Meridian Law has bought out its sole rival Ace, leaving it as the monopoly supplier of software to the Bar
The acquisition has led to concerns that charges will increase as a result. "People will look to what they do to their support charges in a year or so," said Maitland Chambers chief executive Peter Bennett.
However, he expressed full support for Meridan's current service. "It's come to this [the buyout] because Meridian is better than Ace by 100 per cent," he said. "Meridian has had 10 years of software development and is a very mature product. In terms of reliability, I can't remember when I last had to call out Meridian support staff."
A number of sets had stopped using Ace and transferred to Meridian prior to the takeover, when Ace had 30 per cent and Meridian 65 per cent of the market.
A Meridian statement said: "Ace had been losing market share for some time and it has become apparent recently that a substantial amount of investment in Ace was going to be required. Consequently, Ace started looking for potential buyers to salvage the situation."
Meridian specialises in diary and case management software to chambers, which it hopes to develop with the acquisition. Ten months ago it became a part of the Mountain Software group.