National law firm Eversheds has invested over £2 million in what is reported to be the largest practice management system of its kind in the UK.
The firm says it is installing a US computer system, Elite, in response to the "growing trend among UK clients to demand detailed, US-style billing and reporting from their solicitors".
The first phase of a two-year installation programme, in which all of the firm's 12 offices will adopt the system, begins next month.
David Vokes, regional managing partner at Eversheds, led the IT project team for the firm. He said Elite was chosen because it offered greater functionality than other practice management systems and because it had an impressive track record in firms in the US and the UK.
"Elite is much more than an accounting tool. It is a practice management system that will enable us to manage our business more effectively and to supply our clients with the information they need to manage theirs," Vokes said.
He added that the system would also offer the firm strategic benefits. For example, it can give a breakdown of the profitability of specific areas such as construction law and even split the information into contentious and non-contentious construction law.
The firm claims that the introduction of a nationally integrated system will ultimately give it more efficient access to the detailed information expected by clients.
The Elite system is supplied and supported by Los Angeles-based software company Elite, which provides products exclusively for the legal sector.