More Consolidation As AffiniPay Buys ClientPay

More consolidation, this time within the ‘billing tech’ field. AffiniPay, which is a professional services payments conglomerate, has acquired ClientPay, a company focused on online payments for law firms.

The move follows a major M&A drive by roll-up business ProfitSolv, which last year – see story – was created as a consolidation vehicle to scoop up as many legal sector billing- and practice management-related companies as it could.

In this rival move, US-based AffiniPay will now provide ClientPay alongside LawPay and other solutions it already owns that cover accounting and other professional service sectors, all under one umbrella.

It’s further evidence that more companies are opting for a consolidation strategy in the legal tech and adjacent fields, and equally that they are convincing more businesses to sell up – and perhaps more companies want to sell up as well. Although, that said, it’s also clear that some M&A deals fell through in 2020 due to the pandemic when buyers got scared off due to market instability. However, the overall consolidation trend seems to be motoring along despite some bumps in the road.

The move follows another M&A deal this week, which was in the eDiscovery market, with Veristar buying Planet Data.

As for ClientPay, they first formed back in 1993. Over its lifetime the company had built partnerships with Thomson Reuters and Aderant, among others that offer practice and matter management software.

AffiniPay said that the acquisition follows a rapid growth in the ‘adoption of electronic payment acceptance by large law firms … [which] has been gaining momentum and in 2020 saw an accelerated double digit growth rate’.

This they said was ‘due to client demand for contactless payments and the acceleration of CIO/CFO workflow efficiency initiatives’. One would expect the pandemic’s digitisation impact to also have been felt here.

AffiniPay CEO, Tom West, concluded: ‘At AffiniPay we could not be more excited about bringing ClientPay into our portfolio to further our mission of transforming the way professionals are paid. Together we will be stronger, have better capabilities and will reach further than we could have on our own. This acquisition further strengthens our position in the enterprise market.’