Following HBJ Gateley Wareing’s move into Manchester, in the wake of the Halliwells collapse, the firm has chosen Pilgrim LawSoft for its practice management system.

HBJ Gateley Wareing uses LawSoft practice management and to aid speedy integration between the new Manchester office and the rest of the business, Pilgrim and the firm are working on a project to enable the Manchester business to utilise LawSoft as soon as possible. The project has a tight timescale with a live date of 28 September 2010.

HBJ Gateley Wareing now has eight offices across the UK and Dubai. With the Manchester move the firm has a major presence in each of the principal commercial centres of the UK. The firm will be moving to new office premises in Ship Canal House on King Street from the end of September. The move brings over 200 new staff, including 40 partners, to the national law firm, bringing total staff numbers to 800.

Martyn Finnigan, HBJ Gateley Wareing’s finance director, said “We are delighted to welcome the former Halliwells corporate and commercial teams in Manchester into our firm and believe that they will be a significant addition to HBJ Gateley Wareing and its brand. It makes good business sense for us to all utilise the same systems, so we are working together with Pilgrim to ensure our new colleagues can make use of LawSoft quickly. Pilgrim is taking an efficient and sympathetic approach to this and we are grateful for their speedy response.”

Comment: We expect we'll soon hear more whingeing from other vendors who resent the fact Pilgrim is on a roll at the moment. It is also interesting to note that with so much volatility in the legal market – with mergers, takeovers, legacy systems being end-of-lifed and/or, as in the case of Halliwells, rescues – speed of implementation and rollout is becoming a key differentiator in system selection. As meeting the challenges of the Legal Services Act becomes ever more critical, we expect to see this factor grow in importance.