Scottish legal firm finds joy with cloud-based email

Freedom of information requests are to become much less of a pain for a Scottish law firm.

MacRoberts is a Scottish legal firm that has British and international clients. It is a commercial law firm, dealing with business issues such as employment advice, litigation and corporate banking.

There was a large amount of pressure on MacRoberts when it came to email. It needed to follow compliance regulations, but it found it was easy to create information, but hard to keep control of it.

Also, spam had always been a problem for the company, which had used several different email solutions to control it in the past.

So last November, MacRoberts decided to start using a cloud-based email solution from Mimecast.

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The spam controls were fine, but what MacRoberts IT manager Robert Crichton particularly liked was how the Mimecast cloud solution helped lawyers work efficiently outside of the office at a price that the company could afford.

"We don't have enough money to invest in hundreds of clustered exchange servers, so offloading that power to Mimecast is a big benefit to us," he said.

"I can offer these lawyers email access [outside of the office]. They can go home, review their emails of the day, send out mail from their own work email addresses and our clients are impressed that they work late at night," he said.

He added: "I can relax. I have 180 days worth of email stored. I don't have to worry if the office burns down tomorrow. They can [still] pick up the browser and send emails from MacRoberts."

Mimecast had recently upgraded, and Crichton said some of the new features were useful to MacRoberts, especially from a legal point of view.

Crichton said the firm was currently trialling features such as e-discovery' - the ability to very quickly respond to freedom of information requests, and export it in a form that was approved and suitable.

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"It's very important to use that we have a tool to do that," he said. "We don't want it to be a burden to us. We want to pass that information out and quickly."

Previously, the company spent a lot of IT time in this area, to the extent that it might have had to restore backups and search archives to retrieve information.

"That's a pain if you have a small IT team," he said. "To divert their energies to boring jobs that would take a lot of time."

Other new functionality such as litigation hold' would also allow MacRoberts to bolt-in' retention policies, where it could keep emails as long as it was agreed with clients.

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