Latest News

What does the West End merger mean in IT terms?

If all goes to plan – and no reason why it shouldn’t – then 1st November will see the completion of the Howard Kennedy and Finers Stephens Innocent merger to create a new UK top 60 law firm with 88 partners and 125 fee earners. But what are the implications in terms of the combined firm’s technology?

In the usual scheme of things, if both sides have ageing legacy software, then they will normally run their existing systems in tandem until a replacement technology has been selected and rolled-out. However where both firms have newer platforms, despite what some vendors may claim to the contrary, the general rule of thumb is the smaller firm in the merger has its systems swapped out and replaced by of the larger firm’s technology. Why, because it is the quicker and cheaper option in terms of buying new software licences and the associated training.

So how is the dust likely to settle once the technology shakeout takes place when the two West End firms merge in November? Looking at the two firms Howard Kennedy (the larger partner in the merger) currently runs…

PMS – Elite

DMS – Worldox

Case Management – LexisNexis (Visualfiles)

CRM – Elite APEX?

Digital Dictation – Bighand

HR – Northgate

Document Production –

whereas Finers Stephens Innocent has…

PMS – LexisNexis (Axxia)

DMS – Autonomy iManage

Case Management – LexisNexis (Visualfiles)


Digital Dictation – Bighand

Document Production – DocsCorp

HR – Access SelectHR

COMMENT: Bighand looks unassailable as the digital dictation platform and we would expect Elite to become the combined firm’s new PMS. CRM however is up for grabs – maybe Elite & its new Hubbard One platform is a contender as neither firm has Interaction? Also be interesting to see if they retain their LexisNexis case management. And then there is document management: iManage is the market leader – in fact Howard Kennedy is one of only a handful of UK firms to run Worldox – but in recent months Worldox has been winning competitive swapouts against iManage in the US and rolled out new versions of all its software.