The Legal Software Suppliers Association (LSSA) has issued its official comment on Friday’s  announcement from Eclipse Legal Systems announcing its endorsement by, and commercial arrangement with, the Law Society.

“The LSSA stands behind its open letter of 10thApril 2014, signed by 15 LSSA member companies, which stated that it is not in the best interests of the legal profession for the Law Society to endorse a single preferred IT supplier. This view was backed up by the survey undertaken whereby 236 out of 237 senior representatives from over 200 law firms said they were opposed to the Law Society’s proposal to have one (or a very small number of) preferred supplier/s of case and practice management software to the legal profession.

“We would be interested to know which suppliers were evaluated by the Law Society before the awarding of this contract and details of the selection criteria. Whilst wishing Eclipse and the Law Society well in their joint venture, the LSSA continues to strive to look after the wider interests of the legal community’s technology needs.”

UPDATE: We’ve just spoken to LSSA chair Glyn Morris who added “LSSA decided not to support The Law Society endorsement scheme as it felt it was a flawed process that was all about the commercial benefit to the Law Society rather than providing a service to Law Society members. The Eclipse deal and the recent VEYO project also highlight a bigger problem, namely what is the role of the Law Society today? What’s its purpose: is it a regulator, a membership services organisation or a revenue generating business. I’m not sure if even its own members know the answer to this.”

CC COMMENT: We’ve also heard some unofficial comments from LSSA members saying they think Eclipse should be expelled from the organisation for breaking ranks.