Laceys Solicitors Case Study
Requirement: Infrastructure upgrade
Laceys chose its long-term partner GCI to implement a brand-new IT infrastructure to ensure the very best security was in place for protecting customer data.
Founded in 1860, Laceys Solicitors is a 100 person-strong firm of lawyers operating in both business and personal law from three locations in Dorset. It has won multiple industry awards and endorsements, including eight Law Society accreditations, the Lexcel accreditation quality mark for 12 consecutive years, and recognition in the prestigious Legal 500 guide to the best law firms across eight separate areas of practice.
Following the acquisition of Horsey Lightly Finn (HLF) in 2015, Laceys needed to merge both IT infrastructures to ensure continuity for staff and clients alike. The company chose GCI - its long-term partner of a decade – to help it achieve this, with the amalgamation taking place over a single weekend to ensure minimum disruption. The successful merger of infrastructures worked well for Laceys in the short-term; however, the company expressed a desire to replace some of its systems that were reaching “end of life” to negate the risk of malicious threats penetrating its systems. Due to the nature of its business, security is of paramount importance and the company wanted to invest further to ensure its infrastructure was as safe and robust as possible. The firm asked GCI to design a solution once more.
To ensure that Laceys Solicitors would have a high-performance, resilient infrastructure that could easily scale as the company grew, GCI implemented a fully-virtualised environment. Based on two HP servers that would act as VMware hosts within the core infrastructure, enough resource would be provisioned within these hosts to allow for host failure to have minimal impact on the business services. The company could also then take advantage of other VMware software, which would provide two key functions - minimising downtime by providing automatic restarts and allowing maintenance to be carried while the environment is live with little to no disruption, which often isn’t possible in a traditional physical server. GCI’s wealth of experience in the Legal sector meant that they knew this was essential for a business like Laceys, who regularly works with complex, time-sensitive case data.
GCI also introduced a Storage Area Network (SAN) as a central platform for all VMs and data within Laceys’ environment. This offers high-performance scalable storage, as well as allowing the aforementioned advanced features within VMware to run. To further enhance the firm’s level of protection, GCI also installed their own, multi-layered hosted mail gateway. Offering advanced anti-spam analysis with upwards of a 98% detection rate, the solution limits the amount of suspicious emails that manage to enter the infrastructure by performing rigorous checks in a hosted off-site environment. A cost-effective and flexible method, the “per-mailbox” model allows for easy scalability should new employees start within the company, and Laceys is kept informed of potential threats as any emails flagged suspicious are summarised in a regular notification, giving the company the opportunity to release, block or whitelist future communications.
Success and Company Benefits
Laceys Solicitors now has an ultra-secure, high-performance infrastructure that also delivers the scalability and resiliency it needs for the future, as well as robust protection to negate malicious threats entering the company. Additional benefits include an improved end user experience and reduced management requirements, allowing its IT Manager to spend less time on the day-to-day running of the environment and more of his time on research and development of company systems.
Mark Timberlake, Managing Partner at Laceys Solicitors said: “Given the nature of the business we work in, the protection of our clients’ data is our number one priority. It was therefore imperative that we invested in our systems to ensure a highly-secure environment both now and in the future, and we’re delighted that GCI were able to help us realise this goal. As our long-term partner they really understood both the industry’s requirements and those specific to Laceys, and I look forward to working with for many more years as our firm continues to grow.”