Intranet use at peak, say consultants

LEGAL IT consultants report an "avalanche" of Intranet installations by medium-sized firms, which are attracted by the low cost and user-friendly nature of the systems.

BDO Stoy Hayward IT consultant John Irving said many medium-sized firms had now advanced and stabilised their document and practice management systems and were now installing Intranet services.

According to independent consultant Neil Cameron, almost all of the large firms have an Intranet service or are in the process of installing one, and medium-sized firms have been "rushing" to install them during the last six months.

Cameron said firms were choosing Intranets because the technology was "cheap, powerful and easy to use".

Intranets use similar technology to that of the Internet, including a browser device and e-mail system, to connect terminals within a firm, allowing lawyers to have immediate communication with each other.

An increasing number of firms are now giving lawyers unrestricted access to the Internet, having overcome fears it would result in time-wasting.