It’s been rumoured for a while but we can confirm for the first time that LexisNexis is to exit the practice management system market with the sale of enterprise resource planning system LexisOne, which is being acquired by Dynamics 365 gold partner SAGlobal.
The sale will be a blow to early law firm adopters of the Microsoft Dynamics 365-based ERP, which has, despite the success stories surrounding its flagship law firm customer Fieldfisher, failed to gain significant traction in the legal sector, with one CIO recently commenting quite simply, “Dynamics is not proven.”
The sale comes despite very considerable investment in LexisOne by LexisNexis, which at the end of 2015 opened a Leeds-based R&D facility intended to be the UK hub of product development for LexisOne. While the Leeds office is also the hub for long-established case management system Visualfiles, at the time the Leeds office opened, enterprise solutions general manager Andy Sparkes said: “This is part of our investment in and commitment to LexisOne.”
Nonetheless Browne Jacobson, which selected LexisOne in 2014, has endured a prolonged and difficult implementation, and Wedlake Bell, which selected LexisOne in 2014, in February last year announced that it had reversed that decision and selected Thomson Reuters Elite 3E.
While Wedlake Bell’s managing partner refused to be drawn at the time on the reasons for the reversal, it came in the wake of a wholesale rewrite of LexisOne that saw it change – post its selection by Wedlake Bell – from being a Microsoft AX on premises solution to a native Azure SaaS offering built on Dynamics 365.
It is not known whether listed law firm Gateley, which we revealed last June had selected LexisOne but hadn’t signed, has now inked that deal.
Firms will inevitably be asking how SAGlobal will be able to succeed where Lexis has failed. However, the company is a gold certified worldwide Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation partner and is the only Dynamics 365 partner able to offer CRM, ERP and HCP to professional services firms. It has been significantly ramping up its legal capability and last year joined forces with 360 Vertical Solutions.
The combined company, which has around 600 employees operating out of offices in 18 countries around the world, operates as SAGlobal, albeit that it retains the Legal360 brand name.
The sale will further shake up the legal PMS market, following the news that Oracle is to launch a dedicated legal PMS, and given the wholesale restructure by Thomson Reuters that has left many in the market confused as to how its legal tech division Elite is operating post restructure.
Given that LexisNexis’ parent RELX Group is listed, Lexis, which declined to comment, can be expected to notify the stock exchange of the sale imminently.