More Merger Fun In Legal Tech Land As Litera Bags Workshare + Some Thoughts

Litera Microsystems has today announced its acquisition of Workshare. The deal will ‘enable firms which currently use both suppliers to consolidate their relationships, simplify the process of updating software and rely on a single, world class, support team for the full suite’ they said.

Litera Microsystems successfully merged four companies over the course of 2016 and 2017. Earlier this year, Litera Microsystems ‘partnered’ with Hg, a specialist private equity investor focused on software and service businesses based in London, Munich and New York.

Avaneesh Marwaha, Litera Microsystems CEO said: ‘The legal industry has an increasing interest in finding end-to-end solutions rather than integrating and managing multiple products from multiple vendors. Workshare has been part of the drafting ecosystem for many years and many of our customers are Workshare customers too. We firmly believe that they are better served by bringing the organisations together.’

Michael Garrett, CEO of Workshare added: ‘We see this as a great opportunity to build on the strengths of each organization to better serve the market. Litera Microsystems and Hg have impressed us with their vision of a single supplier to improve the efficiency, productivity, and security of the document lifecycle and we’re looking forward to being part of that future.’


What does all of this mean?

Well, Workshare was a well-known name. But, the key thing is a simple one: platformisation. That is what this deal is all about.

And how can this happen? Money – Hg’s money.

Why do this…?

Because the legal world is full of point solutions and selling a great big platform provides economies of scale for the producer of said platform….which means more profit for the now bigger, faster, stronger tech company.

Why do they think people want this…..?

Because firms and inhouse teams have been opening their wallets to LexisNexis and TR for a long time and those two giants have made many millions of dollars from people not wanting to shop around.

Is this the end of point solutions….? Nope.

Consolidation will continue, but it’s like whack-a-mole – there is no way the platform strategy players will ever totally sponge up the market of point solutions…not for now….maybe not ever.

Does this actually change anything at a strategic level for the market…?

Hmm, yes and no. On one level, no. Nothing really changes in terms of the actual output. You’ve just got a single, joined up offering – or they will eventually. And of course, there will be several more of these M&A deals  to come, that’s for sure. So, the overall change is sort of minimal in that way. It’s not new tech being made, it’s older tech being stuck together.

On another level this raises the game for the other wannabe platformers out there, and they’ll have to keep up.

Meanwhile, this probably won’t scare TR and LexisNexis….yet, but if they keep gobbling up elements of legal tech infrastructure then they may do some harm eventually. A bit like a X-Wing fighter against a pair of Death Stars, one might say.