As Scotland’s largest law firm, Brodies LLP employs more than 680 people between its offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Dingwall. Brodies offers legal advice to private and public sector clients both in the UK and internationally in its core business areas of corporate and commercial; energy (both renewables and oil & gas); property; litigation; banking and financial services; employment, pensions and benefits; and trust and tax. The firm has a long history of going above and beyond for its clients, and has received many awards, including being named “Who’s Who Legal Scotland Law Firm of the Year” for the eighth consecutive year.
“Our lawyers need to be available around the clock, able to work whenever and wherever they happen to be,” explains Damien Behan, IT Director at Brodies. “The strategy from a communications perspective was simple – to make it as easy as possible for them to do so securely, with the flexibility to connect in a way that best suits them.”
In achieving this, Brodies had several core requirements:
- It must keep a full file of all correspondence and documents related to each case and client
- That file must be readily accessible at all times
- All client data must be treated with the utmost care – Brodies must be able to assure the confidentiality and integrity of privileged information no matter where it goes
To meet these needs, Brodies implemented BlackBerry over a decade ago. In recent years the firm has augmented this investment with business apps that help to put information at the fingertips of its lawyers, including extending the use of its iManage Document Management System to its mobile devices.
Recently, Behan and his colleagues faced new demands from their users. The firm’s lawyers wanted greater functionality from their smartphones. Access to a wider range of apps, and access to newer devices and device types.
It was time to upgrade.
For Brodies, transitioning to BlackBerry® UEM was an obvious next step in its journey. A platform that delivers complete endpoint management and policy control for a diverse fleet of devices and applications, UEM would allow the firm to manage any devices it chose – both now and in the future.
On the device side, Brodies deployed a fleet of Corporate-Owned, Personally-Enabled (COPE) BlackBerry smartphones running Android™ Enterprise, which enables easy separation of work and personal data. This is designed to complement native Android security.
The firm also used BlackBerry UEM to deploy a small fleet of firm-owned iPads as well as enabling personally owned iPads to connect securely to its systems. To assist it with the transition and deployment, Brodies turned to Appurity. As a BlackBerry Platinum Enterprise Partner and Managed Mobility Partner, Appurity has worked closely with BlackBerry for nearly a decade. The organisation’s wide range of services combined with its deep knowledge of BlackBerry’s portfolio enable it to provide a level of support few other vendors can match.
“We have a strong relationship with the folks at Appurity,” says Behan. “They’re very knowledgeable about the BlackBerry technology suite, and extremely helpful. They’re also quite agile, nimble, and quick to respond whenever we’ve a question or concern. They’ve proven integral in terms of supporting our BlackBerry estate.”
Through managed Google Play on BlackBerry UEM, the firm can securely deploy a wide range of apps to user devices. This includes the Appurity-developed Rubus™, which provides an Android client for iManage equipped with features such as send and file and open NRL for opening links to documents in the DMS. Lawyers can also make quick edits to legal documents and files through BlackBerry® Docs to Go®.
“Since implementing BlackBerry UEM, we’ve really been building out the corporate apps that we use,” says Behan. “As more suppliers produce apps for Android, our opportunities will only increase.”
If you are involved in technology and security, it’s really a comfort factor knowing that the BlackBerry platform is tried and tested. BlackBerry’s approach to Android is the most secure on the market.
Damien Behan, IT Director, Brodies LLP
Greater User Enablement: Equipped with BlackBerry UEM managed Android devices, lawyers now have more freedom than ever. They no longer need to be in the office or to login to a laptop to respond to client queries. Furthermore, secure access to the firm’s intranet ensures they can more effectively leverage downtime.
Intapp Time, for example, allows lawyers to either fill out their timesheets electronically or automatically capture their work hours. This could include time spent on the phone with a client, meeting about a case, or working on a case while on vacation.
Flexible Endpoint Management: “We’ve always tried to standardise our device fleet, so we don’t have to worry about things getting too complex,” explains Behan. “Some people like to keep work completely separate from their personal devices, while others only want to carry a single smartphone. BlackBerry UEM allows us to support both user groups.”
Going Paperless: “Instead of having to turn up to court with an armful of folders, a lawyer can bring an iPad for secure access to all the information they need, both fully searchable and fully accessible,” explains Behan. “The ability to use that device for connecting back to the office during a case is also very helpful.”
On Android, thanks to Appurity’s Rubus smartphone connector, lawyers have full access to iManage’s document management system while on the move. This allows them to access and send files from virtually anywhere. What’s more, with Docs to Go, they can edit those documents from their device.
“If you’re in a meeting with a client and they ask you about a particular document, the ability to directly access the latest version of that document is invaluable,” Behan continues. “It’s been a great advantage for our lawyers. They can be halfway up a mountain and still have access.”
Intuitive Device Management: “The UEM platform gives us a single pane of glass to manage our entire estate of devices,” Behan explains. “It allows us to apply containerisation to personal devices to keep our data secure, and to mitigate the risk of losing a device.”
The Android Ecosystem: “Android allows us to use consumer apps when they’re sensible, while Android Enterprise connects everything back to our network in a secure way,” says Behan. “We don’t have to open unnecessary channels into our network. From a security perspective, it’s comforting to know we can provide access without having to punch holes in our firewall.”
Convenient Security: “The easier we can make things for our users, the better,” says Behan. “With BlackBerry UEM, we keep both sides happy. The users have an easy, intuitive way to do what they need to do, and the security is there but it’s not in their face. It’s a win-win.”
“The way UEM allows us to push out apps is seamless for the user,” he adds. “They don’t have to know anything about it – we just make it available to them.”
Easy Regulatory Compliance: The GDPR and its counterpart in the United Kingdom, the Data Protection Act 2018, are now in effect. The combination of BlackBerry UEM with BlackBerry devices powered by Android has allowed Brodies’ mobile deployment to easily comply with both regulations. This is thanks to both Android Enterprise’s containerisation as well as the strong security controls offered by UEM, which includes the ability to wipe lost or stolen devices.
“Anyone holding any sort of personal data has had work to do for GDPR” explains Behan. “As with any firm holding personal data, we’ve had to work with our other lines of business to ensure compliance. From the BlackBerry side of things, however, we haven’t really had to do very much – BlackBerry UEM already keeps a very clear delineation between work and personal data in our mobile fleet.”
Industry Legal Services
Partner Location Scotland