Lewis Silkin in law firm first with tech product launch

Lewis Silkin will today formally launch a new document management system backed by Microsoft that it believes will mark a sea change in legal technology.

The London firm has spent the past three years developing the intellectual property for its own system, called Excalibur, which uses Microsoft’s Sharepoint software package.

Last year systems integrator Sword bought Lewis Silkin’s IP for an undisclosed sum and began the rollout of the system with the firm last spring.

Lewis Silkin and Sword believe the new system will be commercially viable and consequently will demonstrate it for around 30 invited law firms at its Chancery Lane offices at 4pm today.

Lewis Silkin IT director Jan Durant said today’s launch would mark a “sea change” in the legal technology market.

“What we’ve done is put a ‘legal skin’ on top of the Sharepoint system to make Microsoft’s system useable for lawyers,” Durant said. “We believe this is the way things are going to go and that Microsoft will eventually become dominant in the legal market.”

Legal market technology expert Charles Christian said that up until now there has been only two primary DMS products in the legal market – Open Text and iManage.

“Now Lewis Silkin has stuck its neck out with this product and if it takes off, it could be the start of something significant,” said Christian. “The fact that Microsoft is involved suggests the market could be at a tipping point.”