How VirtueUK navigates growth with integrity in the IT industry

How VirtueUK navigates growth with integrity in the IT industry

Nick Clapham, the founder of VirtueUK, embarked on his entrepreneurial journey eight years ago with a clear vision: to disrupt the IT industry by championing integrity and ethical IT practices. Disillusioned by the prevalence of overselling, hidden agendas, and broken promises in the sector, Nick set out to create an IT services business that would prioritise transparency, accountability, and customer satisfaction above all else.

When I started VirtueUK, it was because I was passionate about doing things differently in the IT industry. I'd seen so many bad practices and I just thought, 'There has to be a better way. I wanted to create a company that would stand out by being totally honest and accountable, and one that would put the customer first, no matter what. The belief that we could make a positive change in the industry is what drove me to start this business.

Scaling with confidence

As VirtueUK expanded its offering and secured larger contracts, Nick recognised the need for robust legal support to mitigate any potential risks, and to ensure the company's continued success. This realisation led him to Harper James.

'We signed a large contract in 2020 and a couple more since then,' Nick recounts. 'Our contracts needed to be much more mature to handle the increased responsibility and accountability that comes with delivering services that are the equivalent of a £10-20 million organisation's entire IT department.'

Our Enterprise plan was the ideal solution for VirtueUK as it provides flexibility and access to a responsive team of legal experts across various disciplines at an affordable cost, which allowed Nick to address multiple needs quickly and efficiently.

Speaking about the plan, Nick said:

The Enterprise plan is such a great fit for an organisation like ours. It gives us the benefit of tapping into different experts when we need them, helping our business grow.

A collaborative partnership

Since we began working with VirtueUK in 2020, our solicitors have assisted with a range of matters, from refining terms and conditions to navigating challenging client interactions.

Our Commercial team helped VirtueUK with its back-end contractual relationship with a white-label supplier, working closely with Nick to ensure that the contractual requirements were properly positioned to consistently deliver against the front–end requirements of VirtueUK’s relevant customer contracts. This laid a solid foundation for VirtueUK to hold its suppliers accountable and maintain high customer service standards.

Commercial Partner, Rob Cobley assisted VirtueUK in revising their front-end customer terms and conditions when it signed its biggest contract to date, worth £350,000 over three years. He helped incorporate critical clauses such as auto-renewal, fair usage, and investment in technology, ensuring that VirtueUK was fully transparent with its clients and had a robust contractual agreement in place. This template has since been used for all new clients, giving Nick peace of mind and a standardised legal position.

Our Employment team also supported VirtueUK’s Operations Director, Aida Malekoltojari, to develop and improve its employee policies and contracts. As the company grew and began hiring full-time staff, it was crucial to have comprehensive policies in place covering aspects such as expenses, holiday entitlements, and other employee-related matters. The team worked closely with Aida to create robust and legally compliant policies and contracts, ensuring that VirtueUK had a solid foundation for managing its growing workforce.

Nick states:

Harper James has been instrumental in our growth and success. Their expert guidance has transformed the way we operate, enabling us to implement best practices across various areas of our business. Thanks to their support, we now operate with a level of maturity and sophistication that sets us apart from other organisations of our size.

Awards, growth, and future aspirations

With a commitment to ethical practices and a solid legal foundation, VirtueUK has achieved remarkable success. The company has grown by 36% in the last three years, reaching £1.1 million in revenue in 2023. It has also been recognised by industry awards, including being named one of the 50 Best Managed IT Companies in the UK and winning and winning another prestigious award that is set to be announced within the next month.

Looking ahead, Nick aims to surpass the £2.5 million revenue mark within the next three years, with a focus on increasing the proportion of managed services in VirtueUK’s offering.

Nick emphasises:

I want us to be a standard-bearer for how businesses should engage across the board in terms of an ethical approach. That's what makes me tick.

Embracing integrity and the right support

For those embarking on their entrepreneurial journey, Nick stresses the importance of staying true to one's values and seeking the right support along the way.

Focus on looking after your customers and playing the long game. Surround yourself with experts who can help you navigate challenges and mitigate risks. And above all, always act with integrity - it's the foundation of long-term success.

As VirtueUK continues to thrive, Nick remains committed to reshaping the IT industry through ethical practices and unwavering dedication to customer success.

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