Tikit has this morning announced it is working with 'magic circle' firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (which now has over 2500 lawyers in 27 business centres around the world) to upgrade its Tikit FirmWare practice management system.

“Freshfields originally implemented Tikit Firmware over 10 years ago. As our central system for our time, billing and practice management functions, Tikit FirmWare forms the hub of many of our business processes,” said Laurence Milsted, Finance Director at Freshfields. “As Freshfields has grown both internationally and in London, we have expanded our use of Tikit FirmWare with new functionality including lawyer matter management, and support for multiple jurisdictions and currencies. We periodically review the marketplace for alternatives to Tikit FirmWare, but believe that, at this time, the best value-for-money option is to upgrade what we have – we know it meets our needs, and scales to our performance requirements.”

Tikit has been working to upgrade the Tikit FirmWare software suite to a 64-bit platform since earlier this year. The new version (v4) will be available for user testing early next year with Freshfields planning on rolling out the software later that year. “The three-layer model of Tikit FirmWare allows us the flexibility to upgrade the SQL and application server components to 64bit processes, whilst leaving the user front end virtually untouched,” said Mark Garnish, Head of Development Services at Tikit. “In addition to moving to 64-bit, the platform upgrade will expose more of Tikit FirmWare’s core strengths with the latest generation reporting and development tools.” (Insider sources report that initial testing on the 64-bit platform show it to be “demon fast”.)

Comment: This news seems to slay the speculation we've been hearing for at least three years that Freshfields would be the next big legal market win for SAP – although the firm continues to run an SAP HR system. Our sources suggest that during their most recent review of the market, Freshfields looked at both SAP and Elite 3E before deciding Tikit FirmWare provided the most appropriate solution. This news also raises the possibility that FirmWare could re-emerge as an alternative to Elite, Aderant and – for the risk takers – SAP in the larger firms PMS market. FirmWare, which Tikit acquired as part of their acquisition of ResSoft/Resolution Software, was originally positioned as a global contender with its multi-everything capabilities and is still being used in six top 100 UK firms.