Following the most convoluted history of acquisition, ‘merger’ and private equity transactions in the history of legal software suppliers, IRIS has announced plans for changes in its business structure.
Nobody will be much surprised to discover that IRIS has announced an internal restructure of its business that will mean that we no longer have CS Legal and that the numerous independent(ish) companies that sailed under its flag will become ‘one team focused on functional excellence’. The new business will be known as IRIS Legal Solutions. The MD of IRIS Legal Solutions, Arlene Adams, who has been at the helm of the disparate parts of the IRIS business with a legal focus for some 90 days, has created a new management team and a few senior managers will be leaving the business. They include Jim Chase (former MD of AIM and recently the Operations Director of CS Legal), Ian Knox (MD of Mountain) and Steven Kendrick (Sales Director of Mountain). Arlene Adams had been ‘surprised to find a general lack of innovation and process in the legal sector compared to that of other software markets. There is a great opportunity with the backing of IRIS for us to make substantial investments in people, process and technology that enables us to reset the benchmark at whole new level.’
Those who suspected that the merger between IRIS and Computer Software Group would herald a new business serving the legal sector but dominated by those experienced in the accountancy business will see it all as a fulfilment of their expectations. The truth is that there are still many old hands involved - and a dose of external perspective for the legal software industry is no bad thing. But the numerous changes to the businesses now trading under the IRIS flag have shaken old loyalties. IRIS may find that a further reinvention is brave, however necessary, and it will take time for the market to accept 'the new boys'.