Managing director Ursula Rice, who formerly led the family law and private client at Hedges Law, set up Oxford-based Family First Solicitors earlier this year.
The firm provides advice on a full range of family law services such as divorce, Children Act matters and cohabitee disputes – and plans to open 20-plus offices across the country in the next five years.
Ursula Rice says value for money, ease of use and compliance were crucial factors in her choice of Virtual Practices.
“With the ongoing changes to the Legal Aid system, we need to keep our overheads down so as to be able to deliver a great service in a way that is affordable for people, and back office costs are a major
part of that equation,” she says.
“Therefore I looked at a range of outsourced solutions and Virtual Practices was by far the most effective and competitive on offer. Where VP really stands out, in my view, is that is a one-stop shop for data management, as well as financial management.
“There are also a good number of advantages in terms of compliance, which is so important in the current market; the fact that my data is stored safely on separate premises provides peace of mind, and that with VP providing our back office function, we are always in that compliance ‘mindset’ and able to work in the knowledge that there is always someone with the necessary expertise at VP who we can call on if necessary.
“We aim to roll out the Family First Solicitors model across the country, so having a superbly organised, outsourced back office function will be of huge benefit during this process.”
Natalie Jennings, who heads up Virtual Practices, which is a division of legal software supplier Solicitors Own Software, said: “Family First Solicitors is a great example of the type of new, ambitious niche law firms which are turning to VP.
“The beauty of the system is that as the firm’s locations and headcount continue to grow in the coming years, Virtual Practices can adapt and grow with it.”