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Dickinson Dees LLP

"We learnt from the ITDA and it also provided re-assurance by confirming established good practice"

BBC's Declan Curry and NCC's Steve Markwell present David Bullock and Andy White of Dickinson Dees with their Accreditation Certificate

Accredited IT Department

Dickinson Dees LLP is a leading full service law firm based in the North East that provides legal services for corporate, commercial, property, public sector and private clients across the UK. With an annual turnover in excess of £50 million and 700 staff, the firm is heavily reliant upon its IT services.

Director of IT Simon Earnshaw, who heads up a team of 20, is clear about the contribution that IT makes to the organisation’s success, “We focus on providing highly effective IT solutions supported by joined up service delivery and best practice IT governance. In an increasingly competitive sector we have to ensure that we keep pace with market leaders whilst not jeopardising business operations or continuity with unreliable systems.”

The provision of efficient IT services is fundamental to the successful delivery of a high quality service to the firm’s clients and Simon focuses his IT resources (service desk, development, infrastructure and IT training) on process automation, continuous improvement and governance in order to do so.

A long standing NCC member, Simon welcomed the introduction of NCC’s IT Department Accreditation Scheme, “Rather than being just an accreditation process for a single service element, the NCC’s IT Department Accreditation (ITDA) came with a practical approach to continuous improvement across all elements of IT service delivery. The structure of this approach is ideal for us as it allows us to continually strive to improve customer experiences, both internal and external, whilst delivering upon our firm wide objectives as a business.”

The ITDA is a process that provides IT management with an independent expert assessment of their current performance and a route map to service improvement across five key areas of activity (business management, business direction, service generation, delivery and operations and customer relationships). This holistic performance review enables IT teams to understand the wider performance issues and implications, and helps them prioritise areas for improvement.

Simon added, “It can be difficult to achieve an objective view of the overall performance of IT and this is where the ITDA accreditation process is different; providing the right balance between service review and governance. We were happy to be asked to pilot the ITDA process and are delighted to be the very first IT department in the country to be successfully accredited by the National Computing Centre (NCC).”

He continued, “The ITDA process gives equal weight to all of the service elements, and backs this up with an overall Action Plan and on-going continuous review.”

Dickinson Dees found the ITDA different to other accreditations they have undertaken. “It was not a tick box exercise, our assessor was very consultative and this helped us to get the best out of the process. We learnt from the review and it also provided reassurance by confirming established good practice, whilst reminding us of why some things are really important – this sense of perspective can tend to get lost in the day-to-day running of a department.”

The assessment process was also a morale boost for the IT team – the ITDA enabled them to see the progress they had made over the years and the award gives them recognition for a job well done.

“Most IT organisations are dealing with scarce resources and we are no different. The benefit of the ITDA for Dickinson Dees is that we have an objective view of the performance of IT as a whole, including valuable customer feedback and the action plan will enable us to deploy our resources to the best effect,” concluded Simon.

The National Computing Centre IT Department Accreditation Scheme is a unique business improvement programme and certification scheme that helps management to demonstrate that the best business practices are used across the IT function and drives business performance with a common framework to deliver continuous improvement.

About Dickinson Dees LLP (

Dickinson Dees is one of the UK’s leading full-service law firms. With offices in London and North East of England and nearly 700 staff, the firm provides legal services to corporate, commercial, public sector and private clients across the UK. These include the Go-Ahead Group plc, Govia Limited, the London Borough of Croydon, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Barclays.

For further information about Dickinson Dees, please contact:
Hannah Cole
PR Executive, Dickinson Dees
0191 279 9342

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