Lawyers win award for pioneering digital courtrooms

Council lawyers who proposed paperless courtrooms in a revolutionary scheme have won a prestigious award.

The South London Legal Partnership (SLLP) won the Driving Efficiency Through Technology category at the Local Government Chronicle Awards last night.

The SLLP, made up of Merton, Sutton, Richmond, Kingston and Wandsworth councils, is pioneering Digital Courtrooms, an innovative solution which has resulted in estimated savings of over £800,000 to date. The Digital Courtrooms system makes it easier than ever to create electronic court bundles that are automatically indexed and paginated. Once the bundle is ready it is then sent securely and digitally to the court.

Digital Courtrooms are already in operation in three of London’s Family Courts with the boroughs of Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark subscribing to the service. The SLLP, with its private sector partners Projectfusion and Zylpha, is in talks with other boroughs to roll it out across London and in other regions.

Councillor Stephen Alambritis, Leader of Merton Council, said: “Congratulations to the South London Legal Partnership on winning this prestigious award. Driving Efficiency Through Technology sums up how Digital Courtrooms are transforming the way court cases are administered and setting a precedent for the way council legal services could work in the future.”

Lord True, Leader of Richmond Council, said: “Yet again our Legal Partnership has been recognised for providing innovation in local government. We know that partnership is the way forward for all councils. The success of the South London Legal Partnership has already proved that joining forces with other boroughs can make a positive difference in providing a quality in-house legal service while making significant financial savings. Congratulations to the staff in the Partnership. By winning this award, we have proven that by working together we can be more efficient and innovative, transforming our businesses for the better.”

Cllr Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, said: “We’re proud of the innovative services we share with our neighbours in the south London area. Working together we deliver top-quality, coordinated services that benefit everyone in the region. This well-deserved LGC accolade for the South London Legal Partnership is testament to the hard work of the team. We’d like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to gain this fantastic recognition.”

Kingston Council leader, Kevin Davis said: “I would like to congratulate the South London Legal Partnership on winning this award and being recognised by the LGC for leading the way in digital courtrooms. Kingston is extremely proud of this partnership and the award recognises the high-quality service that the South London boroughs collaboratively provide. The continuing success of the SLLP has proven that working with other neighbouring boroughs can help us to be more efficient and innovative, whilst making financial savings.”

Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia said: “Inspiring innovation and challenging the established ways of doing things has been a hallmark of Wandsworth’s approach to delivering public services over the years. Our partnership work here with our neighbouring boroughs is yet another example of how we always look to innovate to ensure our residents benefit from high quality value for money services.”