Ready for the future with AbaPlato, DeepSign and DeepID

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The Bremgarten and Baden-based law firm chkp. is preparing for a future in which submissions to the court will almost exclusively be received digitally. In doing so, chkp. relies on the Plato legal solution and electronic signatures with DeepSign and DeepID. Dominik Peter, lawyer and SAV construction and real estate law specialist at chkp, explains in an interview how the digitalisation of submissions is possible without additional effort and in line with established processes.

Which solution does chkp. use for administration and file management tasks?

We rely on Plato for this. This solution, specially designed for law firms, offers comprehensive functions for file management, time recording, billing and reporting. We have had positive experiences with this - and we are also looking to a future in which the justice system will be digitalised as much as possible.

What exactly do you mean by that?

The Directors of Justice and the Justice Conference have launched the "Justitia 4.0" project with the aim of digitalising the Swiss justice system. In the future, legal transactions between all the parties involved in proceedings will be conducted electronically via the centralised justice platform "Justitia.Swiss" . In addition to courts and public prosecutors' offices, this modernisation also affects around 12,000 lawyers and their staff.

What does this mean for chkp?

As a modern, broad-based law firm, we have decided to take a closer look at the topic and find a solution that fits our processes without causing any additional work. The core elements are the electronic signature of legal documents and digital submission to the court. We are well positioned for digitalisation: chkp. is ISO 9001-certified, all processes are defined and documented - this certification puts us one step ahead of many other law firms.

«The solution with Plato, DeepSign and DeepID works smoothly, fully fulfils our requirements and is easy to learn.»

Dominik Peter, chkp.

How does a submission to the court traditionally work in your office?

An attorney prepares the required document and forwards it to the assistant for a second reading in accordance with the dual control principle. The latter finalises the document and returns it to the lawyer in completed form for signature. It is then sent to the court by post and the relevant deadline is marked as met in the calendar.

And how can this process be digitalised?

Initially, we tried using e-signatures from common providers, which we inserted directly into the document in the PDF software. However, this proved to be impractical for our law firm because it runs counter to our process. In our search for a better solution, we came across DeepSign. After taking a closer look, we realised that a direct interface to Plato was about to be introduced and could therefore be best integrated into our processes.

So how does a digitised input work?

The first steps are identical to the conventional process: The lawyer prepares the document and the assistant draws it up. The assistant then clicks on "Sign" and invites the lawyer to sign. Once the document has been electronically signed, the assistant receives a corresponding message and can submit the signed document digitally to the court via a secure e-mail instance. In the same step, it is automatically saved in Word and PDF format in Plato.

Has the new procedure proved successful?

Yes, it works smoothly, fully fulfils our requirements and is easy to learn. We currently use digital signatures primarily for international contracts and smaller submissions to the court. Entries with many enclosures are not yet fully digitised.

Are there any other aspects that need to be considered?

Of course, there are aspects that we have to communicate to our employees. For example, a digitally signed document is only legally valid in digital form, but not in printed form. In addition, there is a small initial outlay for each authorised signatory when registering for DeepSign and DeepID. With this step, we are taking the opportunity to optimise the entire document structure. In any case, we are prepared for a future with Justice 4.0, in which electronic submissions will become mandatory.

chkp. is a broad-based law firm with around 36 employees at its two offices in Bremgarten and Baden. Around half of the staff are lawyers who specialise in commercial law, family law, labour and tenancy law, construction law, criminal law and notarial services. chkp. sees itself as a modern service provider and places the highest value on quality. Its customers include companies with a focus on SMEs, private individuals and local authorities.

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