The art of attracting and retaining the best IT staff will be among the topics at the The Lawyer's 10th Information Systems for Lawyers conference and exhibition next week.

Around 200 delegates are expected to attend the annual event for IT directors and legal professionals interested in IT, being held at London's Marriot Hotel on 24-25 February.

The conference the only one for IT directors in the UK will focus on how IT directors, fee earners and suppliers can work together to take full advantage of equipment, avoid technological disasters, and manage information strategically.

Greythorn managing consultant Melanie Gilbert will lead the discussion surrounding IT staffing. She said a number of firms were giving IT directors greater access to senior management in their firms so that they could have a greater say in strategic decision-making.

Another key speaker is legal technology consultant Neil Cameron who said he would be talking about the "next step" for firms keen to implement the latest systems.

Hammond Suddards IT director Graham van Terheyden and Microguide Corporate Computer Consultants managing director Clive Leyland will host a discussion on the use of Intranets and Extranets.

Other speakers include Bird & Bird partner Graham Smith, Jeffrey Green Russell senior partner Clive Whitfield-Jones, Wilde Sapte IT director Simon Kosminsky and Linklaters head of IT and Telecoms Andrew Taylor-Browne.

The conference will be chaired by Baker & McKenzie technology partner Harry Small.

Among about 18 stands on show will be litigation support suppliers Elliot Slone, software suppliers Norwel and US company World Software Corporation and legal publishers Butterworths and Sweet & Maxwell.