Here is the formal announcement re yesterday's acquisition of Axxia System by LexisNexis. We should have more information on Wednesday, including the reaction of SOS – who for the past couple of decades have been Solicitec/Visualfiles number one partner in terms of PMS/case management integrations. Other points to note include…

• The price has not been disclosed – this is LexisNexis corporate policy however we understand the deal is not subject to any earnout.

• Stuart Holden – who is remaining with the Axxia business – says the company was bought “for what the business is worth”. He also added that the big attraction of LexisNexis – apart from the fact it immediately plugs Axxia into a global sales & support infrastructure – is that they want to take the Axxia DNA PMS product forward, as distinct from merely wanting to buy a user-base that would be migrated to A N Other PMS.

• Holden said the product roadmap for Axxia DNA would ensure users have a secure future and added that he thought the LexisNexis strategy for its legal software portfolio (which also includes Visuafiles) was “brilliant”.

• Doug McLachlan will be retiring from the business in about 6 months.

• Customers were informed of the deal before it was formally announced at 12:00 noon today.

• And 'yes' it is true – because of uncertainty as to whether the deal would be finalised before the Legal IT Show opened its doors, the Axxia stand had to have 2 separate sets of artwork prepared: one with Axxia branding and one with LexisNexis Axxia branding.

Here is the formal statement…

LexisNexis, a leading global provider of business information solutions, today announced the acquisition of Axxia – a leading provider of back-office and integrated solutions in the mid-law segment in the UK.

The acquisition of Axxia enables LexisNexis to offer a full suite of practice management solutions to the UK mid-law sector. Medium sized law firms can now rely on LexisNexis for both content and complementary IT infrastructure enhanced with workflow solutions.

The Axxia acquisition is a further step towards LexisNexis’ goal to be a comprehensive solutions business by combining local and global strategic acquisitions with existing content products. This move also complements the acquisition of Visualfiles in 2006 that provided a market leading case management front-end solution for the mid-law market. The addition of Axxia enables LexisNexis to offer fully integrated workflow-based solutions enhanced with relevant content for the mid-law market in the UK, building on the heritage of LexisNexis Butterworths publishing and understanding of the information used within law firms.

LexisNexis has also implemented a global reorganisation which sees the appointment of Kate Holden as Senior Vice President of Global Practice Management Solutions to oversee the development of solutions to meet local and global customer needs. “LexisNexis offers customers integration of front and back office, with all the resulting benefits, such as improved efficiencies with seamless movement from one application to another, and relevant content automatically pre-populating searches and check lists. This one-stop-shop offering helps our customers to maximise productivity and profitability, reduce malpractice risk, enhance client interaction, and make well-informed case and matter decisions,” said Kate Holden, Senior Vice President of Global Practice Management Solutions, LexisNexis.

“LexisNexis already offers a Practice Management Total Solution in the US and we are keen to bring this successful approach to the UK,” adds Josh Bottomley, Managing Director, LexisNexis UK.  “We have seen this comprehensive business solution bring tangible benefits to clients integrating everything they need to excel in the business and practice of law – from calendaring and time management to legal research, case assessment, document drafting and client relationship management, and it means one point of contact to resolve any integration issues rather than a panel of suppliers.”

Stuart Holden, Managing Director, Axxia comments, “Although both businesses serve similar organisations, the product portfolios at Axxia and Visualfiles are extremely complementary. Both Visualfiles and Axxia hold leading positions with their respective offerings. Visualfiles has a first class reputation for its case management software and Axxia’s key strength lies in integrated front and back office solutions. With both Visualfiles and Axxia in the LexisNexis stable, we can offer our customers an unparalleled wealth of knowledge and experience across a broad range of markets. This will significantly strengthen our ability to deliver the leading portfolio of integrated and open solutions that satisfy the widest range of customer needs.”

And here are the notes…

Strategy and integration

How will the company be structured post-acquisition?
Axxia will join the UK Practice Management portfolio, part of LexisNexis’s Global Practice Management solution line.

Kate Holden will oversee the Global Practice Management portfolio with Edouard Tavernier driving the strategy. Stuart Holden will continue to oversee the Axxia portfolio working with Dan Marshall, who will be directing all operations across the UK Practice and Productivity Management business.

Will Axxia be run as a separate business or integrated with LexisNexis?
Axxia will be fully integrated with the LexisNexis business within the next six months. 

What is LexisNexis’ mission?
To help our customers to become more efficient, productive and profitable through the provision of integrated workflow-based solutions enhanced with relevant content.

Why has LexisNexis acquired Axxia?
LexisNexis is committed to delivering a solutions strategy offering product and service combinations that address customers’ specific needs and fit into their existing workflow, to enhance productivity and profitability.

As the leading integrated solutions and back office provider for medium-sized law firms, Axxia has an installed customer base of 220 law firms and over 20,000 users. This makes it an extremely attractive proposition for LexisNexis to combine with its existing portfolio for medium-sized law firms. The acquisition of Axxia will accelerate the delivery of content-enabled workflow solutions for medium-sized law firms.

What will happen to the Axxia corporate brand? What will happen to other brands, such as dna* and Artiion?
To provide the most consistency and clarity in our communication with customers, the company will immediately fully align with the LexisNexis corporate brand. Axxia will become the umbrella name for a product family within the UK LexisNexis Practice Management portfolio. Product brands acquired from Axxia will include the Axxia name (for example, “Axxia Artiion”, “Axxia dna*). The Axxia product family will be treated in the same way as the other product families within LexisNexis UK – Butterworths, Tolley, Visualfiles etc.

Does LexisNexis plan to acquire other companies?
We are committed to providing our customers with leading practice and productivity management solutions and will continue to explore all avenues that may help us achieve this goal.
LexisNexis acquired Visualfiles more than a year ago.

Isn’t Axxia operating in the same space?
Although both businesses serve similar organisations, the product portfolios at Axxia and Visualfiles are extremely complementary. Both Visualfiles and Axxia hold leading positions with their respective offerings. Visualfiles has a first class reputation for its case management software in both mid and large law and Axxia’s key strength lies in its integrated front and back office solution. With both Visualfiles and Axxia in the LexisNexis stable, we can offer our customers an unparalleled wealth of knowledge and experience across a broad range of markets. This will significantly strengthen our ability to deliver the leading portfolio of integrated and open solutions that satisfy the widest range of customer needs.

Does this acquisition change existing relationships with 3rd party suppliers?
No, we are delighted to be in a position to offer our customers the widest possible choice. Our policy of developing both integrated and open solutions means that we will continue to work with a wide range of suppliers to satisfy the differing needs of our customers.

Products/technology

What will be the technology platform resulting from the combination of Axxia, LexisNexis and Visualfiles?
LexisNexis currently operates many different technology platforms through which we deliver a broad range of solutions and capabilities to our clients.

As we develop new solutions within our Practice Management portfolio, we will work closely with our clients to select whichever technology platform is most appropriate for their particular needs whilst ensuring that our underlying architectural decisions adhere to key principles:
•    Ability of our solutions to integrate with a broad range of 3rd party systems
•    Use of mainstream, future-proof technologies
•    The provision of a clear evolution path for existing LexisNexis customers

Over time, the mix of technologies we use will evolve to suit the changing needs of the market. Rather than be led by technology, we will be driven by an overriding desire to deliver compelling solutions that genuinely improve the productivity and profitability of our customers.

How will the product portfolios be integrated over time?
LexisNexis will accelerate the execution of existing product roadmaps whilst over time developing a range of new offerings through the combination of LexisNexis and Axxia capabilities. Integration between Axxia and LexisNexis products will take various forms, from the launch of standalone product modules to the development of fully integrated suites of back office and front office solutions. Examples of such integrations include:
•    Strengthening the integration between Visualfiles case management solutions and the Artiion back office system
•    Developing integration between dna* and best of breed LexisNexis applications (e.g. InterAction)
•    Combining dna* with LexisNexis Legal and/or Risk & Compliance content to create distinctive value propositions for legal practitioners

Customer Support

What support benefits can customers expect from the combination of Axxia, LexisNexis and Visualfiles?
We aim to deliver “Best in Class” in all aspects of the customer experience and will strive to continuously improve all aspects of our customers’ contact with us – content, user interfaces, customer services, billing, etc. We are determined to accomplish unparalleled support and delivery and have committed significant investment in order to achieve this. Both LexisNexis and Axxia have developed solutions that, following the initial system implementation, enable business users without an IT background to create and maintain complex applications with the minimum of tuition. This approach protects customers’ investment and maximizes profitability.

On a broader level, both LexisNexis Visualfiles and Axxia share a passion for innovation and a commitment to developing and delivering customer-driven solutions.

Will there be any changes to my account manager?
We will evaluate the ways we interact with our customers on an ongoing basis to ensure we are delivering the highest quality relationship management. Customers will be notified if there are any plans to change the way their accounts are managed.

Whom should customers call for product support?
We will be working to quickly align our infrastructures, including our customer contact points. Meanwhile, customers should continue using the existing contacts, and we will ensure enquiries are dealt with by an advisor who can handle their issue.

Whom should customers call for invoice, statement or payment queries?
We will be working quickly to align our billing infrastructures, but at present customers should continue to use their previous Customer Support team. Any changes to the contact points will be communicated to customers in advance.