“We have a mutual trust. We know their company and clients and they know our people and business. Therefore, eMazzanti is ideally qualified to offer new equipment, updates, and technology designed to make our life easier, more efficient and more profitable.” Mark O’Brien, Partner, Flowers and O’Brien, LLC
Boutique Law Firm
Flowers & O’Brien, LLC (FNO), a NYC area boutique law firm, specializes in the representation of privately held companies, typically with real estate interests. Partners, Kerry Flowers and Mark O’Brien, seek to provide clients with sound legal advice in a timely and cost-effective manner.
“We also strive to partner with clients to ensure their success by providing practical business advice specific to their needs to enable them to achieve their immediate and long-term goals and growth potential,” related Flowers.
Compete with Larger Firms
When Flowers and O’Brien started the business in 2006, they moved into a space that eMazzanti had set up for the previous tenants. “So, I contacted Carl and eMazzanti became our tech support department,” Flowers explained.
“We wanted to take advantage of technology and be as paperless as possible,” he continued. “And from the outset, we saw eMazzanti as a long-term partner that would help us compete more effectively against the larger firms with technology.”
Legal Technology and Strategy Partner
After fourteen years, eMazzanti continues to excel as FNO’s outside support and tech department for everything from the mundane (setting up desktops, printers, scanners, and productivity apps) to assisting with eDiscovery.
eMazzanti’s expert tech staff support FNO’s six PCs, including backroom office servers and desktops, its mobile devices, phone equipment, and cloud data storage. “Anything IT, electronic and phone related, they acquire, install, maintain, replace and upgrade,” stated Flowers.
“They handle routine service calls, install patches and troubleshoot problems with everything that makes an office run in 2020, including QuickBooks and add-on software applications that are needed,” added O’Brien.
When FNO’s Partners started their business, the typical law office employed a receptionist. “Carl suggested that we go with VOIP technology and helped us select a phone vendor that integrated with Outlook,” related Flowers.
That technology eliminated the receptionist position in the office because it transcribed searchable voice messages and delivered them to their email inboxes. “Since we didn’t have to dedicate a full-time person to that function, we recaptured the incremental cost of the phone system and software within the first couple of months,” reported Flowers.
Strong Cyber Security
Law firms, especially in real estate, suffer a high risk of being hacked because they move a lot of funds through trust accounts. “Attorneys should never use Gmail or anything like that,” cautioned Flowers. “They need a firewall and a solid, safe tech environment. Otherwise, bad things are going to happen.”
For example, Flowers related how another attorney in New York lost about $3 million by wiring client funds to an offshore bank as directed by a hacker who intercepted the firm’s email. And, they could not get it back.
Fortunately, eMazzanti provides a secure environment for FNO to practice law. They depend on eMazzanti’s MXInspect email security and an advanced firewall appliance that eMazzanti continually monitors. “I can go to sleep without worrying about our data,” reported Flowers.
Effective Staff Management
Flowers appreciates eMazzanti’s accessible, friendly, and knowledgeable engineers. “Management of the tech staff seems very tight,” he reported. “Carl has trained them exceptionally well. And, they have this great ability to speak layman in a tech environment. So, we have come to know them and have a good relationship.”
“eMazzanti has a ticketing system that is quite effective,” he continued. “Carl is also accessible and will get back to you very quickly. It’s a positive, collaborative experience. That is one of the primary drivers of our long-term relationship that’s important to me.”
As FNO grows with eMazzanti, the firm’s new business comes entirely from referrals. Technology plays an important role in the firm’s success. “We’ve practiced in 500-person law firms, so we have the big firm ability,” related Flowers. “And with technology, we’re able to swim with the big boys.”
“For example, eDiscovery technology gave us the ability to take on a project we would have otherwise had to pass on. We were retained on a case at a point where 20 other law firms represented plaintiffs. Unless the client produced 17,000 documents, the case would be dismissed with prejudice in five days.”
“Carl arranged an eDiscovery vendor that scanned all the docs to the cloud. On the date to hear the motion to dismiss, I walked in and handed everybody a code to the cloud to access the documents.”
“There was stunned silence, because no one could understand how a three-attorney firm had managed to get 17,000 documents organized and put into discovery within three days. That’s the benefit of using a tech company like eMazzanti.”
Working More Efficiently
FNO does a fair amount of financing work in the seven-figure range. The lenders involved heavily document those transactions. “We don’t struggle keeping up,” reported flowers. “We’re able to maintain the flow of paperwork and represent our clients cost effectively because of the technology.”
Some of FNO’s clients have worked with Flowers for over 20 years. “People love to come to our comfortable, well-appointed office,” he explained. “Yet, by taking advantage of technology, we have not raised our hourly rates at the same percentage as the competition, because we work more efficiently.”
Rising Tide and Incomes
On more than several occasions over the years, technology from eMazzanti factored heavily in the firm’s success.
“It has enabled us to grow our practice in areas that we would otherwise not be able to handle,” confirmed Flowers. “Our clients appreciate what we do to maintain efficiency and deliver legal services at a consistently high level.”
Looking at legal technology and strategy on the horizon and where it’s going, eMazzanti performs a periodic review of FNO’s needs and environment. “The legal profession is going to be changed significantly because of COVID-19. And technology will play an increasing role,” assessed Flowers.
“It’s a very positive relationship,” added O’Brien. “Carl is also loyal. His mindset is, a rising tide lifts all boats, i.e. the more business everybody generates, the more income everyone makes. Accordingly, he has referred several clients to us over the years.”
Long-term Legal Technology and Strategy Partnership
“eMazzanti thinks strategically about your business and how they can enhance your productivity and profitability by providing technology tailored to your needs,” concluded O’Brien. “Their personnel are also courteous and punctual problem-solvers.”
“Most impressive are Carl’s energy and vision. He leads a 5-star operation that will be an asset to your team.”
“We have a mutual trust. We know their company and clients and they know our people and business. Therefore, eMazzanti is ideally qualified to offer new equipment, updates, and technology designed to make our life easier, more efficient and more profitable.”