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Pilgrim take out an AIM site

Is Pilgrim LawSoft set to become the preferred choice for firms wanting to replace their legacy AIM systems? Lanyon Bowdler is a firm that employs around 180 people with offices in Shrewsbury, Telford, Wellington and Ludlow. It has plans to expand in the very near future and as part of its growth strategy has decided to select a new integrated practice, case, document and marketing management system, namely Pilgrim LawSoft. The firm is moving from its IRIS AIM system after assessing a number of different suppliers and products.
Assisted by Peter Owen of Lights-On Consulting, the firm attached a significant level of importance in the suitability of the software for their business model, together with “the ability to develop a long lasting stable relationship with a supplier who is committed to the legal technology market”.
The firm’s Finance & IT Director Dave Grattage, who was previously the AIM Computer Users Association (ACUA) chairman, said “It became clear during the exhaustive selection process that LawSoft is the most comprehensive and well thought out system of its type. Pilgrim also demonstrated a clear desire to actively work with clients in moulding the future product roadmap which was very refreshing and was an important factor in our decision. We have now started the project and it is going well. We expect to reap a number of benefits from using the system and we feel LawSoft will play a key role in driving our business forward.”

5 replies on “Pilgrim take out an AIM site”

“Well chaps, there's only one thing we can do about this… Martin, get the cheque book out and never let a better product than ours ever win again…” (I knew we should have kept the Evolution product ongoing…) he he…

Well done to Pilgrim for winning the deal but I don't think it's the case that they're set to become the supplier of choice to AIM sites as such. Much as Pilgrim are an established player they are relatively small as their accounts for 2008 indicate a turnover of £2.7m and an operating profit of £147k. However, what it does illustrate is that major IRIS sites, both in terms of size and leading figures (in this case the ACUA Chair), continue to look elsewhere.
However IRIS wish to position it the facts can’t escape them in that they are losing more and more key sites. It appeared to start with the Mountain sites and then most suppliers appeared to be saying at the Legal IT show in February that there was much more activity within the AIM base and I also recollect comments on the blog relating to this at that time. We’ve now started to see the results of this activity as suppliers start to make inroads into the IRIS AIM base as well as IRIS Mountain.
The suppliers/IRIS clients I now talk to all again appear to be saying the same thing and it goes something like this:
1. Generally understandably AIM & Videss sites have held off upgrading due to the economy and uncertainty over the development strategy. However, many are deeply unhappy with IRIS and expect to follow the path of the AIM User Group Chairman referred to in this article.
2. Therefore given that there is now only a couple of years to go on the End of Life notice (plus an improving economy hopefully) expect it to only get worse for IRIS as more and more clients come to market and jump ship.
3. Whilst activity is gaining pace in the AIM base signs are emerging that this is now spreading to what was the relatively untouchable Videss base. Many suppliers are commenting that for the first time Videss users are expressing dissatisfaction and a genuine desire to move. A very similar situation to the AIM base back in early 2009.

Sad I know but from an accountants point of view (we like this sort of stuff) it would appear the IRIS Group has a turnover of approx £100m with legal accounting for around £20m. At the time the deal was done the press release stated an overall enterprise value/debt of £500m. If you take it that legal has £100m of this debt linked to its proportion of turnover, then the 500 or so major customers each have the equivalent of £200k of debt per site. Naturally this drives behaviour so I can see why IRIS legal clients would look at alternatives. Jam jar accounts of course but nevertheless scary

500 sounds a bit low looked on iris websites says 5500 legal clients. Imagine they count even someone using a few forms (ha ha) as a client but if you take it literally that still 100m 5500 = roughly 20k a firm

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