Top sets combine IT resources

LONDON'S largest chambers, Hardwicke Building, has joined forces with 9 Bedford Row to recruit what is believed to be the Bar's first ever full-time chambers IT manager.

Former London University Astrophysics Department System Manager, Dr Basil Drolias, took up his new post at the beginning of the year, working three days a week at Hardwicke Building and two at 9 Bedford Row.

Not only is it the first appointment of an IT manager, but it is highly unusual for chambers to join forces in this way.

According to 9 Bedford Row senior clerk Chris Owen who planned the move with his old friend Hardwicke Buildings chief executive Tony Wells other chambers will follow suit. Owen said: 'Some chambers already use IT consultants and, as there is a trend towards chambers increasing in size, there will be a growing need for them to have a resident IT manager.'

Newly-appointed Drolias said that his main task was to centralise the chambers' IT systems, which both use the same software, and to install video conferencing facilities.

Other sets praised the move. Peter Bennett, the practice manager of 36 Bedford Row said it showed the Bar was 'moving quickly to exploit IT' and that the 'best of the Bar' was more advanced in its thinking than similar sized solicitors firms.