Legal office exhibition heads for Manchester

Due to the increasing appetite of northern practices for IT, an exhibition specifically geared towards law firms will be launched in Manchester this autumn.

More than 60 exhibitors will take a stand at the Northern Legal Office Exhibition, organised by the same company which stages the annual Solex show.

The show, which is sponsored by The Lawyer, will take place at Manchester's GMEX Centre on 21-22 October and will cater for firms of all sizes as well as in-house lawyers.

Rodger Pannone, senior partner of Manchester firm Pannone & Partners and a former president of the Law Society, welcomed the decision to hold the conference in Manchester.

The launch was "another example of the importance of the North West", he said.

"We have been able to demonstrate time and time again that we can match the competence and expertise of London but with a unit cost of production that is normally considerably lower," he added.

Keith Searby, managing director of organisers Truemist Professional Exhibitions, said his calculations showed that the North represented a third of the legal marketplace, with more than 3,000 practices and 15,000 solicitors.

Exhibitors range from major suppliers of equipment, such as Solicitec and Axxia Systems, to the Manchester-based software supplier for high street firms, JM Computing.

ICC Site Search will be demonstrating its updated contaminated land search service which is designed to cope with the demands of the Environment Act 1995.

Speech product suppliers The Speech Centre will be launching a new set of products and suppliers Talkwrite Systems will unveil the British version of its general-purpose continuous speech recognition system which can handle speeds of up to 200 words per minute.

Also being launched at the show is a computer package for the administration and investment of trusts by Edinburgh's Pilgrim Systems, a company which is currently attracting clients south of the border.

Security of equipment is another subject firmly lodged on the exhibition agenda, following the results of research carried out at this year's Solex show. Half of all firms questioned failed to use any form of IT protection.

Now a range of products designed to guard against theft and unauthorised computer access will be displayed at the show by exhibitor, Safemark IT Solutions. These include boxes and cabinets made of welded steel.