London-based Waterfront Solicitors LLP has transformed its billing efficiency with the move to managing matters and time recording in the ‘cloud’ with the hosted legal software service of Virtual Practices.
Waterfront Solicitors, formed in 2002, is a specialist provider of intellectual property, technology, corporate and employment law services. The firm has enjoyed consistent growth and now has 15 partners, fee-earners and support staff.
Together they combine expert knowledge in a number of key industry areas in order to deliver a strategic service to their commercial clients. Remaining competitive is a key contributing goal to the firm’s ethos of ‘City quality’ advice without ‘City firm’ costs.
As the law firm has grown, managing invoicing with spreadsheets and Word mail merge had become time-consuming and a drain on fee-earning potential. Alison Berryman, head of data protection and privacy at Waterfront, recalled: “We realised that we needed a more efficient way of time-recording that linked to billing more automatically, but we were also keen to avoid an in-house investment in IT, preferring a cloud computing approach.
“Following Internet searches we discovered Virtual Practices, which turned out to be the only service that met our requirement to select specific functionality from the complete legal system on offer.”
Today 13 users are able to log in to Virtual Practices and Waterfront is pleased with the benefits in relation to the relatively low cost of a pay-per-seat subscription model. Ms Berryman said: “We have massively reduced the time for billing needed by fee-earners – from days to a couple of hours; made it easier to record time and improved the visibility of the work performed by all experts contributing to a matter.
“The ability to be pre-warned about how a bill is developing is also helping us to improve the way we manage clients’ expectations. Virtual Practices also gives us a tool to use for career development at review time in order to judge billing effectiveness.
“There is a great willingness at Virtual Practices to help and the service offers us the flexibility to add more users and functionality on demand as our needs dictate.”
Natalie Jennings, who heads up Virtual Practices, a division of legal software supplier , said: “Virtual Practices is a highly cost-effective service which enables law firms to free themselves of the burden of purchasing and running legal software in house. We are delighted to welcome Waterfront LLP who join an ever-increasing number of law firms being liberated to concentrate on practicing the law and delivering excellent client service.”