LONDON practice Watson Farley & Williams has become the first firm in the UK to buy a US-designed scanning system that allows lawyers to send documents to clients – regardless of what computer platform they use.
According to the promoter, document management supplier IGL, one top 10 firm is currently test-driving the system, which uses the portable document format (PDF).
PDF is widely used throughout the commercial world to scan, copy and index documents either onto CD-Roms or on to a company's central database.
But independent consultant Neil Cameron warned that PDF is owned by software supplier Adobe.
He said: "As it is a proprietary system it can be changed, charged extra for, or held to ransom by the owners and therefore I would tend to err on the side of caution against it."
IGL launched the system, which has yet to be given a name, at this month's Solicitors and legal office Exhibition at London's Barbican Exhibition Centre.
IGL business development manager Paul Mankoo said firms can increase the number of fee earners using the system without having to apply for further user licences.
He claimed the system was "particularly suitable" for use with an intranet and said IGL has formed a partnership agreement with intranet supplier Intranet Solutions.