LexisNexis Acquires Axxia: Updated

February 5, 2008

LexisNexis has announced the acquisition of Axxia, which it describes as ‘a leading provider of back-office and integrated solutions in the mid-law segment in the UK’. The news was something of a surprise to the legal technology community but, apparently discussions have been taking place ‘for a short while’. The price paid has not been revealed.

The company press release is pasted below. SOS, Visualfiles long-term partner, has also issued a statement; this too is reproduced below.

LNUK are certainly aiming to be seen as a one-stop shop for law firms and the acquisition will make some wonder about their perception of themselves. Of course, the number of customers for the legal publishing arm dwarfs the number of customers for legal software and the publishing revenue will dwarf the software revenue for some time to come but LNUK has offloaded some high-profile titles from its stack in recent years (Tottel Publishing being one prominent beneficiary) so we are beginning to see a strategic shift that might be very significant. 

But SCL can reveal that you heard it here first. Well, we are not quite sure who first posted the press release but in December 2006 Stuart Holden of Axxia gave us his predictions:

 By the end of 2007 the effects of the Darwinian theory of evolution should be taking effect with suppliers. Will we have seen the smallest, weakest eaten by the biggest? Will the quickest have outwitted the slowest and be winning the competition for market share?

I predict that the winners will be those suppliers that can supply the products that enable their law firm users to get to or remain at the top of their own food chains. It has always been innovative and ground-breaking applications that win market share, not just having a large market share (although it’s nice to have both!).’

Since that segment just preceded a reference by Charles Christian to Lexis increasing its software portfolio, you can surely see the lightly coded message!

LexisNexis Press Release

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
, 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.”

Management Team Biographical Details

The LexisNexis management team with responsibilites covering Axxia have provided biographical details:

Kate Holden
Sr. Vice President Global Practice Management, LexisNexis

A senior leader with an exceptional record of developing and implementing customer-focused and profit enhancing strategies across various positions within Reed Elsevier. Currently responsible for all LexisNexis Practice Management businesses worldwide including Examen, HotDocs, Juris, PC Law, and Time Matters in North America, Visualfiles and Axxia in the UK, Infolib in France and Locus in Australia with a revenue in excess of $152+m.

Prior to this role, Kate held several senior positions including Chief Customer Officer at LexisNexis ECLA, responsible for 3 Solution Lines as well as Product, Technology & Marketing across ECLA and before that she was responsible for the design, development and roll out of the LexisNexis global platform across all markets for legal and information professionals. 

Prior to LexisNexis, Kate worked for the Financial Times (a division of Pearson) for seven years where she held a number of senior positions in areas such as customer services, marketing and product management. 

Kate has a passion for travel and languages and has lived and worked in the UK, US, France, Italy and Cyprus.  She holds an honours degree in modern languages from Southampton University and especially enjoys doing business across multi-cultural boundaries where she can put her languages to practice.  She is fluent in English, French, Italian and Greek.

Edouard Tavernier
Head of Strategy for Global Practice Management, LexisNexis

Joined LexisNexis in September 2006 as head of the Client Development Solution Line (which includes businesses such as LN InterAction and LN Martindale-Hubbell) for the Europe/Canada/Latin America (ECLA) region.

In 2007 Edouard also headed up Strategy and Market Planning for LexisNexis’ Client Solutions business in ECLA, which in addition to Client Development comprised LexisNexis’ Risk & Compliance and Practice Management solutions lines.
In January 2008 Edouard was appointed head of Strategy for our newly-formed Global Practice Management Solution line.

Edouard has spent the past 9 years in the business information industry, working for blue-chip media company United News & Media, start-up country intelligence provider WMRC and most recently US-based economic forecasting company Global Insight where Edouard headed up the company’s industry intelligence & forecasting division.

Prior to that, Edouard was an M&A banker at Paribas in Hong Kong and subsequently Goldman Sachs in London. If one goes back far enough in time, one would find that he started his career in the murky world of commodity trading in post-communist Russia.

Dan Marshall
Operations Director for LexisNexis ECLA Practice Management

Operations Director, ECLA Practice Management, based in Leeds.

Dan has been with LN for 2 years, working initially as Director – European Finance with the LN ECLA management team. In February 2007 Dan became Acting C.O.O. for LexisNexis Poland where he worked until the end of 2007 before handing over to a newly installed local management team.  

Prior to joining LN Dan worked for Anglo American plc as Finance Manager and spent 7 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers in London and Sydney, becoming a senior manager in the audit and assurance division.


SOS Statement


SOS has issued a statement in light of the acquisition which reads as follows:

In the light of the above acquisition and speculation over the purchase by LexisNexis Visualfiles of Axxia instead  of SOS – its traditional partner for legal accounting software with whom  it shares some 150 joint customers and a strong 20 year long  relationship, Michael Platt, managing director of SOS would like to  state the following:

“Firstly, despite widespread consolidation of software suppliers, SOS is  not up for sale. Visualfiles already has 150 joint sites with SOS and  only a handful with Axxia, so the Axxia user base offers the potential  for Visualfiles to extend its market share.

“Secondly, we would like to reassure SOS and Visualfiles’ customers that  the high standards of professional services and customer care which they  enjoy is unaffected by this announcement. We will continue to work  closely with Visualfiles.”

Visualfiles has also declared that it will continue to support and where  appropriate develop further integration with SOS Practice Manager.  Visualfiles will also continue to work closely with SOS on joint  opportunities, ensuring customers have the widest options available to them.

Michael Platt continues: “Visualfiles’ new customers now have a genuine  choice of best of breed solutions in the back office: SOS will appeal to  some and Axxia to others. However our 20 year relationship with  Visualfiles has resulted in a very detailed level of integration, and  obviously this will be a plus factor for some firms.

“In addition the release of SOS Connect last year, the powerfully  flexible and innovative case and matter management system, is also  providing a wider choice of solutions in the front office and has  quickly become successful both in terms of new business and migrations  from competitive systems. Our development into the front office and  Visualfiles extension of back office solutions with the Axxia  acquisition we regard as indicative of the organic growth of our  respective companies.”


LexisNexis FAQs


The notification to LexisNexis customers includes a link to an FAQ which reveals its public stance on strategy, integration, products, technology and customer support:


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 contentenabled

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


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.


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.


· 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.