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Eclipse says onwards and upwards

Eclipse Legal Systems, which is now describing itself as “the UK’s leading case management software provider” has reported record results for its 2010/11 trading year. The firm’s previous best results came in 2009/10, when the audited turnover figure stood at £6.6million. The financial year 2010/11, which ended on 30th June, saw Eclipse revenue increase of 21% to a record high of £8million.

Highlights from the 2010/11 period include:

• Record performance in terms of new client wins – 104 across all sectors – Eclipse are keen to point out these are “proper” new wins, do not existing client upgrades, upsales and extensions
• More than 3,000 Proclaim end-user licence sales, bringing the total Proclaim user figure to over 14,000
• The total staff number exceeding 100 (as of 11th July 2011, Eclipse employs 105 staff)

Eclipse’s founder and Chief Software Architect, Steve Ough, comments on the firm’s performance “In the first eleven days of this new financial year (2011/12) we have already signed up 6 new client firms, one of them being a six-figure contract. In my opinion, this relays an extremely powerful message – that the fantastic results just announced for 2010/11 are a springboard for further growth and success. We are not resting on our laurels. We are expanding right across the board – in our development, support, and relationship management functions – and we will strive to continue giving law firms what they need.”

4 replies on “Eclipse says onwards and upwards”

Well, I have to take it all back about Eclipse. Last year I made fun of them bragging about turnover when shareholder funds (which is about all you could look at on their abbreviated accounts) went up by only £26,000, which didn't seem a lot considering their turnover. Now that they are filing full accounts, I see that the increase in shareholder funds was limited by the fact that they paid out £503,000 in dividends, which seems a lot until you read that in the next year they paid out £1,109,000, which has to be considered pretty good going.

And hats off to whoever you are for taking the time to come back and correct yourself. Not many people would do that nowadays. I am assuming, of course, that you are not in any way connected to Eclipse!

That's great news for the Directors, and congratulations to them for creating the chance to divi up. But £1.6 million in dividends over two years out of a company that's only turning over 7-8 million suggests that they may have become a bit of a “lifestyle” business. After all, this is a IT company, not a law firm 🙂 £1.6 million is hell of a lot of lost development opportunity, next gen products etc. Dare I say that it could have funded the move off of Progress to something less proprietary. There, that should start the ball rolling.

I am actually Tom Hervey, aka Acculaw Limited, not at all connected with Eclipse. Reading the accounts of other Legal Software suppliers is one of my diversions. I am especially taken by the use of 'intangible assets' to beef up the bottom line of the balance sheet, a particularly useful ploy in abbreviated accounts with no Profit and Loss statement. My own tendency is to leave cash that I don't need in the company, so that I will be able to take it out when I need it in my old age without paying 40% (and perhaps a bit of 50%) on the whole lot; but I can't really argue with someone who wants to enjoy or invest their profits now.

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