01 Feb 2022

Legaltech firm BigHand acquires Iridium Technology to boost analytics offering

Deal with US business intelligence provider adds 100-strong team; taps into law firm demand for data analytics

Portrait of Sam Toulson, BigHand

Sam Toulson, BigHand’s CEO

London-headquartered legaltech company BigHand has acquired US business intelligence and financial analytics provider Iridium Technology to create a single platform for financial and operational data.

The deal will see the BigHand platform integrate Iridium’s tech products, which include an automated time-keeping app, a budgeting and forecasting module, a partner performance portal and other assorted billing, reporting and business intelligence tools. The acquisition will see Iridium’s more than 100 employees join BigHand, taking its overall headcount to more than 350. Iridium’s CEO Tom Jones will also take a seat on BigHand’s board. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Rob Stote, BigHand’s managing director of profitability, said: “With Iridium’s complementary products, when you layer in what BigHand brings to the table you get what I call the work-to-cash cycle – you now have range of financial metrics that you can report on from the moment you enter time to the moment you collect time. We are the only provider in the market that can offer that end-to-end process.”

Client cost pressures and a tougher competitive environment means law firms are increasingly turning to data analytics to learn more about their organisations in order to help them streamline their operations.

Sam Toulson, BigHand’s CEO, said: “Law firms are under continuous pressure to improve their efficiency while also growing their profitability… The combined organisation now gives our clients the opportunity to access a vast amount of data within their firms that will enable them to move from the practice of law to the business of law.”

The Iridium acquisition is BigHand’s second since it was bought by private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners back in August 2020. BigHand acquired resource management company Mason & Cook in November of that year.

Toulson added: “We get approached quite a lot by potential targets but we’re very selective in the deals we do – cultural fit is really important for us when we look at deals, and the cultural alignment with Tom and his team was a really key part of this deal.”

Iridium has also been active in the M&A market, most recently acquiring Smart Time Apps in January last year.

Jones said: “This is the year that business intelligence and financial analytics becomes ‘need to have’ as opposed to ‘nice to have’ – the vast majority of firms in the AMLaw 200 have a BI solution, maybe it’s a legacy system, but they’re investing there and if your competitors are all investing in this, you don’t want to be left behind.”

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