A RINGWOOD company has scooped the top honours at a national IT awards ceremony.

Canotec, which specialises in networked digital copiers and scanning technology for legal firms, has been crowned the best in Britain, beating some of the largest names in the UK’s £25bn legal sector.

The 21-year-old company, which employs 40 people, received the award for “user engagement” and a highly commended for customer service at The KnowList Awards.

Independent judges were impressed by the company’s “inspirational” customer-focused approach.

Many of the largest legal IT providers and a host of legal IT teams from the Top 200 law firms entered the annual awards – the equivalent of the Oscars of the legal IT industry.

Judges were impressed by how Canotec has significantly reduced paper waste for its clients.

One law firm with 650 staff recorded print-related savings of more than £100,000 by partnering with Canotec.

There was also a nine per cent reduction in its carbon footprint after it stopped printing six million unnecessary pages a year – equivalent to 720 trees.

Canotec has already won a raft of national awards, including ones from Legal Week and Green IT, for its “passionate drive” to help clients deliver the less-paper office.

David Newman, Canotec’s co-founder and director and head of the firm’s legal IT team, said: “We got a massive cheer from the audience, many of whom have worked with us, and it was very touching and a proud moment for the team.”

He added: “At the heart of these positive changes, which have generated substantial financial savings and environmental benefits, is the power of user engagement – getting collective buy-in from everyone by really getting to know the firm, their nuances, their staff concerns and understanding their unique challenges.

“It is a tremendous privilege to have been named the best in the UK for user engagement – and also to pick up the special commendation award for customer service.

“They are a reflection of the great teamwork and passion shared by everyone at Canotec in doing the job well for our customers.”