Van der Feltz advocaten
Marc Houweling

 

The next-generation lawyer wants ‘easy software’
Marc started his own firm in 2016. As he puts it, he was looking for ‘easy software to facilitate the next-generation lawyer.’ ‘I am on the road a lot, and I need a working environment that can support this. Working in the cloud, apps; those are today’s solutions that allow me and the team to work where and when we want. Even if it’s a summer’s day spent at the beach. I do not want software to hinder me in my ambitions.’

An app for everything
Marc opted for Legalsense in 2016 for his work as an independent entrepreneur. Even now, working as an equity partner at law firm Van der Feltz Advocaten with a team of 30 people, he still supports this choice. Easy time-tracking, whenever and wherever you need it, is key for Van der Feltz Advocaten. Marc: ‘We need to be able to register our time in real-time, from anywhere. This ensures we do not lose any time and that we present a well-substantiated registration to the client. I, along with many of my colleagues, want to easily register the time worked in an app. Legalsense facilitates this.’
‘How did I end up at Legalsense? When I first started out on my own a few years ago, the founder of Legalsense, Bram Braakman, turned out to be someone who could relate to me and my ambition. Bram was very approachable, as is the entire team to this day, for that matter. Legalsense is not a portal for me, it is a face. I am in business with men—and women—of my own age. There is always someone to answer me when I e-mail or call in the evening. That is important to me as an entrepreneur.’

‘I was ready to throw the software out the window.’

Speedy billing
Before Marc started working independently, he worked at a large law firm for several years. He used to work with an all-in-one system for his time registration and file administration. ‘I was ready to throw the software out the window. All the fuss interrupted my work too much.’ Van der Feltz Advocaten deliberately opted for a best-of-breed environment, which includes Legalsense. Marc initially had his doubts about this. Would a best-of-breed environment not be more expensive than an all-in-one solution? ‘Even if it were, it has more than made up for it in terms of user-friendliness.’

It is not just the intuitive way of time registration that speeds everything along, it is also the invoicing process. The entire billing process runs digitally. ‘I can even mark off my billing expenses when I am abroad. Moreover, we now provide clients with very accessible insight into the work in progress and we share status updates. We can also very easily analyse our data from previous files to determine the right fee for new quotations. It also enables an easier way to make alternative fee agreements with our clients, instead of the standard hourly billing.
We also use the reporting tool to generate reports such as employee performance overviews. This provides a clear picture for appraisal interviews, for example.’
For Marc, it is ultimately all about modern user-friendliness. ‘Software should be simple and user-friendly. Like many other lawyers around me, I want to work with technology that takes away unnecessary work. With a variety of devices, with speed, with apps, and with the confidence that technology works alongside me. I want it to be possible for me to register my time while I am on the road, without bothersome log-in procedures and detours. That results in a loss of time and, therefore, hours. I have found that Legalsense is always open to feedback and improvement. I am convinced that Legalsense has provided us with a future-proof product, enabling us to work more efficiently. The product matches our ambition to provide the best possible service to our clients.’