Freshfields overhauls conflicts system

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

is about to roll out an upgrade to its conflicts-checking system.

In June, the firm was famously removed from Philip Green’s aborted bid for Marks & Spencer (M&S) after it emerged that the firm had a conflict of interest over earlier advice it gave to M&S on its Per Una contract.

However, Freshfields began its overhaul in January and the firm said the M&S furore did not influence the planned changes to the IT system.

Conflicts committee partner Julian Francis said the aim was “to make the system quicker by updating the software and making it more user-friendly”.

The software has already been adapted so partners can use it on their Blackberrys while out of the office, and changes to format are set to be rolled out by the end of the year at the latest.

The changes are part of a wider upgrade to the IT system that will see Freshfields overhaul its whole knowledge management system, which currently operates on a country-by-country basis.

From Christmas it is expected that the whole firm will be on a single global platform.