Elite Technology has cut a further 10% of its workforce, bringing the total redundancy count since its acquisition by TPG in June last year to 30%, we have learned. The number of people laid off in December is understood to be around 60 to 65, although Elite declined to confirm the precise number. This follows a redundancy round in October last year, in which Elite cut 20% of its staff and began to exit non-core markets, including China, India, Mexico, Poland and Singapore.
According to Elite’s CEO Mark Dorman, the latest round of redundancies is part of Elite’s strategy to move towards being a leading SaaS provider. “We thought long and hard in 2023 about our long-term strategy and how to better serve our customers in the future,” he told Legal IT Insider. “We need to balance the needs of our on-premises customers and also to invest in the cloud, to serve our customers now and in future, and to innovate and ensure that customers are getting access to the best software as quickly as possible. This is part of same strategy, it’s not new, it’s the same decision-making process.”
However, one former employee who was made redundant in December told Legal IT Insider that Elite has cut “anyone who doesn’t have a number by their name,” saying: “It became obvious as soon as we were bought by TPG that Elite would be a different organisation. It is being run by people who are not from the legal industry and are looking to trim fat, but they don’t necessarily identify the right bit of fat to trim and have taken a quantitive not qualitative approach.”
Dorman said that the redundancies were a management decision based on the strategy of the business and not connected to the ownership. However, Dorman and other members of the C-Suite joined post acquisition and will no doubt be under pressure to cut costs and increase revenue and revenue streams, particularly given the slow uptake among big law firm customers of Elite 3E Cloud.
The redundancies, announced on a telephone call in December with all those affected, largely impact employees engaged in services roles. It appears that the nine-strong service delivery excellence team, for example, has largely either left or been let go.
However, Dorman said that services roles were not specifically targeted in this redundancy round, commenting: “Given how we have operated historically and where we are now, we have had the biggest population in some functions, such as services as a percentage of the overall headcount, but we are taking a balanced approach as we think about moving to the cloud.”
A senior Elite employee who we spoke to who was not affected by the redundancies told us that they are in support of the cuts, observing that Elite needs to be more agile and echoing that a different skill set will be required as a larger proportion of the company’s business becomes cloud-based.
Companies set to win include legal technology services consultancies such as Harbor (which recently acquired Elite partner Pinnacle), and Helm360.
One big question that it is too early to ascertain is whether for Elite and its customers, the cuts have got rid of fat, or muscle.