Law Soc agrees to print supplement

Alison Laferla reports

IT suppliers are claiming a victory after the Law Society gave in to pressure to publish a supplement to its IT directory that lists suppliers excluded from the original.

The directory, Information Technology, published in August, claimed to provide guidance on how to choose an IT system and to contain information on the main IT suppliers to lawyers in England and Wales.

But the directory, sold to members for £35, did not include details of several suppliers, who together account for an estimated 30-40 per cent of legal systems sold in England and Wales. Suppliers claimed they were given differing reasons for being omitted, including failure to meet a deadline and a breakdown of communication within the Law Society.

The Society has now agreed to print a supplement but refuses to comment on suppliers' claims that their omission was a mistake.

John Burrill, managing director of Linetime, was furious at having been left out and wrote to the secretary general of the Law Society, Jane Betts, asking for an explanation.

Burrill said the directory did not include at least nine leading suppliers. "The IT Directory omitted the top echelon of legal software developers and suppliers," he said. "Following pressure from Linetime, the Society has admitted its mistakes and has agreed to produce a supplement to the directory."

A Law Society spokesman said the Society was currently checking the supplement, which, he said, listed "those suppliers who initially elected not to appear in the directory".