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STOP PRESS – IRIS buys Bar IT competitor

IRIS Software Group today announced the acquisition of Formation Software Limited. Formation Software is well respected in the legal software market for providing barristers chambers predominantly practising in commercial law and litigation with its specialised solution, InQuisita Law.
 
Martin Leuw, Group Chief Executive of IRIS said: “The acquisition of Formation Software demonstrates the commitment of the IRIS Legal Software division to the barrister sector. This is a key part of our business strategy and marks a further step forward towards IRIS’ goal of providing an IT partner to the legal profession that will invest the necessary resources to deliver the tools needed by all practices and chambers both now and in the future.”
 
David Randall, founder of Formation Software said: “We are delighted to join forces with IRIS. This will provide Formation customers with the access to the resources and investment of a major software house that understands the changing needs of barristers”.
 
The former Formation Software business will come under the remit of Nicholas Ozga, Director for Barrister & Coroners for IRIS Legal, with David Randall continuing with the company to ensure a smooth handover and 'business as usual' for customers.

4 replies on “STOP PRESS – IRIS buys Bar IT competitor”

About IRIS… because it now owns Mountain/Meridian (which also includes ACE) and now Formation – isn't that a near 99% monopoly of the barristers software market and ought this be investigated by the competition commission?

The competition commission had this monopoly issure referred to them some years ago when Mountain bought Meridian and then ACE http://www.oft.gov.uk/advice_and_resources/resource_base/Mergers_home/mergers_fta/mergers_fta_advice/meridian-law
Now that IRIS has bought Mountain/Meridian and now Formation I doubt if the OFT's position will change especially as there is Bar Squared with the LEX Software who claim on their web ste to have 61 chambers which must be a significant percentage of the Bar (20% / 30% of chambers any ideas anyone). According to the published news article on the Bar Squared web site, this year Formation have suffered a 22% loss of their client base but that probably isn't many actual chambers so a lot of Meridian and Meridian connected chambers must be converting to this LEX system to get them past 60.

Mountain had to get the OFT to approve the ACE acquisition even though ACE was potentially going bust!

Charles Christian writes… The actual number of barristers chambers in England & Wales is problematic as its now possible, due to practice rule changes, for barristers to do their own clerking so a lot of barristers now run one man (or woman) sets of chambers from their own homes. So, a vendor with software in 60 sets could only have 60 users.
There are currently about 650 sets in the country, ranging from just one barrister to giants with 100+ counsel (to which must be added the clerks, managers & secretarial & support staff etc). If Bar Squared have 60 sites, that's a 9% share on chambers but not necessarily of users.

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