Lincoln's Inn firm Kingsford Stacey is buying a u250,000 system from Edinburgh-based supplier HG Usher & Co.
The 13-partner firm is buying an 80-terminal system for practice management and word processing and includes both software and hardware.
It will be implementing the U-Legal Unity Practice Management software along with WordPerfect 6 word processing package. The hardware is supplied by Sun and includes the multi-user X-Windows terminal.
The terminals are not commonly used in law firms, despite wide distribution in commerce. Kingsford partner Ken Smith says the firm is enthusiastic about the system. "As far as we know, we are the first law firm to introduce X-Windows terminals in this way,' he says. "We are convinced that this is the most efficient and flexible way of bringing the latest technology to the desktop without the management pain of giving everyone a PC."
The order is good news for Ushers which recently lost a u92,000 tender to upgrade an existing Ushers system at Kent firm Kingsford Flower & Pain to Digital subsidiary Kienzle Systems.
Ushers says it is a substantial competitive win for both the company and Sun. Business development manager Michael Ballard says the system has the advantages of a PC system with mouse-driven menus, but without the associated management costs.
"Although it is an 80-user system, there is a greatly reduced reliance on IT management," he says.
The system is based on graphical screens, which provide a front-end to spreadsheets and word processing applications. The firm decided against PC networks on the grounds that X-Windows negates the need for a multi-PC system.
"We believe the new system will give this practice a significant technical lead in serving the needs of our clients," says Smith.