Global law firm off-site archiving case study

Customer Success Stories

Iron Mountain Houses Closed-File Documentation For A Legal Practice To Free Up Valuable Office Accommodation For New Staff

3 April 20178 mins
Woman writing in a notebook

Iron Mountain houses closed-file documentation for a legal practice to free up valuable office accommodation for new staff


Make space for 10 per cent more staff while maintaining impeccable client service standards


Off-site storage of all closed case files, with same-day and next-day access via online portal


Recovery of some 200m² of office space along with reduction of business risk posed by onsite storage


The customer is a Global Law Firm whose dedication to client service is proven by a long list of industry accolades. In Spain, the firm’s 400 lawyers and support staff serve national and international clients from offices in two principal cities. The main office is a leased premise, in one of Spain’s most exclusive real estate districts.


In 2015, the company faced a dilemma. With the Spanish economy picking up, it was looking at a 10 per cent increase in headcount to meet growing client needs. But there was no space left in its main office. Since the law firm had negotiated a lease until 2017, moving to new premises wasn’t an option.

Housing staff elsewhere was equally uninviting. The Chief Operating Officer at the Global Law Firm, explains: “We offer a full range of services to our clients so it’s important our people work in close proximity.”

As the year wore on the problem became more and more acute. A new intake of trainee lawyers was due in September 2015. With barely a couple of months left to go, the firm hit on a solution.

Like many legal firms, the practice houses paperwork relating to closed cases off-site in a secure Iron Mountain facility. But the firm had live cases stored on-site too. Only not all of them were live...

Some lawyers had got into the habit of leaving closed files in live-case storage at the end of each floor. Says the COO: “We tend to hang on to material longer than strictly needed. This had accumulated to fill most of the live-case space.”

The high cost of storing paperwork in some of Spain’s most expensive office space was bad enough. But the business risk it presented in terms of those files not being safe was even worse.


Having seen that the removal of closed case files off-site could free up space and reduce risk, the law firm had to move quickly.

The work to refurbish the storage space was scheduled for August, traditionally a month when most people take vacations in Spain. That left barely a month to sort, tag and remove around 1,300 boxes of files. The law firm asked Iron Mountain to take care of the removal and storage, but at first entrusted the sorting and tagging to the 24 secretaries responsible for their team’s filing systems.

A problem soon emerged. As August vacations loomed, the firm was hit with last-minute requests from clients. Some secretaries were already heading off on holiday. Those remaining battled to keep the clients happy. It looked like the file removal project wouldn’t finish on time.

“Things were starting to get stressful,” remembers the Global Law Firm’s project manager, who oversaw the transition. “Thankfully, Iron Mountain stepped in.”

Taking over the ordering and tagging of files, an Iron Mountain archivist took instructions from the secretaries. Extra Iron Mountain people were drafted in. Two vans a day were sent to the law firm to stop box build-ups interfering with operations or denting the firm’s professional look.


The project was completed on schedule, freeing up around 200m² of expensive office space. That allowed the firm to comfortably accommodate 24 new staff. “There was no impact on client activity,” confirms the project manager.

The closed case files are now in a secure Iron Mountain repository. “We’re increasingly asked by prospective clients about the measures we take to ensure their information is safe,” says a relieved COO, “and we have the perfect answer.”

The law firm’s operations haven’t suffered from moving the files off-site. Each secretary has a password to an Iron Mountain portal that allows them to ask for document retrieval without leaving their desks. Iron Mountain offers a range of service options for document recovery, with same-day delivery possible for orders coming in before 3.00 p.m.

"We haven’t had to find new premises or split the business in two. Plus it’s helped our bottom line, because the space where the archives were is now being used by fee-earning lawyers."

- Chief Operating Officer Global Law Firm

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