Case Studies

Case Studies

How a national law firm transformed its inventory

The customer

A leading, award winning UK law firm with seven offices across England  was experiencing problems with its records management storage provider, including instances with missing records.

The issues culminated in an unacceptable ISO audit at one site, prompting the firm to seek a new partner who could consolidate services across all sites.

One major driver for a complete audit was the firm needed to understand exactly what documents had gone missing, ready to report to the SRA, the Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority. They needed to act promptly and responsibly – and to ensure it didn’t happen again.

Issues specific to the legal sector include the sheer volume of inventories in an industry in which some documents, such as original wills, must be stored on paper. But the sector is also adapting to a new environment post-pandemic in which a hybrid system of remote and office working is in place.

The client, for instance, has a 50-50 policy in which employees split their time between home and office. This is leading to increased demand for faster access and scan-on-demand services from a records management partner. The nature of a law firm is that many records are required to be kept on paper, including some that cannot be destroyed. But they may still be needed at short notice. Records included sensitive information, from wills and probates to property deeds. Keeping them safe and secure is crucial.

High on the list, therefore, was the need for a partner who could provide a full-level audit across multiple sites to ensure that future ISO audits went smoothly, and to be certain the business knew exactly what it was holding in its inventory and where every single record was stored. This was a big project requiring an experienced partner with a nationwide reach.

On top of that, finding a records management storage expert who could provide ongoing service for all seven offices, especially those in the harder-to-reach east of the country, was a hurdle, with daily deliveries required.

Restore Records Management has 50 locations across the UK, and more than 30 years of experience in the industry – making it the ideal choice.

The process began with a thorough lift-the-lid operation – going through every single box and investigating every single file to ensure the client knew  exactly what it was storing.

Each record was counted, bar-coded and labelled so that the customer understood exactly what files were in which box. And which documents no longer needed to be kept.

Access was then provided to an online portal to easily retrieve documents, whether that is through physical delivery or scan on demand.

The uplift of records from sites owned by the firm’s previous provider to Restore Records Management facilities in close proximity to seven key offices took 18 months.

The full and comprehensive audit took 12 months – primarily because we had to lift the lid on 80,000 boxes to file capture the contents.

In addition, the firm had built up a backlog of destructions – files past their retention date and due for secure destruction. This was a deliberate policy because there was a reluctance to destroy before a full audit had been completed to identify precisely what was being stored. Just before the contract was signed, the firm also lowered its retention period for many of its records from 16 years to 10 years.

Restore Records Management has now begun the process of securely destroying records which are past their retention date, saving the client money on storage and further reducing risk.

All the way through the project, our experts remained in permanent contact with the firm, ensuring that files were still accessible when needed and working together on solutions.

By the end of the process, every record had been catalogued and moved to Restore Records Management storage facilities with fast retrieval and daily delivery in place. The client was able to say with certainty what records it was storing and where they were located, ready for any future audits.

The full project encompassed 80,000 boxes and between 300,000-400,000 files. In addition, Restore Records Management has securely destroyed 30% of their account in the last 12 months.

We also provide daily deliveries to the client’s offices and twice a week to a further two offices, as well as scan-on-demand services when requested. The five-year contract was extended for a further three years in 2023.

  • Project to lift the lid on 80,000 boxes to file capture the contents
  • Helped law firm to lower its retention period for many of its records from 16 years to 10 years
  • Securely destroyed 30% of law firms account in the last 12 months due to enhanced retention strategy

“ It was a big project, and it went really well on both sides. A lot of work went into it from Restore Records Management, and we were hugely impressed by their work ethic, expertise, and customer service. The end result is we can now be really confident about what we have in storage. So, when we have the ISO audit again. we can speak with confidence about what we hold and where it is. We are in a good position because the project has reduced risk and saved us time. In the procurement process we were clear we wanted a nationwide firm who could service all of our offices on a daily basis. One that was dependable and reputable, one that we could trust. We found that in Restore Records Management."


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