In what must be assumed to be a u-turn on its plans to float, Axiom today (5 September) announced that it has taken a “significant investment” from Permira, albeit the sum is as yet undisclosed. The Axiom management team, led by CEO Elena Donio, will continue in their current roles. You will recall that Permira is already active in the legal tech sector having taken a controlling stake in LegalZoom in 2014.
The new investment is said to support Axiom – which earlier this year said it planned to list on the New York Stock Exchange – as it continues to expand in the U.S. and internationally, launch new service delivery capabilities and leverage the legal industry’s ongoing shift to flexible talent models.
Donio said: “Our industry is in the early days of a complete transformation, away from the historical law firm paradigm toward nimble, technology-powered solutions. Axiom has been leading that transformation, and this partnership is about preparing for faster innovation, more disruption and extending our lead.
“We are thrilled to have the backing of an experienced partner like Permira. They have a tremendous track record of supporting tech-enabled, services-led businesses like ours, and together we can accelerate growth, deepen our service proposition for clients and provide even greater career opportunities for the lawyers on our platform and our teammates.”
Mark Harris, Axiom’s founder and chairman, added, “This is a powerful union, perfectly timed. The work that Elena and the team are doing to take Axiom and the industry into the future is now on turbo-boost.”
The Permira funds’ investment will support Axiom as it “pursues growth opportunities arising from clients’ increasing need for legal talent that is flexible yet integrated with the enterprise.” Areas of likely support include further investment in Axiom’s technology platform, which helps to identify, match and engage companies with talent, and continued expansion of Axiom’s sales force to better meet the needs of current and potential clients, particularly within the Fortune 500. Permira will also leverage its international footprint to support Axiom’s continued expansion, through investment and business development, in the U.S. and globally.
For those of you who care, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP acted as legal advisor to the Permira funds. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP acted as lender counsel to Barclays.