Law Soc switches to permanent IT staff

The Law Society's IT department is switching from employing contractors to taking on permanent staff after advice from accountants and management consultants Touche Ross.

Until now the department has managed its general staffing needs by setting up more flexible arrangements. These currently include having over half of its work contracted out to independent agencies and contractors.

Most of the work in the last two years has been for the installation of the department's Regis on-line legal information system, part of its 10-year redevelopment plan.

Ashley Sollitt, head of IT, says that contrary to popular trends the department now believes that enhancing permanent support is a sensible move forward. "We are recruiting to save money and to specifically increase our database support, Unix support and PC user support."

Law Society general secretary John Hayes says: "We want to achieve a sensible balance between the use of contractors and permanent staff. The Touche Ross report confirmed that keeping head counts down does not reduce costs."

He adds: "Our decision to recruit more staff is driven by cost and continuity not by fashionable dogma."