New law pioneer Axiom acquires legal resourcing rival Bliss Lawyers

Acquisition is first since on-demand lawyer specialist abandoned a much-anticipated IPO
New law pioneer Axiom acquires legal resourcing rival Bliss

Axiom's office in Belfast, Northern Ireland, was opened in April 2017 when it was anticipated it would house 350 team members by 2019 Shutterstock

US flexible legal resourcing pioneer Axiom has acquired its US rival Bliss Lawyers.

The move boosts Axiom’s network of lawyers to 2,400 and marks its first acquisition since it abandoned a much-anticipated IPO last September when private equity house Permira became its majority owner.

In interviews with US media outlets Axiom’s executive vice president, David Pierce, said Axiom would immediately take on 60 Bliss Lawyers, but would add many more to its books once they had been vetted.

Founded in 2011, Bliss claims a network for 35,000 lawyers, of whom 2,000 have been fully vetted, and specialises in providing secondments as well as operating a traditional recruitment business.

As part of the deal, Bliss’s three co-founders and managing directors, Garry Berger, Debbie Epstein Henry and Suzie Scanlon Rabinowitz, become executive consultants at Axiom.

Elena Donio, Axiom CEO, said: "Bliss shares Axiom's purpose: to unite top legal talent with the future of legal work. This acquisition allows us to do that in greater numbers and at greater scale."

Henry added: “Since our founding in 2011, it has been Bliss’s mission to revolutionise the delivery of legal services for clients and create new career paths for lawyers. We believe we can achieve that more meaningfully, on a global stage, and on a larger scale by becoming part of the Axiom team.”

Axiom, which reported revenue of $360m in the 2017/18 financial year, announced its IPO plans in February last year when it span out two non-core arms, Knowable, which provides contract management technology, and Axiom Managed Solutions (AMS), a managed legal services business, in preparation for the anticipated float.

Last month AMS rebranded as Factor, when it revealed that its original investors, which include Benchmark Capital and Carrick Capital , had ‘doubled down’ on their long-term investment.

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