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Publisher Acquires Software Development Business


For immediate release 29 May 2002

NEW ZEALAND PUBLISHER ACQUIRES SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT BUSINESS

Leading tax and legal publisher CCH New Zealand has acquired practice management system, LAWbase, developed by Baycom Software Laboratories Limited. The sale will take effect from June 1, 2002.

Baycom's product, LAWbase, is a legal accounting and practice management system with the core functionality of trust accounting, and time and cost recording and billing. The system also has a variety of other functionalities including, marketing, credit control and document management.

"LAWbase offers excellent synergies with our business and gives us the opportunity to offer a more complete solution and extra value to our customers," says CCH New Zealand's Managing Director Sharon Bennett.

"Our business is all about providing essential information and tools for professionals. While we've mostly delivered that in the form of books and CD-ROMs in the past, we see this move into workflow productivity applications as a natural evolution for our business," says Sharon.

The acquisition follows hard on the heels of CCH New Zealand's recent purchase of a trust administration and automated forms package.

"The LAWbase business gives us the opportunity to deliver a professional services office suite with advanced applications and top of the line IT development, help desk and field support," she says.

Based in Mt Maunganui, Baycom started more than twenty years ago as a provider of contract programming services. Ten years later the company's owner Bill George applied his experience as a practice manager to develop the LAWbase product. The practice management system now dominates the legal practice management market and is used in 42% of medium sized law firms throughout the country.

The LAWbase operation will be headed by Baycom's current Chief Executive Doug Thomson and will remain in Mt Maunganui with existing Baycom staff. While it will be business as usual, the new venture will be able to draw from the resources provided by CCH New Zealand with regional backing support from its parent company Wolters Kluwer Asia Pacific.

"This new ownership provides many opportunities for us. Because law firm's IT requirements are becoming more sophisticated, the integration of the existing CCH legal offerings into the LAWbase suite means we can offer our clients a much more complete solution with one central database," says Doug Thomson.

Auckland-based CCH New Zealand was formed more than 25 years ago and is the country's leading publisher of tax information with preferred supplier status to the Inland Revenue Department.


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