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IRIS Legal says it is bucking the trend

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. ”


9 replies on “IRIS Legal says it is bucking the trend”

Not so fast there – the UK Legal IT market has been growing strongly since 2009 – each and every year. Yep – there was a step back in the initial panic in 07/8, but doesn’t that seem a long time ago now? It is a tad disingenuous to compare yourself with the UK economy overall, frankly.

To be joining the Legal IT market’s growth trend in 2011 only is hardly something to be crowing about. Eclipse and others have been powering ahead for three years already, and the clutch of High St specialists have been doing particularly well.

Even when law firms have been facing challenges, the one budget they have typically Not cut is that of case, matter and practice management investment. Its a great vote of confidence in the Legal IT industry.

Nice to see IRIS back in the fray at last, and Hg are no fools, but please – the game has moved on significantly in the past 4 years and claims that the old CS Group agglomeration has market leadership are now tenuous at best.

This is very suprising to read given recent rumours. Many old legacy products with unhappy customers. 1 solicitors go forward product that is over 3 years behind schedule with the other solicitors go forward product about to be abandoned (unofficially of course) due to the closure of the office it was based it.

In response to Anoymous: Why rely on rumours and old views – please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to update you on the facts – We have many clients happy with our legacy older products which we continue to support, we have great go forward products that we continue to invest in and build to be ‘Best In Class’ and we continue to invest and hire in our three ‘Centres of Excellence’in Knutsford, Grantham and Hull. IRIS Legal has changed and there are great things happening here.

Sorry JV but I agree with the previous post. There has been lots of noise about Best In Class but very little evidence as yet. The fact that there is still no workflow 2 and a half years after it was due is not filling me with confidence. Also yes there are a lot of loyal legacy customers, but their loyatly is to the old companies and products, AIM, Videss, Opsis, Alpha and Not to Iris. Also the entire Best in Class line smacks of the type of arrogance Iris had when they came into the legal market. There are loads of great established suppliers and products out there so its a bit early to say you WILL be the best in Class.

Just checked the website. No vacancies in Knutsford, Grantham or Hull out there, JV.

Though I do have to say that you have managed to get the words “centres of excellence” and “Knutsford, Grantham and Hull” in the same sentence. That in itself speaks well as to your prowess in marketing.

Being an ex-employee of IRIS and having worked at the office that is now scheduled for closure, the ‘rumours’ that their current solicitors ‘enterprise’ software is soon to be classed as ‘sustained’ (legacy) are more than just office talk. Also having seen their purposed ‘best in class’ offering, I would suggest that the class that IRIS are looking at have special needs.

Now I know that this post my smack a little of ‘bitter ex employee’ but in all honesty I couldn’t really give a damn about IRIS or their market position. I just want to let those in the industry know that some of the lines spun by the IRIS marketing division may be a little thin in the way of having their clients best interests at heart.

There are plenty of other CMS/PMS systems on offer, and with all my knowledge of the way IRIS works I wouldn’t touch ILB with a barge-pole.

Iris is bucking the legal trend. Iris’ competetors are retaining key staff and offices, Iris is closing and giving key staff and skills away. Best known example of this is Chris Rose – Anyone care for a mint ?

“The marketing and product management teams have also grown”. Now that’s IRIS spin for you, given the recent announcement in the rag that the product manager for their “next generation” product had quit?

Dear Mr Hargrove, Dear Mr. Valera.

I was a subscriber for 7 years. If you would like to learn a bit about your business from the point of view of a small firm then please feel able to call me on my mobile. 078 999 11 777. I do not criticise the way that any man runs his business and I certainly not you. If you would care to listen to the call made to me yesterday, it will give a little insight into what can occur. All best wishes, Arnold Rosen.

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