Berlad Graham LLP
Acting for 128 new clients in its first 12 months of trading, VP has helped Berlad Graham operate as a virtual practice.
Set up by Raanan Berlad and Stewart Graham in October 2011, Berlad Graham is based in London and carries out a range of litigation, property, matrimonial and private client work. In addition to its two founders, the firm has recently taken on two new Consultant Solicitors who will carry out clinical negligence and catastrophic personal injury work. Berlad Graham acted for 128 new clients in their first 12 months of trading.
What were the original reasons for adopting Virtual Practices?
From day one, Berlad Graham’s essential IT software services for practice and case management, and an outsourced legal cashiering service, have been provided by Virtual Practices (VP). Manager Stewart Graham says: “In keeping with the radical changes in the legal services sector, we set out to be a virtual law firm. “We do run a physical office in London which we call The Hub, but on a day-to-day basis we are hosted entirely in ‘the cloud’. Having Virtual Practices means we have no problem being able to access all of our systems when we are abroad, or around the UK, on business trips; or if we simply want to work from a different location. The service, accessed via the internet and paid for by subscription, means fast-growing firms such as ours can quickly, very easily and affordably add more users on demand.”
What have been the main benefits to date?
“Virtual Practices enables me to see everything – financials, client updates and reports – at a glance, and the process of time recording is very easy,” says Stewart. “Some systems feel like they have been written by IT people for IT people – but VP feels like it has been created by lawyers who have a proper understanding of how we work and what we require from our system. “Our business model demands a high degree of agility and flexibility, and Virtual Practices can provide this. Freed of the burden of having to purchase and run software in-house, we can get on with the ‘day job’ of delivering expert legal advice and exceptional service to clients and developing our practice.”
Do you have any examples of best practice in using the system?
“We have recently taken on three new people, two of whom are senior lawyers with top level expertise in clinical negligence, catastrophic personal injury, more minor personal injury and trust work. The way VP works meant that it was incredibly easy to integrate them into our systems.”
Have there been any challenges?
“No, but that is because of the VP system and the VP team. With the system being created by people who understand what a solicitor needs to operate his or her caseload, we’ve had no major challenges at all.”
What plans, if any, do you have to expand or extend your use of VP software?
“As we grow it will be very easy to keep adding users who have full and instant access to their case load, as and when they need it,” says Stewart. “We are also, in line with Lexcel, able to monitor cases remotely so file reviews as easily achieved to ensure clients’ work is carried out to their speed requirements and specification.”
How has your client experience been with VP?
“All of the people we speak to at Virtual Practices are brilliant to deal with,” comments Stewart. “Nothing is too much trouble and they are always able to answer our questions. Being able to work with an outsourced resource, staffed by such knowledgeable, friendly and patient people, is a fantastic reassurance