Here are a selection of key dates and developments in Quill's history, in chronological order, from start-up to present day...
1978: First established as a business, called Gerrard Calculator Systems, supplying programmable calculators, headquartered in Manchester.
1980: As Gerrard Computer Systems, we became part of a franchise for a pre-Microsoft computer including a basic word processing program. Appreciating how the legal profession is required to perform lots of repetitive paperwork tasks, we began working closely with law firms to help them overcome these unnecessary chores.
1985: Became Quill Computer Systems and started developing our own software. We kept re-writing and improving our technology whose name changed over time from Laudit to Quantum. These were the early predecessors of our flagship legal accounts and practice management software.
1998: Knowing how difficult it is for law firms to find good legal cashiers, we set up an outsourced cashiering bureau, now called Pinpoint. At this time, outsourced accounting services tended to be a week behind because they were heavily reliant on the post. By complimenting the service with our own software and with internet advancements which assisted with production of the early cloud offering of our legal accounts system, we began providing a near real-time outsourcing service.
2000: We launched the version of our legal accounts and practice management software called Quillennium and gained wider market share as a result of our new offering.
2004: To extend our outsourced service offerings, we acquired AM Services which became our Liverpool-based outsourced payroll bureau. We also further expanded our cashiering bureau by creating an office in Middlesbrough.
2008: Our software development team set up camp in Brighton.
2010: We launched the version of our legal accounting and case management software called Interactive to the legal marketplace. In the same year, we won the Institute of Legal Finance & Management Solicitors’ Software Users Award for the first time. This award is voted by end users of the software who grade legal accounts functionality, back-up support and training services against a range of criteria.
2012: We won the Institute of Legal Finance & Management Solicitors’ Software Users Award for the second time. We’re the first supplier to have received the award twice.
2013: We relocated our data centre to a secure, offsite location in order to strengthen our business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities.
2014: We climbed Mount Snowdon twice to raise money for charity. On one of these occasions, we carried one of our employees up the mountain in her wheelchair.
2015: Our big annual charity fundraiser this year was the Yorkshire Three Peaks. We donated over £13k to the Multiple Sclerosis Society from various fundraising initiatives.
2016: We acquired Solicitors Case Management Systems Ltd and integrated the electronic forms range into Interactive. We won the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s ‘Employer of the Year’ award following staff nominations regarding our equal opportunities preparedness and active fundraising efforts on behalf of the charity. We also gained Best Companies status in recognition of our employee engagement initiatives and provision of a caring workplace. Our main charity challenge for the year was Tough Mudder.
2017: We underwent a management buyout (MBO) and rebrand including the unveiling of our new name and visual identity. We relocated our Middlesbrough outsourced cashiering bureau to Redcar and established a presence in Scotland. All five regional offices – Manchester, Liverpool, Brighton, Redcar and Kirkcaldy – are still occupied today. We undertook the Tough Mudder challenge again in the name of charity.
2018: We launched our new Quill Type outsourced transcription and typing service in association with Document Direct. Our service is endorsed by the Manchester Law Society, LawNet and Lawshare. Our annual charity fundraiser was the Salford Dragon Boat Race following which we donated over £3k to the Anthony Nolan charity, in memory of our director, Peter Dye, who passed away from blood cancer earlier in the year. We also introduced the Peter Dye Memorial Shield, an employee award scheme designed to recognise staff members demonstrating exceptional performance in the workplace.
Now: 5 offices and 90 staff. Our core business is legal accounts and practice management software - Interactive - delivered on a cloud-hosted platform with add-on document management, anti-money laundering and other modules; outsourced cashiering services - Pinpoint; outsourced payroll with optional pension management services - Payroll; and outsourced typing services - Type. We continue to raise and donate £thousands every year for local and national charitable causes.