Who: David Wood
When: 6 months – 2005
• Work through a big merger with another firm to complete within six months
• Revamp and revitalise the internal IT department
• Convert systems from one OS to another
Cobbetts LLP was a corporate law firm, working mainly in corporate, employment, dispute and real estate law. At the time of the project, Cobbetts was the top law firm in Manchester. The firm was originally founded in Manchester, and expanded to have offices there and in London, Leeds and Birmingham.
Our Associate was tasked with helping Cobbetts complete a large-scale merger with Leeds-based law firm Reed Hyde Stewart. The merger had to be completed within six months. Cobbetts also used a different operating system to the other firm, so the project involved completing an overhaul and conversion of the firm’s entire operating system. There was also discontent and a poor staff satisfaction rate with regards to IT that needed to be addressed and resolved within the time limit.
Our Associate conducted an internal staff survey to fully understand the issues and perceived issues with the current IT setup. Building on the results, our Associate then built up a new IT team, with a combination of temporary appointments and fast recruitments. Appointments included two trainers, two Case Management Developers, a Software Developer and a range of other IT support staff.
Part of the merger involved the Cobbetts team learning to operate on a Microsoft-based system, as opposed to the Novel system in place before. Providing training across the team was quite challenging, with myriad new roles; furthermore, Microsoft was brand-new to lots of the team members.
Around 300 of the firm’s computers were outfitted with a different type of motherboard than was required for the new, upgraded operating system. This meant that 300 motherboards needed replacing! Our Associate managed to arrange for DELL to upgrade every single motherboard for absolutely no cost. It was then a challenge to install all these motherboards in time for the merger to take place – which was achieved!
Under the guidance of our Associate, Cobbetts successful completed a merger with Reed Hyde Stewart. The team and all workload were migrated over to a completely new operating system, with successful and comprehensive training provided to streamline productivity. When our Associate arrived the IT team and companywide perception of IT wasn’t in a good place; in just six months, by the time the project was completed, our Associate had built a comprehensive and fully-staffed team well-equipped to move the company forwards. Communication across the company improved, and all the systems were fully implemented within the time objective.