Solicitors Own Software (SOS) has appointed Graham Colbourne as its new managing director, taking over from industry veteran David McNamara, who is stepping down to retire after 23 years with the company.

Colbourne, who joined SOS in 1995 and has been the company’s technical director for the past ten years, said: “I am delighted to be taking on the role of MD within the business. I am keen to build on the success of the last eight years following our highly successful management buyout (MBO), since when the company has more than doubled in size. We have great plans for both our current software and for devising the next generation of SOS legal software to ensure we remain at the forefront of legal IT for the mid-tier law firms.

“In addition, our Virtual Practices division is proving to be the ideal hosted solution for start-up and niche law firms, both of which are growing in number significantly in the shifting legal landscape.”

David McNamara added: “I have enjoyed working within the legal IT industry immensely, having done so for the past 30 years. I am confident the company will continue to grow and prosper given SOS serves two very specific sectors of the legal market, rather than trying to be all things to all people. Just like the legal profession itself, it is the specialist vendors that will continue to innovate and thrive, irrespective of the global size or mass of its competitors.”

Comment:

David McNamara has worked at SOS since 1993 and was promoted from sales and marketing director to managing director in 2008, when SOS’s executive team undertook its MBO after the retirement of founder Michael Platt. Colbourne was part of the exec team that undertook the MBO, together with Keith Denman, now technical director at SOS; Elaine Galvin, SOS commercial director; and Stephen Parry, who sadly died of a heart attack in 2011 aged just 52.

The MBO bucked the trend of independent legal software suppliers selling out to larger conglomerates, but Platt said at the time of the MBO that securing SOS’ independence was a paramount prerequisite for his retirement.

SOS’ latest accounts for a small company, for the year up to 31 March 2015, filed in December 2015, show that the company’s tangible assets increased from £44,095 in 2014 to £62,352 in 2015, while its cash at the bank and in hand quadrupled from £8,768 to £32,269 during that same period. Debtors owed SOS £2.8m in 2015 compared to £2.5m in 2014, while the amount falling due within one year dropped from £1.4m in 2014 to £1.2m in 2015.