In its first-ever acquisition, UK-headquartered collaboration platform HighQ has acquired its smaller US legal file sharing rival Legal Anywhere in a deal that sees HighQ double its market share in North America, we can reveal.
Legal Anywhere was founded by co-founded by president Ron Huffman and VP of sales and marketing Don Fuchs in 2003 and specialises in law firm extranets, virtual data rooms, deal rooms and secure file transfer and sharing. The company’s clients include Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt; Thompson & Knight; Wiggin and Dana; and Stoel Rives. The company employs around eight to 10 staff, of which all are being retained. The cash acquisition, which follows HighQ’s $50m growth financing in 2016, centres on acquiring market share and talent in the US market, where HighQ has been present now for six years.
HighQ founder Ajay Patel (pictured) told Legal IT Insider: “We have been competing with Legal Anywhere in the North American market since we launched there in 2012. We have always admired and respected the company and are very excited to have them join the HighQ family.
“This acquisition doubles our market share in North America, now serving 40% of the AMLAW 100 and 30% of the AMLAW 400.”
He added: “The rationale behind this deal was a customer and talent acquisition. With our combined knowledge and experience of the North American legal market, we are very confident that we will be able to serve our customers even better.”
Ultimately Legal Anywhere’s software will be end of lifed – a move that often proves extremely unpopular but Patel told us: “Ultimately that is the plan but the intention is not to force anyone to move: we think once customers see HighQ it will be a willful transition. It’s not a case that they have to get off that platform and we will continue to service Legal Anywhere.”
In a statement out later today (1 August) Patel adds: “Our mission at HighQ has always been to empower our clients with technology that solves real problems and inspires innovation. We have long admired the Legal Anywhere team and recognized in them a dedication to client service that perfectly fits our culture at HighQ. As we come together, our combined industry knowledge and passion for innovation will unite our teams and provide our joint client base the very best support, software and services possible.”
Ron Huffman, Legal Anywhere co-founder and president said: “We are excited to join the HighQ family. With their years of legal industry experience, HighQ has developed a deep understanding of our clients’ needs and will offer them the resources and expertise required to innovate for years to come.”
HighQ’s investment in Legal Anywhere supports their ongoing growth plans and mission to be the intelligent work platform of choice for leading law firms and corporate legal departments. High Q has been progressively expanding its presence in the US, and in March this year opened its long-awaited Kansas City office.