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Blackstone Waterhouse Taking Lexis Affinity Library to the Cloud
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Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Blackstone Waterhouse Taking Lexis Affinity Library to the Cloud

The Firm and its Requirements

Click to download pdf.

Blackstone Waterhouse is a fast-growing Sydney-based law firm with clients ranging from individuals to publicly-listed corporations in Australia and abroad. The firm’s lawyers and support staff are dedicated to catering for clients’ needs by providing personalised service across a wide range of specialty areas, including commercial, litigation, insurance, international business and transport, construction and insolvency.

Danny Arraj, Managing Partner founded Blackstone Waterhouse with a vision of providing clients with dynamic, responsive service at the best value for money. Key to this was judiciously investing in new technology that would enable staff to be more productive and to do things more efficiently. He began to research cloud computing as a way to allow fee earners to offer clients round-the-clock access to their legal expertise and for the firm to reduce IT overheads.


Blackstone Waterhouse decided to shift all IT infrastructure and support to the cloud, becoming the first law firm in Australia to deploy Lexis® Affinity Library as a remote fully-hosted practice management solution. The cloud solution offered staff the ability to access Lexis Affinity Library through the Internet and work on matters anytime and anywhere without trading off features and functionality. Lexis Affinity Library integrates everyday functions including client and matter management, billing, accounting, document production, email and time recording into a single streamlined system.

Already a satisfied customer of Lexis Affinity Library, Arraj was confident the application provided the necessary platform to manage a successful practice and was eager to leverage it further with cloud computing.

To meet Blackstone Waterhouse’s needs, LexisNexis provisioned the solution through collaboration with Online Business Technologies (OBT), a hosting solutions provider with over 11 years experience providing for the professional services industry. OBT provided all required IT infrastructure and LexisNexis tailored a support package to make sure staff were quickly and fully trained to achieve the maximum efficiencies and productivity possible.


Blackstone Waterhouse experienced significant capabilities including complete mobility, reduced IT requirements and enhanced security that they would not have with traditional locally hosted solutions. Staff are more efficient and productive than before, therefore driving up the productivity of the firm and improving value to clients. These benefits have ultimately led to a stronger bottom line.

A competitive edge

Lexis Affinity Library in the cloud delivers new efficiencies and improves productivity for Blackstone Waterhouse, enabling better client service.

Complete mobility

Access to Lexis Affinity Library anytime, especially through mobile devices like the iPhone, delivered an unparalleled boost to communications, both internally and with clients.

“Staff no longer need to wait until they are back in the office to answer client queries or carry out simple tasks. They could be done there and then – from their laptop at court, on a client site or even on the road– a huge edge in today’s fast-paced environment.”

Staff also appreciated the convenience of working from home, which allowed more focus on work-life balance.

Boost in IT efficiency

“OBT has reliable state-of-the-art servers delivering very fast processing power. Some tasks in Lexis Affinity Library now run twice as fast and technical problems are very rare,” said Arraj. Previously, problems like a server crash required the firm to call and wait for an external IT contractor to come onsite to fix it. This might take several days, costing valuable billable hours and revenue. Now staff can just go to another computer, connect to the Internet and be back in business in a matter of minutes.

The associated cost savings were significant with many expenses and overhead costs minimised, even eliminated. There is no need to install and maintain hardware and software onsite, freeing up time for staff to work on matters and provide superior service that adds value to clients. The solution is easily scalable to support the firm’s growth. New users can be brought in quickly for a particular case with restricted access.

Enhanced Security

Blackstone Waterhouse has peace of mind knowing confidential client data and critically important business information is automatically backed up and maintained on OBT’s secure, off-site servers. OBT’s tight security policy protects against accidental loss, unauthorised access, virus attacks, power surges, fire and natural disasters.

Why did Blackstone Waterhouse select LexisNexis?

“We undertook our own research and found that a solid practice management system was needed to really leverage cloud technology,” said Arraj. “Having used Lexis Affinity Library since 2007 (and Locus for seven years before that), our experience has proven the software strongly aligns with our workflow processes and performs to our needs. Whenever there is an issue technical support is responsive and timely. After evaluating the alternatives, it was clear to us that combining Lexis Affinity Library with cloud technology would help our firm gain a competitive advantage.”

Arraj cites the consultative approach taken by LexisNexis as critical to the cloud solution’s success. He says, “The LexisNexis consultants took the time to fully understand our technology needs and to develop a real relationship with OBT. Even after going live, they continue to work in collaboration with OBT to proactively ensure the solution operates seamlessly.”

“LexisNexis is significantly pushing the boundaries of cloud software services.
By delivering top applications designed specifically for the legal industry in the cloud LexisNexis is reshaping how firms function on a day-to-day basis,” said Shane Muller, Managing Director of OBT.

“The opportunity to work with Blackstone Waterhouse and OBT has been a rewarding one for us at LexisNexis,” said TJ Viljoen, CEO at LexisNexis Pacific. “Cloud computing has given us the opportunity to combine our extensive legal sector expertise with leading-edge technology to offer our clients next generation solutions that enable them to succeed in a rapidly changing marketplace.” 

© Blackstone Waterhouse 2008