"For a small Legal Department, Xakia is excellent."

Xakia's legal matter management software was chosen to improve legal services delivery and reporting at Upper Hutt City Council, without the need for a costly and complex implementation.

"We are a busy team. I was only interested in a matter management solution that could add value without feeling like I would be climbing Mt Everest," said Guy Smith, General Counsel at Upper Hutt City Council.

Upper Hutt City Council

Local government

Key results
  • Improved client service
  • Timely, accurate and actionable reports
  • Administrative time saved
  • Identify skill and resources gaps
  • Improve visibility for risk & governance

“We were up and running so quickly, and without investing much time or money.”

Guy Smith
General Counsel

Guy Smith - Upper Hutt City Council

About Upper Hutt City Council

Upper Hutt City Council | Te Kaunihera o Te Awa Kairangi ki Uta (UHCC), is the Local Government Authority for the city of Upper Hutt, which is part of the wider Wellington region in New Zealand.

The Council provides services to around 60,000 rate payers and visitors, and employs around 250 people. Its Legal Department is comprised of Guy Smith, the General Counsel, two lawyers and an Administrator, who provide legal advice and representation to a myriad of internal clients across numerous departments, with diverse legal requirements. Their practice covers areas as diverse as dog control, employment, resource management and building consenting.

A legal matter management software that wasn't like climbing Mt Everest

In-house legal challenge

UHCC wanted a single source of truth for all its legal work and modern matter management software that wasn’t going to break the bank.

“We wanted a platform that would tell us over a period of time what work was coming in, what was going out, who was doing it, and what needed action and when.

We wanted to know who was using our services, and what work we were doing that was of high value or high consequence.

Previously we were working with manual lists which was administratively heavy, prone to errors, and didn’t allow us to step back and look at our practice with reference to data.”

“I didn’t want a legal platform that would be like climbing Mt Everest. I wanted a legal matter management platform with a light footprint, that was simple to use, easy to implement and offered powerful functionality."

"One of my biggest challenges was that I wasn’t interested in buying a piece of LegalTech that steamrolled all the other tech my organization had invested in and used. I didn’t want an expensive legal platform that required an expensive IT infrastructure to support it, with bolt-on costs, only to realize that they aren’t compatible sideways,” said Mr. Smith.

A search for the right in-house legal software

Mr. Smith kicked off his search for new in house legal software by putting a call out to his industry peers on LinkedIn for legal matter management software recommendations. He was connected with Jodie Baker, CEO at Xakia Technologies and took up a free pilot to test Xakia matter management software out for himself. He said:

For a small legal department, I think Xakia is excellent. I looked at a number of local and global legal matter management solutions... but Xakia made it extremely easy. 

Guy Smith
General Counsel

“Other solutions demanded a lot more from me, both in time and investment. For example, I looked at the Microsoft suite as a legal department software solution. There’s no doubt it can do the job and do it really well, but it was quickly apparent it would be an expensive, long-haul journey to actively work with our IT team and externals to build, test and maintain the system ourselves. I know legal counsel that have gone down that path and they’ve never come up for air again. I didn’t want that.”

Results for the in-house legal team

Xakia's legal matter management system helped provide some quick wins for Upper Hutt City Council.

Easy adoption

Xakia is a cloud based legal software, so you don’t need to worry about hosting and maintaining the software, and regular software releases means it’s continually innovative and functionally rich. It stands happily on its own two feet, but can also integrate with UHCC’s other tech.

Mr. Smith said, “For a small legal department I think Xakia is excellent. It solved some of our challenges and allowed us to consider our practice more strategically."

"And the return on our investment was immediate because it's so lightweight and easy to use - it wasn't a burden. We had excellent support from Xakia, who I've found really responsive."

Guy Smith
General Counsel


legal matter management software

A matter management solution to show strategic value

“Xakia’s automated legal dashboards and reporting provide us with real-time insights and visibility into the strategic value of the work we are doing by showing us the size and complexity of legal requests coming in. It’s thought-provoking stuff. Xakia's standard reports provide excellent summaries to leadership of the work the team is doing and the value we’re delivering.”

Mr. Smith noted the conversations he has been able to facilitate with his Board: "Xakia reports allow us to convey the crucial information without getting into the weeds. It has enabled excellent visibility over risk leading to good governance conversations."

legal analytics software

Skills and resource gaps are immediately highlighted

One of the critical benefits of Xakia's legal matter management software is its ability to highlight where resources need to be focused to address organizational demand.

"Matter management tools need to show an in-house team where they have a gap between what is needed, and what they can deliver," Mr Smith observed. "This sort of legal data analytics allows for long term resource planning which takes into consideration the organization's medium to long term goals and the current landscape. Xakia's matter management system offers those insights right out of the box."

A simple, powerful and affordable matter management solution

“With Xakia, we have achieved our goals to both manage and understand work on a day-to-day basis, and also to gain the insights we need to plan for the future. We have been able to consider our practice in a more strategic way to ensure that we are focusing on the most complex and impactful work to achieve the goals of our broader team," Mr Smith concludes.

"Legal matter management through spreadsheet headaches is now a thing of the past. The adoption of Xakia has streamlined our team's legal operations and elevated our communications with our internal clients. A win-win for all stakeholders."

Xakia case study - Upper Hutt City Council

Download the Upper Hutt City Council case study

Useful legal matter management resources

Increase visibility and collaboration with Xakia legal matter management