It looks like we are having an M&A moment. Aderant is ‘to acquire the assets’ of viGlobal, a people management software company. Meanwhile, an AI doc review company is for sale – most likely ThoughtRiver, and later today a serial legal tech buyer is announcing another acquisition.
As to why multi-offering Aderant wants viGlobal’s capabilities, this is how they framed things: ‘How law firms attract and manage their people directly correlates to how effectively they manage matters and service clients. Therefore, the viGlobal platform is a natural fit to join the growing Aderant product suite with the purpose of helping law firms run better businesses across-the-board.’
All viGlobal employees are expected to ‘come forward’ when the business joins Aderant. Financial aspects of the agreement were not disclosed.
Chris Cartrett, CEO of Aderant, commented: ‘In today’s market, to run a better business, you must have strong people management. We are thrilled to be adding viGlobal, a leading people management platform in the professional services market, to the Aderant product family.
‘Bringing viGlobal into the Aderant fold will help us more fully deliver on our goal of holistically supporting law firm leadership as they tackle their most important business challenges. viGlobal’s strong product suite combined with Aderant’s front- and back-office solutions will create stronger integrations for talent management, matter management, and resource planning.’
Is this a big deal? Canada-based viGlobal started back in 2001 and LinkedIn lists around 40 staff, so in terms of scale it’s not massive. That said, the company appears to have a broad customer base and offers several capabilities focused on the professional world, including:
– ‘Performance Management: Make year-end evaluations easy, and support professionals with year-round feedback on projects and client work.
– Productivity Management: Strategically schedule and distribute work to maximize productivity and billable hours.
– Recruitment & Integration: Streamline recruitment and integrate new hires so they are engaged and productive.
– Learning & Development: Help professionals learn effectively, track industry credits, and develop critical skills.
– Diversity & Inclusion: Track and measure diversity initiatives across your organisation.’
Aderant, which is based in Atlanta, USA, has over 650 staff listed on LinkedIn. So, this won’t be a huge shake-up for the law firm business management company, but a nice add-on.
As to the other two deals in the works, it perhaps underlines that the current conditions are driving some companies to sell up. Although, given that valuations have collapsed in 2022, it does seem to be not an ideal time to sell, especially for any investors in the target companies that are looking to cash out.
However, sometimes – whatever the conditions – you’ve just got to go, and if there is a large potential buyer out there that wants you regardless of market conditions, then perhaps a good deal can be had nevertheless. The flip-side is that one could see the current conditions as a good time for large buyers to pick up smaller companies at a good price.
Are we about to see a consolidation wave driven by a bumpy market for SaaS companies…? Too soon to tell. But such a wave could appear if conditions drive more legal tech founders to head for the exit.