Herbert Smith links up to Internet service

HERBERT Smith has become one of the first City firms to install the Cable & Wireless Communications

Internet provider, enabling it to distribute legal documents via the Net.

Herbert Smith is a member of LegalNet, a telecommunications group serviced by Cable & Wireless Communications which is composed of 13 City firms, including Allen & Overy, Simmons & Simmons and Clifford Chance. Members of LegalNet, which was launched four years ago, use a telecommunications service which offers them easier access to each other. It gives them the benefit of the bulk buying telephone calls and other telecoms services, said Cable & Wireless senior account manager Mark Russell.

This means, for example, that overseas telephone calls can be bought at lower than average rates and staff at firms can talk to each other more easily, he added.

Herbert Smith is one of the first LegalNet members to install the Cable & Wireless Internet provider.

According to Julie Berry, IT manager at Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, the Cable & Wireless service is one of the few which can track the route a message has taken before it reaches the computer screen and so offers strong security.

Berry's firm is using a service from Internet provider UUNET Pipex. The firm chose it for its ability to store e-mail messages thereby preventing them from being lost.