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20 layoffs so far at one vendor

We're just hearing reports that about 20 staff at a large legal software vendor have been layed-off/made redundant and that more departures are expected later this week from another subsidiary within the group. Our source has asked us not to name any names as (a) it might jeopardise the packages being negotiated and (b) they are not allowed to communicate with the Insider anyway.

16 replies on “20 layoffs so far at one vendor”

There's an ad on the Telegraph jobsboard for a sales director at what sounds like IRIS. I thought Chris Rose had that job?

So that will probably mean the departure of the final well known names all very sad.

Heard today IRIS have made redundant 9 at OPSIS, 12 at AlphaLAW and 15 at AIM – will be interesting to see how IRIS marketing deal with that especially as most of those were support and development

I don't know how many people worked at Alphalaw but that has to be close to 25% of the workforce.

so first the news re the figures which came as a shock internally and externally followed by everything is ok statement. we now hear that some of the last expereincec sales people/leaders going. rumour has it that Comical Al i (internal name) is going to be running the team going forward.

Tom Bell, who was the top selling salesman at Videss, went last week.

This news should not come as a shock. Lawyers are laying people off left right and centre so it makes sense that they restrict capital projects. The larger firms will continue to invest in IT but much of the mid market won’t and that is where most of the PMS and CMS suppliers sit.
So we should not be surprised that it is happening, we would have been surprised had it not. The difficulty though is that interest on debt has to be paid. If you are making fewer sales and seeing your maintenance contracts retract you have to do something.
Some owner managed businesses can say “Oh well – our profits will be down this year but we will bounce back”.
Most IT firms and lawyers don’t take that approach and rightly balance their staffing requirements to the amount of work coming in. In my view this is very sensible and to be expected. It has happened in previous recessions and it will happen in this one.
The firms who are in big trouble are those who are heavily leveraged. Interest on debt must be paid or you risk your banking covenants and ultimately lose your business. These firms have such a call on their cash they may be forced to over compensate in a downturn as, whilst some costs may reduce the interest payable on debt often will not (previous comments on other threads have said the same thing).
You are then in vicious circle. You cut staff to preserve cash which may mean less work coming through the front door which has an impact on cash so you cut staff to preserve cash…… and so on.

They're getting rid of people all over the place and word has it lots more job losses are being planned. I hear they are canning the v10 product which is why these jobs are going.
I gather that morale is very low, and no-one has faith in the company leadership as they can't make up their minds on what strategy to follow.
Their product strategy has changed every six months over the past 2 years, and they still can't deliver anything that they've been promising.

I don't buy the banking covenant story for cutting staff. It has to be more complicated than that. Maintenance revenues, while fluctuating, are known in advance and it should be reasonably simple maths to work out the support and development staff numbers to support that revenue. If people are not spending on capital projects surely you want to encourage them to spend on revenue to allow you to keep ticking over. Having satisfied them in bad times the hope will be that they will spend with you again once the recession is over. Why? Because they have been delighted by your service. Cutting support staff seems incredibly short sighted – you've never needed them more.

On a general point on the maintenance income issue – to save money a lot of smaller firms ARE cutting their maintenance & support contracts – it may be short-sighted but they are desperate to pay their wages bills (in fact we heard of a firm yesterday where their secetaries have walked out because they haven't been paid for 6 weeks). Legal Tech Insider research suggests this is an industry wide (rather than one supplier specific) problem and that even vendors who have a happy user base will probably see a 15% fall in maintenance contract revenues this year. As for unhappy users, well why even bother.

If they are cancelling V10 that is very serious as it is the platform on which Legal Enterprise is being built.
Does anybody have any facts on this?

We've no info on that however, as you will see from the latest blog post, there are rumours of a product roadmap briefing sometime in the near future.

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