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Technology news

7 December 2004

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  • The Law Society is challenging solicitors' firms and in-house practices in England and Wales to improve their practices in relation to equality and diversity.

    All solicitors' firms and in-house legal departments are being sent a CD to help them to comply with the latest legislation and the new Law Society's Anti-Discrimination Rule. It is hoped that it will help them recognise the business case for taking a positive approach to equality and diversity, both in their roles as employers and in dealing with their clients.

    The CD looks at the law and the rules that affect solicitors, explains how diversity and discrimination issues can affect the management and operation of practices, and gives guidance on specific problems that solicitors may encounter. It includes two guides: ‘Delivering equality and diversity – a handbook for solicitors’, and, ‘The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 – an essential guide for solicitors’. The guidance will be updated by items in the Law Society Gazette, information on the Law Society's website and written guidance.The latest Anti-Discrimination Rule for solicitors came into effect on 1 September 2004, with wider application than the previous rule and a stronger emphasis on ensuring that solicitors follow best practice on equality and diversity issues.

  • Thomson Elite, part of The Thomson Corporation and a worldwide provider of business software to professional-services firms, is to implement its financial and practice-management systems at Irish law firm Mason Hayes & Curran.

    With more than 115 fee earners, Mason Hayes & Curran has seen substantial growth in both its size and turnover over the past five years, and recently opened an office in New York as part of its commitment to increasing its international focus. Such growth has forced the firm to review its IT infrastructure in an effort to ensure that its staff have the technology to respond to client demands and increased service levels.

  • Bond Pearce has selected nFlow and Tikit as its digital-dictation software and services supplier and is currently rolling out the system to 510 lawyers and secretaries in Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth, Southampton and London. Bond Pearce ran a pilot of the system throughout August and September, with 70 users in Bristol, Plymouth and Southampton. The solution is now being rolled out across the entire firm using Bond Pearce’s existing server infrastructure.

    The project will move into its third phase next year, when nFlow will be integrated with Bond Pearce’s existing Interwoven DMS, and will be accessible across a Citrix Terminal as part of their remote working and access projects.

  • ISDD, a provider of software tools for medium to large enterprises that automate the management of corporate data, has launched a free service for law firms. Legal companies can use ISDD's advanced search and retrieval system to search across over 1,000 UK Acts of Parliament within the UK, Scotland and Ireland, from 1989 to present day.

  • Outsourced transcription specialist Voicepath, working with legal-software provider OPSIS, has announced the successful development of an integrated technology platform for the legal profession, which combines digital dictation and document outsourcing with a firm’s own case-management system.

    The development aims to enable lawyers to dictate their case work, outsource the transcription and have it returned within the hour – within their own case-management systems.

  • New commercial law firm Vertex Law has selected Aderant’s CMS.Net practice-management system to extend its financial and operational-management capabilities to broader practice groups and front-office staff. 

    Vertex Law, which will be based at Kings Hill, near Maidstone, is the brainchild of Stuart Butler-Gallie, a former City lawyer, who most recently headed the corporate and commercial team at Davies Lavery, also in Maidstone. Vertex Law brings together two commercial and corporate law teams from Cripps Harries Hall and Davies Lavery into a new enterprise solely focused on legal services to corporate clients.

  • SRC, a digital-dictation and speech-recognition solutions provider, has appointed James Araali-Kabyanga as head of technical operations to oversee the delivery of support to SRC’s WinScribe digital-dictation clients. The recruitment comes as part of a continuing programme of expansion and investment in the company’s technical-services group.

  • Fareham-based firm Now Legal has selected Axxia Systems as its preferred technology partner. The project currently involves the deployment of Axxia’s Eiion accounting software, Desktop fee-earner tools and Case Manager to all staff, although a second phase focusing on e-business tools is scheduled for early next year.

    Now Legal was formed earlier this year, specialising initially in conveyancing and property.

  • London law firm Mishcon de Reya has signed a deal with FloSuite Ltd to improve key business processes. Mishcon de Reya will implement the FloSuite business-process-management solution as an enterprise platform to streamline core legal, finance and administrative procedures.

    Initial roll-out will target administrative procedures that currently involve updating information held in multiple computerised systems, such as new client/matter inception and new employee/leaver processing.

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