Legal Software Supplier News

August 31, 2004

Barry Hawley-Green is New Chairman of the LSSA

After a three-year stint, Alan Richardson of Norwel has relinquished the chairmanship of the LSSA and Barry Hawley-Green, Chairman of LFM Group Laserform, is to take over. The LSSA is the UK industry body for legal systems developers and vendors. Representing most of the leading UK suppliers, it aims to both set and maintain professional standards within the industry and manage areas of mutual interest.

Barry Hawley-Green has long been an advocate of the need to educate solicitors as to the benefits of IT and the crucial role it can play in profitable legal practice. He remarked recently that “by ignoring available technology, lawyers are missing the opportunity to simplify their day-to-day tasks and increase profitability”. His new role may enable him to extend his evangelical activities. The switch comes after the LSSA postponed its major new initiative, the LEXPO legal IT exhibition, and at a time when, judging from the LSSA Web site, the organisation has made little recent progress in its stated aims – but at least its long-neglected Web site ( has an attractive new appearance. Membership has been increasing slowly and the LSSA still clearly represents an important forum.

Commenting on his appointment, Barry Hawley-Green said… “I’m going to champion the cause of better software for lawyers. To do this, LSSA has to be a full partner in all initiatives affecting solicitors. Too many organisations do not consult properly with the LSSA when imposing changes. The recent SDLT (Stamp Duty Land Tax) debacle is a prime example of how solicitors could have saved time, money and hassle, if those imposing change had consulted the LSSA in good time. LSSA represents the views of over 1,000 ICT personnel who are committed to developing software for solicitors but all too often their views are ignored. In a period of unprecedented legal and technological change, it is important that software suppliers have a strong voice to ensure better solutions for busy lawyers.”

Name Changes

Solution 6

Solution 6 Professional and Enterprise announced on 18 August that it has changed its brand and company name to Aderant. The new name apparently derives from Latin words meaning to aid, advise and offer expert opinion. Aderant will focus on providing financial, operational, practice management and resource management software applications developed specifically for professional services companies.

The Solution 6 stable included CMS.Net, Novient, Business Intelligence (formally Net Results), Keystone and CABS2000. The company’s client list includes such noteworthy firms as Accenture; American Express; Clifford Chance; Herbert Smith; KPMG LLP; Norton Rose and Stibbe.

“Our goal is to make Aderant the first and most trusted name for software solutions that streamline and optimise business performance among professional service organisations,” said Michael J. Simmons, Aderant CEO. “We are committed to becoming recognised as the solutions provider that helps clients’ systems and information work together seamlessly to improve overall business performance.”

Laurence Eastham writes: If the many intelligent and gifted people at ADERANT, and their highly paid advisers, say that a name change like this will help recognition then who am I to argue. It is also probably the case that younger people (especially those based in Atlanta) will avoid all association with a certain high-booted pop idol of the Eighties.

I confess that I am not a great fan of name changes – they don’t evoke a picture of a management team focused on results and quality but rather one of senior managers spending endless hours discussing new logos and (crucially in this case) how to pronounce the new name. Still, let’s be positive and wish ADERANT and all who sail in her a productive and rewarding time under the new name – and remind ourselves that Solution 6 always did sound like something out of a 1950s sci-fi movie anyway.


The ADERANT announcement followed July’s announcement that Solicitec is no more. The final demise of the Solicitec name was presaged by the creation of the Visualfiles company in 2003 but why change a name that has become so well known? According to Visualfiles Chairman Neil Ewin, the problem is that the name Solicitec has become too closely associated with case management systems. “People associate Solicitec with highly deterministic processes such as Conveyancing, Debt Collection and Personal Injury applications. While we will always be strong in these areas, there are many more facets to our products which many of our customers are finding even more important”.

Neil Ewin feels the association between ‘Solicitec’ and case management is so strong that many people overlook its products when researching less deterministic ‘matter management’ systems. The company name was formally changed from Solicitec Limited to Visualfiles Limited in 2003 to reflect the wider interests of the company; however the divisional name Solicitec Legal Solutions was retained for a further year. This division has been called Visualfiles Legal Solutions since 1 July 2004.

Laurence Eastham comments: I suspect that the change goes beyond too close an identification with case management. Visualfiles may see the identification with the Solicitec brand as limiting the appeal of the company’s software to the professions and companies operating outside the legal field. After all, if generic files can be of increasing relevance for lawyers, why cannot software designed for lawyers’ complex “workflow” be applied beyond the legal field? Visualfiles has an enviable record for growth and its appetite for further growth is not dimmed – that growth must surely come, in part, from beyond the legal profession; Visualfiles have already sold beyond it. It seems to me that it may take a while for the new name to have any real effect on staid lawyers (but then I am still asking for Opal Fruits), especially as Visualfiles will have to reassure clients about continuity.