Orange Rag sources report that there are likely to be only 11 suppliers listed in the upcoming edition of the English Law Society's Software Solutions Guide – compared with the 15 featured in the 2008 edition. One known departure is JCS, which has been acquired by Cognito Software and already has a place in the guide, and it is rumoured that the IRIS Group is cutting back on the number of its entries. No doubt the suppliers remaining in the guide will get very excited about all these departures – but the question is does anybody outside the small firms 'we buy about £30k of software every six years' set actually read or care about the guide anymore? As Videss, in their still-independent pre-IRIS days said, when they pulled out of the guide after the 2003 edition: it's a lot of marketing money to spend on a directory entry that merely generates inquiries from firms that are too small to afford our software anyway…

Reports suggest that the Law Society may now rethink the format of the guide. And about time too, it is way past its sell-by date and needs an urgent refresh. In fact as long ago as 2004, the guide's founder John Miller was talking about a major revamp – but then he left the Law Society and inertia set in. In the meantime, if you can get hold of back copies of the guide, treat yourself to looking at the mugshots of all the directors featured on the supplier profile pages and ask yourself 'where are they now?'