The law firm of the millennium: a vision…

The Lawyer asked computer industry specialist Bill Cannings to give us his predictions of how firms will adopt legal technology by the next millennium. Cannings, managing director of Valid Information Systems, forecasts:

the cost of case management and accounting systems will plummet when firms realise that they can purchase home-produced products at a fraction of the price of US systems;

offices will not have become paperless;

Microsoft's domination of the market will not have been broken;

all lawyers will make daily use of their PCs;

courtrooms for major cases will have become fully computerised, images will have replaced paper, all transcriptions will have become electronic and evidence presenters will be commonplace;

the ability to work at home or in a remote office will have been enabled by the Internet/intranet/extranet- all of which will be totally secure;

every firm's information system will be Intranet-enabled;

electronic action groups will facilitate online communication between firms, clients, counsel and experts in multi-party actions, and

the "corporate wealth", or useful knowledge gathered by a firm over the years and contained in its paper files, will be retained rather than filed or dumped.