Having instant access to a first-class outsourced legal cashiering service was a key consideration for Ian Walker when he launched his own family law and mediation firm.
After more than 20 years’ experience practising family law, including periods as the chair of the Devon region of Resolution, being a member of the Law Society’s family law committee and as a current member of the governing body of the Family Mediators Association, Ian Walker Family Law and Mediation Solicitors was established earlier this year.
The firm is based in Honiton and specialises in out-of-court solutions, mediation and collaborative law, as well as offering a full family law service. It has been successful in the recent tender process for contracts to undertake legal aid work, winning contracts for family law and for mediation. The mediation service operates from various outreach locations, including Exeter and Taunton.
The Virtual Practices  (VP) hosted legal software and outsourced cashiering service, which is a division of legal software supplier (SOS), has been a strategic partner of the firm from day one.
“I was aware of SOS software having used it at my previous firm,” says Ian Walker. “Going into practice on my own was quite a big step and without doubt, the biggest factor in opting for VP was the legal cashiering system. Having an experienced team of cashiers behind you is very reassuring and it makes it easier for me to get on with the outward facing work.”
Mr Walker says VP will enable him to grow and expand his client base and his team as and when required.
“The team at Virtual Practices is very helpful and efficient, and always available when I need help – it feels like we are all part of the same team. It is early days, but having VP will make it easier for me to scale up if and when that is appropriate, because the model is already there.”
Natalie Jennings, who heads up Virtual Practices, said: “Low overheads and a degree of agility are essential for start-up law firms such as Ian Walker Family Law and Mediation Solicitors, so signing up to Virtual Practices from inception made complete sense for the firm.”