Today on legal IT channel news we have Rekoop getting additional funding and Sword making another acquisition…

Manchester-based legal software company Rekoop is expanding with the backing of a £500,000 loan from The North West Fund for Loans Plus managed by FW Capital.

FW Capital has structured the funding package to enable the company to develop Windows-based and Android versions of its Cloud-based software package, further strengthening its market position. Rekoop currently employs 16 staff and plans to create 10 new sales, software development and administrative roles in 2014 with the backing of the loan from The North West Fund for Loans Plus. It is also using the loan to expand its Manchester offices.

“We’ve invested heavily in R&D since setting up in 2009 which has helped us develop our innovative software and also establish our market niche. The legal sector is going through unprecedented change as firms look for efficiencies and this is an excellent opportunity for us. With the backing of the loan from The North West Fund for Loans Plus we can continue developing our software.  This will strengthen our competitive advantage considerably and enable us to focus on new opportunities. FW Capital understood our vision and structured the loan to enable us to make capital investments without introducing additional cash-flow pressures,” said Rekoop CFO Benn Latham.

Chris Pestell, the Investment Executive at FW Capital who completed the loan, said: “Rekoop has developed a comprehensive product which offers customers a range of significant benefits such as enhanced time recording and increased billing. It continues to win new customers and in just over four years has built up an enviable client list which includes five of the UK’s top legal firms. Building on these foundations and their considerable insight in the legal sector, Rekoop’s management team can now accelerate their expansion plans with the backing of this loan. Our flexible loan structure enables them to fund their development costs and then repay the loan when the product goes on sale.”

The £45m North West Fund for Loans Plus is managed by FW Capital and can lend between £50,000 and £750,000 to North West businesses. It is part of the wider North West Fund, financed jointly by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.

• Sword Group has completed the acquisition of London and Edinburgh based systems integrator and business consultancy Charteris as part of its ambitious growth strategy. Charteris built a strong reputation as a provider of full stack Microsoft technology consultancy and high end Programme and Project Management services. Charteris’ consultants are also frequently engaged to act as Expert Witnesses on some of the most complex and significant cases where IT is a significant component.

Terry Coyne, Sword’s key contact for the Legal sector explains “We are delighted to welcome our new colleagues from Charteris into the Sword Group. This is great news for us and our clients and gives us more breadth and coverage in our core SharePoint consulting offering as well as additional strengths across the full Microsoft desktop, infrastructure, private/public cloud and Lync portfolio.

“The acquisition makes Sword one of Microsoft’s most strategic mid-tier partners in the UK. The Group is now a preferred supplier to Microsoft Consulting Services and has three Microsoft VTSPs (virtual technology specialists) in their UK team, one each for SharePoint, SQL and Office365. These are experts in their field who work full time for Sword but part time for Microsoft delivering best practice and strategy advice on Microsoft’s behalf to their key clients. Sword Group today comprises 1,250 staff across 20 countries including offshore and has significant growth plans for 2015 and beyond.”