Law Firm’s Managed Services Approach to IT Saves Money, Time – and Headaches

Law Firm’s Managed Services Approach to IT Saves Money, Time – and Headaches

The Background

Cottrell, Fletcher, Bartol & Cottrell, founded in 1962, is a long-established law firm comprised of highly skilled and experienced family law attorneys and staff.  With five attorneys rated by their peers “AV”, the highest possible designation of competence and ethical practice given by Martindale-Hubbell, the Firm has also been designated as a “Pre-eminent Law Firm” by Martindale-Hubbell due to this extraordinary ranking of all its name attorneys.  In addition, the Firm’s attorneys routinely appear in the Commonwealth of Virginia before the trial courts for the City of Alexandria, the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, and Stafford, as well as the Virginia Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Virginia.

The Challenge

This boutique, Alexandria, Virginia-based law firm likes a team approach to law – and to IT.  With no on-site technical support, the Firm had outsourced IT support to Nortec on an ad hoc basis: when an issue arose, Nortec was called in and the Firm was billed for time and materials.

Although this approach did address each end user’s technical issue, it did not provide any real tracking mechanism, leaving the Firm’s comptroller out of the communication so that support needed above and beyond the Firm’s regularly scheduled support was leading to expensive – and unpredictable – expenditures. “There was really no way to tell what the issues were, who had the problem, or who was taking care of the problem,” says Jeff Strano, Nortec Engineer.  The Firm needed a more consistent, organized, and predictable support – both in terms of service and budgeting.

The Solution

Nortec recommended its Managed Services approach, which includes full, unlimited remote IT support and a ticketing system.  Users submit a ticket via a shortcut on their desktops, and a Nortec engineer will respond to the issue within 2 hours for normal service, and within 15 minutes for an emergency.

The managed services approach allows the Firm to track who is putting in the tickets, what the issues are and if the issues are common among a number of users. Through its Virtual CIO sessions, Nortec engineers consult with the Firm regularly so that it can monetize its investment, budget for future investments and understand technology developments that could impact its business.  “We categorize the tickets around common issues so the Firm can clearly see what the problem areas were,” says Strano.


Cottrell’s attorneys take pride in helping clients during one of the most turbulent times in their lives.  Nortec’s Managed Services have allowed the Firm’s attorneys to focus on the business of family law – not IT support.  With a more predictable IT spend and efficient IT support, the firm is spending 25% less on IT and is better able to plan for future investments.

I believe that the cost savings were significant and more manageable since we had as system in place where we could see what was being used and what was for.  The fact that they have to fill up a ticket online discourages from users from trying just email and get things done that they could fix themselves.

I believe it was a win-win change for all of us involved.

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