First for Martineau

Birmingham firm Martineau Johnson has become the first firm outside London to install the R/KYV computerised document management system.

This will put the firm in a strong position to compete with the biggest firms for litigation work, says Andrew Spooner, head of litigation. But the 24-partner firm will also use it in its intellectual property and employment law practices.

"We are now dealing with many major litigation cases where we have to handle thousands of documents," says Spooner. He sees it being used in "the weightier commercial arbitrations, as well as heavyweight IP litigation".

One of the main features is the detailed search facilities. "It will give us heavy firepower at our fingertips. And it will save our clients money," he says.

The system was supplied by YMIJS, whose managing director Bill Cannings says that Martineau Johnson was unusual in how it approached acquiring a system.

"With the firm it was a question of pure investment up front to give it a competitive edge." It was not driven by an existing case, where the other side was using this technology, he says. He adds that lawyers are looking more and more at the strategic advantages such systems bring.

Spooner will not comment on the cost of the investment other than saying it involved a considerable capital outlay.

The selection of the system was done after considerable research. "It is quite a long process to make the right decision," he says.