CIL completes trio of engagements in the business services sector

08 July 2021 4 min. read

Over the past few months, the M&A team of CIL Management Consultants has provided commercial and vendor due diligence services to three deals in the legal industry.

CIL Management Consultants is an international management consultancy with offices in the US and Europe. Founded in 1986, the firm specialises in strategy consulting, assessing and building business plans, identifying market opportunities and due diligence.

Earlier in 2021, the firm announced it had provided due diligence to a number of key deals in the media sector. Now, CIL has followed by advising on three investments in the business services sector, assisting with deals relating to three law firms.

CIL completes trio of engagements in the business services sector

Opus 2 and Bar Squared

First, CIL supported Opus 2 on its acquisition of Bar Squared by supplying due diligence services. Providing cloud-based collaboration for law firms, Opus 2 acquired Bar Squared to boost its legal technology and services to connect people, case information, analysis and data throughout the lifecycle of a dispute.

Since 2007, LEX has been at the cutting edge of chambers software and continues to innovatively develop to satisfy the changing needs of modern legal firms. It is used by more than 240 chambers and 11,000 barristers and clerks worldwide. Together, the two companies will unite the LEX platform with Opus 2's collaborative solutions for disputes, enabling a connected digital practice.

"Bar Squared is a great business and we are very excited about the possibilities this transaction brings us," said Graham Smith-Bernal, Executive Chairman of Opus 2. "Opus 2 and Bar Squared are not only the established leaders within their respective markets, but more importantly, also share a strong client-focused culture and a deep understanding of their markets' and clients' needs."

Lawyers on Demand and SYKE

CIL also provided due diligence support to Lawyers on Demoand (LOD) on its investment in SYKE, the size of which was not disclosed. The strategic partnership between the UK alternative legal services providers will enable them to combine their expertise in providing flexible legal services and legal technology to help clients revamp their operating models and drive digital transformation.

SYKE, which launched in 2016 and is based in Leeds, will remain a separate company and brand, led by founder and CEO Alistair Maiden, former head of contracts, data protection and privacy lead at supermarket giant Asda. LOD – which is backed by private equity firm Bowmark Capital – will in turn back SYKE to further grow and develop its legal tech business.

Maiden said of the news, “SYKE and LOD have a shared view of the market for alternative legal services, its potential and direction of travel. The legal industry is grappling simultaneously with how to move to a digital future and how to resource their teams in a smarter way. Both these issues overlap in multiple ways.”

Chambers and Partners and Top 3 Legal

Finally, CIL supported Chambers and Partners with due diligence for its acquisition of Top 3 Legal. The acquisition represents an opportunity for Chambers to further enhance its market leading position by integrating the Top 3 Legal platform into its existing product portfolio, as part of its digital growth strategy.

Top 3 Legal is an online platform that assists businesses in managing their relationships with external lawyers and law firms. It enables inhouse legal departments to instruct the right lawyer for each matter, informed by their knowledge and experience of those external lawyers. As a legal research and analysis firm, this will help Chambers’ delivery of products and services to the global legal profession. The founders of Top 3 Legal, Gareth Stephenson and Richard Fleetwood will join Chambers as part of the leadership team following the acquisition.

Tim Noble, CEO, Chambers and Partners, said, “Chambers is a fantastic brand and we are delighted to be able to accelerate Top 3 Legal’s growth with the Chambers’ team and content behind it. Richard and I are excited to be working with the team to carry on with our vision of evolving the legal directories market and creating a legal ecosystem for the benefit of all players in the legal sector.”