City firm sinks £1m in system

Alison Laferla reports

City firm DJ Freeman is investing £1m in a practice management system from Keystone Solutions, a software company based in New Zealand.

The firm is following in the footsteps of Ashurst Morris Crisp, which last July became the first UK firm to invest in Keystone.

DJ Freeman, which won the 1996 Lawyer/HIFAL award for best use of information technology, plans to switch to the new system next year.

Chief executive Jonathan Lewis said: "Keystone is the product that we feel offers an integrated system of time recording, billing, financial information, marketing and other databases in a form that will be easy for our lawyers to use at their desks. It is based on sound technology for the future using Windows NT and Oracle.

"We plan to use the system to provide an improved client service by bringing financial, marketing and file storage and management information direct to the desktop of everyone in the firm in a form that is accessible and user friendly."

Colin Morris, general manager of Keystone UK, said the product, which is aimed at large law firms, is unique in that it offers a truly multi-jurisdictional, multi-currency and multi-office system.

"There is tremendous interest in our product from firms in London which, for the first time, are seeing a real opportunity to deliver improved client service through technology," said Morris.

Keystone has established a subsidiary company in the UK with a London office which currently employs six staff.