Lawyer Monthly - February 2023

What role did the team at Ahead Business Consulting play as part of the merger? We at Ahead Business Consulting were already working with Equinox before the merger to help them improve their strategy and performance, to bring greater clarity, focus and effectiveness. Equinox had asked Ahead Business Consulting to improve their project delivery for larger clients. We overcome that delivery challenge, but the question remained as to whether Equinox had what it took to deliver in this space – strong project management, robust core offering, ability to contain the cost of customisation, relationship management to manage against scopecreep and sufficient cash flow to fund the period before the client moved to a SaaS payment model. Over the next quarter we helped upgrade the management information, splitting the P&L between the smaller law firms who took the off-the-shelf product and the larger firms looking to replicate unique internal processes and interface to other bespoke systems. We trained on sales and practical project management, revisited the contractual terms and advised on the organisation structure. Above all we focused attention on the four things that really mattered: small firm sales, staff, service and large firm delivery. Structured as meta-projects, these four areas became pivotal in moving to a robust management structure. The evidence was clear – a sharper focus on the sales process for small firms and a modular build for large firms could create significant growth in current markets. But international growth in the US, most of Europe and the Far East would need a partner. The IP technology sector was consolidating fast – Equinox could not risk Can you give us some more background into the two firms and the acquisition? Equinox is a well-known provider of intellectual property management software (IPMS) for IP law firms. They provide the administrative backbone for over half the firms in the UK and many others around the globe. Based in Leeds, with around 40 staff, they have developed and marketed a package that increases efficiency and reduces errors by combining workflow, document management, billing, reporting, renewals and a client portal. Questel delivers intellectual property solutions across the entire innovation lifecycle to more than 20,000 clients and 1.5 million users across 30 countries. They offer a comprehensive software suite for searching, analysing and managing inventions and IP assets together with services supporting the IP lifecycle, including prior art searches, patent drafting, international filing, translation and renewals. There is clear synergy. Equinox needed a global partner to drive overseas sales and understand local requirements. They also need to leverage integrations with third party products to provide clients with a seamless service. Questel’s portfolio lacked a compelling IPMS offering suitable for law firms and had a small UK client base. Together, and with Equinox’s proven technology development speed to market, there is a great opportunity to become a dominant global provider. Lawyer Monthly had the pleasure to speak with Andrew Pollard at Ahead Business Consulting to give us some further insight into this transaction: There is clear synergy. Equinox needed a global partner to drive overseas sales and understand local requirements.

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy Mjk3Mzkz