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All the latest technology news from the legal industry.

15 February 2005

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Technology

  • LexisNexis, the legal, news and business-information services provider, has acquired Interface Software, a client-relationship-management (CRM) software provider to legal and professional-service firms in the US, UK and Australia.

    Reed Elsevier, the parent company of LexisNexis, will acquire all outstanding shares of the privately held Interface Software. Current officers, the management team and employees of Interface Software will remain at the Oak Brook, Illinois location. Terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

  • Interface Software is to implement its CRM solution InterAction at UK firm Mills & Reeve. Mills & Reeve will integrate InterAction with Microsoft Outlook, Firmware practice-management system and Desktop letter-generation system to create a central repository of relationship intelligence for lawyers, marketing, business-development teams and administrative users.

    Prior to implementing InterAction client data was stored in multiple silos including lawyers’ Outlook contact managers, spreadsheets, marketing databases and other repositories.

  • In south-east Asia, one of Singapore’s largest law firms, Wong Partnership is to undergo an overhaul of its document management processes.

    The project will bring about the implementation of a new document management platform, as well as document comparison software that could enable fee earners to work more collaboratively while storing data more effectively.

    The firm will install enterprise content management provider, Interwoven’s WorkSite 8 document management system and Workshare 3, which can assist lawyers in multi-document management and the meta-data lockdown within them, so clients and others outside the firm do not have to view the complete history of revisions and amendments.

    Both systems are to be rolled out company-wide and made available to all employees. For more information on Interwoven’s document management tools, go to www.interwoven.com/products

  • Following its successful merger at the beginning of January, transatlantic law firm Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP has completed the initial phases of its’ IT integration.

    The firm’s combined solution already included a unified e-mail and contacts system, a new website and various shared resources such as global address lists and fully integrated communications links, when the merger was announced. A speed-dial telephone facility to encourage communication between the offices in London and the US was also set up.

    The integration of key IT applications like practice management and human resources systems made up the second phase of the merger, and there are plans to gradually move the UK office onto the US firm’s existing IT platforms, to standardise the systems while reducing cost and improving ease of management and maintenance.

    Currently, the US arm of the company runs PeopleSoft as its core HR database and it is likely that users in London will be transferred onto the same system, while also adopting the Elite Enterprise practice-management and  Hummingbird DM5 document-management systems. Payroll and benefits processing will continue to be run locally.

    The integration project was led by Kirkpatrick & Lockharts chief information officer, Steve Agnoli with assistance from Andrew Collier, Nicholson Graham & Jones’ IT director, and began at the end of August as both firms entered into advanced merger discussions.

  • Shoosmiths has developed its own bespoke deeds-record-management system, which will keep a complete audit history of deeds from the moment they are entered onto the database, until they leave the company.

    The solution is designed to amalgamate the current information repositories, held in Microsoft excel and access, so that staff located in all of the firm’s seven offices can use a centralised infrastructure through the company’s intranet portal.

    The system also generates client reports to supply comprehensive details of all deeds held by Shoosmiths on their behalf, and is expected to be formally offered as a client service in the near future.

  • Eclipse Legal Systems, the case management software specialist, has announced several enhancements to its flagship ProCLAIM system, which is currently used by 4,700 UK practitioners.

    Users of the existing case-management software will benefit from the addition of a conveyancing quote calculator tool, automatic case opening via the web, and workflows incorporating SMS text messaging.

    Eclipse’s URL is www.eclipselegal.co.uk

  • Scottish private client law firm, Pagan Osborne has outsourced its IT support function to managed service provider, the Blue Group, in a five-figure contract that will see the Fife-based company looking after the IT requirements of more than 120 staff, including nine partners.

    The Blue Group will provide specialist service-management and a technical helpdesk to support employees in the law firm’s four offices in Cupar, Ansthruther and St Andrews, Fife and Edinburgh.

    Pagan Osborne, who last year won the top law firm prize in the inaugural Scottish Legal Awards, also acquired the private client, agriculture and property divisions of Edinburgh-based Ketchen & Stevens in June.

    More information about Blue Group’s products can be found at www.blue-central.com

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