Legal costs consultant Legal Budgets will launch a software tool this month to calculate legal fees.

Legal Budgets managing director Jim Diamond said work started last year on the tool, developed by software house

"The application looks at the case and potential damage and the software picks up the pro forma budgets," he said.

Diamond said the data could be available "in minutes" and the product would retail at around £500.

He said that the software would enable legal costs estimates to be made up to specific points. It would also provide graphics to show cash flow forecasts.

"The biggest problem with a client is not knowing what the fees will be," he said.

" We can help cement a relationship if a client has a definite figure in mind."