Group tackles Law Society complaints

The Association of Legal Technology Suppliers (Alts) met last week to discuss accusations made by the Law Society against a number of its members.

Alts chair John Meehan, of Management Support Systems, said: "The association has become stronger in the face of some of the Law Society's accusations that suppliers are not doing their job properly. We believe their statements were unquantified and will support our members 100 per cent."

The emergency meeting was attended by a number of legal technology suppliers which proposed that Alts set up its own code of conduct and complaints procedure.

Meehan said: "The Law Society's own guidelines are undeniably commendable and well laid out documents. Our concern, however, is that they are not necessarily suitable for the smaller high street law firms. We believe our own codes of conduct will reinforce the confidence of users of systems supplied by Alts' members."

There have been suggestions that legal suppliers are concerned about the Law Society launching its own legal software. The society's publication department offers two debt collection programmes and is proposing to launch conveyancing and cost accounts systems.

Geoff Bignell, director of Law Society's Services, said the moves were in response to requests from law firms for IT advice. "Our aim is to find out what the profession wants, we are not there to undermine or compete with legal suppliers."

Meehan denied there was opposition to the Law Society's moves: "We are purely concerned with providing a more professional arena for independent suppliers and by doing this improving client supplier relationships."