Nasstar case study: Woolley & Co the world's first virtual law firm
In 1996 Woolley & Co became the world’s first virtual law firm and since its formation, has established itself as one of the UK’s leading family law specialists. With no fixed office infrastructure, its IT platform has become the key enabler for the business, linking senior lawyers with each other and their clients.
Challenge Senior Partner, Andrew Woolley has long been a convert to outsourcing. After all, every business outsources its legal work to specialists, why shouldn’t law firms take the same view with their IT?
But when performance and service issues with his incumbent supplier started to impact on productivity, and planned expansion added an extra complication, Andrew decided to act. Woolley & Co had a number of key requirements:
• Fast, secure and stable delivery of MS Office and legal applications to support the firm’s lawyers 24x7
• Scalable service to simplify future staff expansion
• Reduced IT overheads to enhance profitability
• Predictable costs to aid budgeting and planning
• An IT partner with the resilience, capability and stability to support them for the long-term Solution Having already gone half-way on his outsourcing journey, Andrew Woolley looked at taking one further step - divesting himself of all hardware and service contracts and instead taking a fully managed service.
This meant the delivery of Microsoft Office, Outlook and line-of-business applications from a specialist data centre to each of his lawyers, with full 24x7x365 support. Nasstar was contracted to deliver its managed desktop solution, complete with SOS practice management system, to the firm’s team of lawyers across the country.
Nasstar ticked all the boxes with:
• A solid track record of performance, plus experience in the legal sector;
• It’s own Tier 3 UK data centre infrastructure to safeguard data integrity and security,with unrivalled resilience
• An extensive support function that understands legal software and the operating environment • An all-inclusive, per user per month pricing structure that brings cost predictability as well as inherent costefficiency
• A financial stability and corporate vision that is committed to the long-term
Benefits When Andrew Woolley looks back over the past three years, he struggles to spot IT impacting on the practice. “And I mean that in a good way”, comments Andrew. “It’s in the background, where it should be, quietly going about its business supporting us in our every day work. New users are set up with a single email, problems are dealt with promptly and professionally, and I know from month to month exactly what this enterpriseclass IT service is costing me. And ultimately, it’s what makes this virtual practice possible.
Our lawyers work their own hours and in their own way, and as long as client standards are maintained, we actively encourage this work/ life balance approach. But that places extra demands on the infrastructure supporting them - without anytime, anywhere access to our systems, without the levels of availability and performance we have now, without the 24x7 backup should we need it, it would be very difficult to run as effectively as we do now and to maintain this quite unique working culture.” Client verdict Andrew concludes:
“Why build my own IT empire when I can exploit something so much better, that allows me and my colleagues to focus exclusively on our client responsibilities, and that takes all the uncertainty out of everything? With Nasstar behind me, I can work, plan, improve and grow safe in the knowledge that IT will always be there as an enabling platform.”