoft gave us a fascinating insight into what’s new in Office 2016 and blew everyone’s mind when he demoed the new 3D images and animation in PowerPoint!
After a well-earned coffee break – back to the next speakers. Annette Brown (Milbank) and Jayne Smith (Bluebird Services) gave us a humorous and informative presentation on Agile working which certainly does seem to be the way forward.
To finish the morning sessions, Ryan Soosayraj (Workshare), otherwise known as Mr Meerkat, presented us with an insight into The Unknown Unknown – or the information we pass over every time we use email, maps, social media. When Ryan started, I was reminded myself to close down all social media. But when Mr Meerkat related a story about Mama Meerkat, I realised simply pulling the plug will not remove the information I have already provided unknowingly. Parts of this was really spooky as Ryan displayed how using a search engine in Google, searching on Facebook or Instagram opens you up to a whole host of risk and information. Although there were undertones of seriousness, Ryan’s presentation was delivered with great humour and ease of style. He finished off his presentation with what previous attendees of the Document Excellence Day have come to expect from Ryan – and that’s his humorous animals!
A great lunch presented by BT and then back to it…During the lunch break I managed to chat to several attendees who were all enjoying the day so far and expressed how much they look forward to attending this event.
The Afternoon session kicked off with an interactive panel discussion about how Document Automation is changing the way we work and what impact this will have on a law firm in the future. Congratulations to BLP for acknowledging that technology plays a huge part in pitching/maintaining clients. The discussion was useful in reminding us that automation/robots will not be replacing lawyers.
Mark Garnish of Tikit then gave a very comprehensive presentation into Office 365 and what it means to your firm. I didn’t realise how many different licences of Office 365 could be bought!
After another break with the best scones I have tasted in a long while! We then had a very interesting presentation from Iwona Dudek (CMS) – smart quotes, curly quotes, straight quotes. It’s the devil in the detail. An eye-opener. Cannot wait until I am the one to solve this problem when it turns up and be the star of the stage like Iwona was in her presentation.
Last but not least Paul Walker of iManage gave a great, informative talk around best practices in Document Control. A copy of the slides would be most useful for this one.
The day finished off with drinks and canapes at the Bread Street Kitchen where we got to discuss the day’s events and swap stories whilst eating good food and drinking! Perfect and thanks to Microsystems, Tikit and Workshare for providing this! Everyone enjoyed themselves – here’s just a couple of things people said to me.
Karen Wilkinson (Addleshaw Goddard)
“Another fantastic event with some interesting and varied topics, overall a great opportunity to network and link-up with like-minded people.”
Yvette de Hoop (Forsters)
“I can relate to Sarah Chipping’s story about how she contacted the ILTA forum and sought advice as to the issue of whether to roll back or not to roll back. I have sought feedback myself on ILTA albeit on simpler queries but having garnered knowledge and recommendation from the members, it has provided me with not only answers but confidence to then advise my colleagues and managers to make informed choices.
And Clare Waller – on fine and friendly form as always –instantly makes everyone feel welcome and sets the atmosphere to relaxed yet structured. Even as Madam Timekeeper, her handling of the speakers kept the day on course. Also important, Clare also knows when to end the day! Cheers Clare”
Julie McCarthy is a Product Specialist in Business & Document Productivity at BigHand, building interactive templates in the legal sector. She previously worked for Advanced/Tikit and specialised in template design and training. She has over 20 years’ experience working in a variety of sectors ranging from legal, wealth management and media. Julie is passionate about creating an interactive and enjoyable environment that supports learning.
Committee member since December 2016