IRIS Legal says it is bucking the trend of the current economic downturn by growing its customer base and investing in new people, products and infrastructure. Over the past twelve months IRIS Legal has increased its customer base with more than 150 new contract wins, with 37 of these for IRIS Law Business, the company’s next generation practice management solution.

Notable new wins include Atteys Solicitors and Bonnar & Co. This is in addition to existing customers who have enhanced their systems and extended their contracts with IRIS Legal for many years to come. As a result,  its customer retention rate soared month-on-month to 95.5%, a figure it says is world class and supports the underlying confidence amongst IRIS Legal customers in both its products and its plans for the future.

This growth and success is in part attributable to an extensive recruitment programme which has seen the company attract high quality talent from some of its closest competitors. The sales team has been boosted by arrivals from Pilgrim, Eclipse and Lexis Nexis/Axxia, whilst the repatriation of the development team has resulted in over 20 new hires across its centres of excellence in Cheshire, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.  The marketing and product management teams have also grown and further hiring continues to support the success.

IRIS Legal is also pledging to invest £5m per year in product development over the next 5 years, to continue to enhance its flagship products like IRIS Law Business and Meridian Law Connected (the next generation barristers chambers management solution) and keep it ahead of the competition and deliver  ‘Best In Class’ solutions across the legal marketplace.

Jitendra Valera (JV), Chief Marketing Officer at IRIS Legal, said: “Most of the products for the legal market have been around for many years and are based on older technology. Our products have been built from the ground up with the latest Microsoft technologies. This, together with our move to ‘value driven development’ using agile processes in which we involve customers directly, will not only help us continue to build products that are relevant and deliver them faster, but will also provide existing and prospective customers with confidence that they can rely on IRIS Legal to support their growth and secure their investment for the future.

The company has also invested significantly in new facilities; offices, a state of the art telephony system, and a company-wide CRM system that will help improve efficiency and customer service.

Doug Hargrove, Managing Director of IRIS Legal, said: “Our decision to develop everything in the UK taken back in 2011 is really paying dividends. Investment in good people is important to our future growth strategy and we believe the best developers are right here in the UK. We’ve attracted people in all areas of our business from rivals in our sector because they share our vision. We’ve worked hard on developing our strategy and mission internally and we’re pleased it is getting out into the marketplace.

“The recruitment drive we undertook in 2011 continues apace and we’re looking for more staff in marketing, sales and development across our three centres of excellence. It signals our intent to strengthen our customer base and continue to build close relationships with all our existing customers. Our customers trust our products and this is evidenced by our world class retention rate. However, we’re not resting on our laurels and recognise that the market is a competitive one and we have to help our clients remain future-proofed and support them through the huge changes in the legal sector affecting solicitors and barristers.

“The backing we have from our owners, HgCapital, is extremely important to our success. They can see we’re geared up for growth and we’re shaping up well to protect their investment. We’re implementing a specific growth plan which includes bringing new products to market through partnering, building and acquiring. We’re currently preparing our end of year figures and we’re confident we’ll be able to share more good news very soon.”

Jitendra Valera, Chief Marketing Officer of IRIS Legal, added: “We’re proud to be at the forefront of the sector in terms of market share and developing innovative products. Great things are happening at IRIS Legal and the past twelve months is just the start of what looks like a continuing success story for us and those customers who have invested in us. ”