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1 September 2004

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  • Macfarlanes has engaged Solcara, an information-management software and solutions company, to implement its SolSearch solution. SolSearch is designed to support fee earners by enabling them to quickly find relevant information, regardless of format, location or source. It aims to improve the effectiveness of users who need to assimilate information from a number of internal and online sources. The technology supports integrated searching of a firm's information resources, including internal sources such as document-management, know-how and library systems, as well as supporting searches of online-subscription services and free sources of information, such as government and public-body websites.

  • Nine of the top-200 law firms in the UK have selected the BigHand digital-dictation system. As a result, over 50 per cent of all digital-dictation users in the UK now dictate using BigHand's .bhf voice-file format. BigHand software includes a Codec sound-compression system, and incorporates granular resynthesis, rumble filtering, dynamic-pitch control, multiple-quality setting and chatter-reduction technology. The nine top-200 firms recently opting for BigHand's .bhf format are (in alphabetical order): Asb Law; Brabners Chaffe Street; Davenport Lyons; Hempsons; Keeble Hawson; KSB Law; Michelmores; Pitmans; and Prettys.

  • Thomson Elite and West, both part of The Thomson Corporation, are collaborating to streamline the billing process for law-firm customers. Firms can now incorporate Westlaw online-research usage into Elite Billing Manager. The result promotes accurate, effective recovery of Westlaw research charges.

    QuickView+ for Westlaw is an electronic cost-recovery and reporting tool that allows law firms to report on estimated Westlaw usage by clients. Elite Billing Manager, one of four integrated applications that make up the Elite Financial Management System, automates the invoicing process. Now QuickView+ report data can be set up to automatically flow into Elite Billing Manager, encouraging accurate client billing and better cost recovery.

  • Case-management-software specialist, Eclipse Legal Systems, has announced record results for its financial year July 2003-June 2004. Turnover for the year ending 30 June 2004 was reported at £3.1m, representing an increase of 35 per cent over 2003's figure. Eclipse attributes the results to several factors, including an aggressive sales strategy, an increase in take up of ProCLAIM among larger law firms and several software upgrades among existing ProCLAIM users.

  • Croner, a provider of business information and advice, has launched an online service to simplify legal compliance and day-to-day HR tasks. The service, CRONER-i, breaks down complex legislation into straightforward, practical advice to meet the needs of professionals who hope to spend less time interpreting red tape.

    Using feedback from a programme of usability testing among human-resources professionals, CRONER-i aims to provide instant, action-oriented HR advice and downloadable template forms and letters, making daily tasks quicker and simpler. It is updated daily to provide news on topical issues and developments in the industry, with e-mail alerts of the latest news and legislative developments.

  • OneSource Information Services Limited, a provider of business-information solutions, has launched a professional and financial-services edition of its subscription-based, business-information product, Business Browser. The service includes information from Experian on over 1.6 million directors and all major shareholders at 400,000 UK public and private organisations, and details of any mortgages, charges or County Court Judgements. The new edition of the Business Browser product will also include electronic images of annual reports and returns filed at Companies House.

    The Business Browser professional and financial-services edition aims to help legal companies to increase the depth of their knowledge on clients, prospects, suppliers and partners to improve sales and marketing effectiveness, as well as reduce business risk.

  • According to a survey conducted by Thomson Elite, a provider of business software to professional-services firms, law firms need technology tools to help them manage online research. In the survey of US law firms, 91 per cent of respondents said that they are looking for assistance with validating and managing online research and improving cost recovery for their firms.

    Chris Poole, president and CEO of Thomson Elite, said: “Simple things like finding and using the right software that tracks and recovers costs can help firms save thousands of dollars. These savings come not only in terms of raw dollars, but also in employees' time.”

    Other top-priority needs cited by the survey respondents included client-ID-validation capabilities to streamline the online-research process, and easy access to valid client IDs to save time for researchers.

  • Interwoven has signed up Jersey firm Bailhache Labesse for its WorkSite document-management software. The win adds another firm to the DMS supplier’s Channel Island list, which also includes Carey Olsen, Bedell Cristin, Ogier & Le Masurier, Mourant du Feu & Jeune, Collas Day and Bois & Bois. Other recent Interwoven wins include Bird & Bird in the UK, Houthoff Buruma in the Netherlands and Gide Loyrette Nouel in France.

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