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Legalit industry analysis: 10 years of the Insider 200 charts – who are the winners & losers

Legal Technology Insider has now been publishing its listings of the IT systems used by the UK’s 200 largest law firms for ten years. In the latest edition of our newsletter, we published a special report comparing and contrasting our first chart in 2003 with our latest chart for 2012. So who are the winners and who are the losers among legal IT suppliers?

When it came to compiling our analysis and comparison of the 2003 and 2012 Top 200 Charts, to avoid confusion and to ensure the results were on an even playing field, we adjusted the 2003 vendor names to their current names. So, for example, Solution 6 becomes Aderant, Hummingbird becomes OpenText. In addition, to reflect the consolidation that has taken place, so the 2003 data is meaningful, we have combined the 2003 vendors together in their current 2012 corporate groupings. So, AIM, Videss and Opsis 2003 sales are listed as IRIS, Axxia and Visualifiles as LexisNexis, Pilgrim and FWBS as Elite, TFB and ResSoft as Tikit.

We appreciate there’ll be squeaks of outrage saying this is unfair because they are big in Japan or whatever but our rankings are (and always have been) based on the number of law firm sites a vendor has in the top 200, not the total number of seats nor the value of those deals.

In 2003 there were 23 separate vendors vying for a slice of the PMS cake. Today, despite all the mergers and acquisitions, there are still 18. That said, some vendors have very small slices with 9 companies only having 14 sites between them.

The Top 5 UK PMS suppliers today are
(1) Thomson Reuters Elite (inc Pilgrim) up from 56 sites in 2003 to 76 in 2012.
(2) LexisNexis (Axxia) down from 43 sites in 2003 to 30 sites in 2012.
(3) Aderant Expert up from 25 to 27 sites in 2012.
(4) SOS up from 11 sites to 15
(5) Tikit down from 12 sites in 2003 to 11 today.

In terms of market share, in 2003 the four biggest vendors held 70% of the market between them, with Elite on 27%, LexisNexis on 21%, Aderant on 12% and IRIS Legal on 10%. In 2012 they still share 75% between them but the split has radically altered with Elite now up to 40%, LexisNexis down to 16%, Aderant up to 14% and IRIS down to 5%. Other winners and losers include Eclipse which has increased from 1 site to 5 sites and Miles 33, which has seen its Top 200 share halve from 10 sites to just 5 in 2012.

Document management traditionally falls into four camps: firms using one of the “Big 2” DMS applications, firms using an alternative DMS, such as Worldox or Sharepoint, firms using the DMS functionality of their PMS or case systems, and firms with no formal DMS just network folders.
In 2003, 49 firms were using OpenText, 42 were using iManage, 12 were using an alternative DMS and 17 were using their PMS/case software. In 2012, despite the supposed rise of Sharepoint, only 9 firms were using an alternative DMS, 20 were using PMS/case, 14 were using OpenText and 93 were using iManage.

In terms of the Big 2‘s market share of firms running DMS, OpenText has seen its slice fall from 41% to 10%, while iManage has seen its increase from 35% to 68%.

It is not unusual in this sector for a firm to be running multiple systems from multiple vendors, with the result that in 2003 there were 32 vendors in this space. By 2012 this had increased to 42!

In 2003 the runaway market leaders were Axxia and Visualfiles (now LexisNexis) who between them had 73 sites, with what are now the IRIS companies in second place with 18. In 2012, LexisNexis is still hanging on to the top spot with 58 sites but IRIS is down to 13 and we now have Thomson Reuters (via MatterSphere, Lawsoft and FlowSuite) in second place with 42 sites (compared with 6 in 2003). Also ones to watch are Metastorm (now OpenText BPS) up from 4 sites to 21, Linetime, up from 7 sites to 19, Eclipse, up from 4 sites to 18, and probate specialist Isokon, up from 7 to 13 sites.

By market share of installations in firms currently running this type of software, the Top 5 UK Case/BPM etc suppliers today are
(1) LexisNexis on 37% (down from 56%)
(2) Thomson Reuters on 27% (up from 4.5%)
(3) OpenText BPS on 13.5% (up from 3%)
(4) Linetime on 12% (up from 5.5%)
(5) Eclipse Legal Systems on 11.5% (up from 3%)

More changes in the market with Hubbard One being swallowed by Elite and Interaction by Lexis Nexis but since 2003 it has been a constant three horse race between Interaction, Elite and the Rest of the CRM World.

In 2003 Interaction was in 42 sites whereas today it is 62, Elite was in 21 sites while today it is in 43, and ‘all others’ are up from 11 sites to 26. Not all firms run CRM (and some run Interaction in conjunction with Hubbard One) but of the 110 practices that are currently using it, Interaction has a 56% market share while Elite has 39%. We expect Aderant’s acquisition of the CRM4Legal application to have an impact on market share in the coming years.

The big corporate changes over the past decade were Bighand’s acquisition of the No.3 player nFlow and Winscribe’s shift from primarily selling through resellers to selling direct (and in one instance actually acquiring one of its former resellers, namely SRC). The net result is the market has consolidated from 15 suppliers selling a variety of systems to just 5 products although 3 of these have only 4 sites between them.

Back in 2003, Winscribe and its resellers had a total of 18 sites between them, today they have 30 sites. Meanwhile Bighand (including nFlow) has increased the number of its sites from 42 to a massive 139.

In 2003, digital dictation was only just taking off, so market data was blurred by the number of firms running pilot projects however of the 70 firms with DDS, Winscribe had a 26% market share, while Bighand had 60%. Like CRM systems, digital dictation software still has a Marmite flavour, with not all firms using it, but out of the 173 Top 200 firms currently running DDS, Winscribe now has a 17% market share compared with 80% for Bighand.