In the span of less than a month, the landscape of law practice management software has been dramatically reshaped, as September brought a spate of three major acquisitions by private equity firms of companies with technology related to the management of smaller law firms.

Now there is another private equity investment to report: Actionstep, a cloud-based practice management system founded in New Zealand and with a significant presence in the U.S., announced that it has received an investment from Serent Capital, a San Francisco private equity firm focused on investing in high-growth technology and services businesses.

The announcement did not say the amount of the investment or whether Serent took a controlling interest in Actionstep.

While Serent has investments in a variety of business, education, financial and healthcare companies, this appears to be its first in a legal technology company.

The announcement said that the investment will enable Actionstep to expand its global presence and accelerate growth in the U.S. market through product, sales, and organizational investments.

This follows a series of private equity investments that started Sept. 8, when news broke that the practice management platform MyCase has been sold by its owner, AppFolio, to the private equity firm Apax Partners for a whopping $193 million in cash.

Then, on Sept. 22, I reported on my LawSites blog that ASG LegalTech, the company that owns cloud practice management platforms PracticePantherBill4Time, and MerusCase, had acquired Headnote, the online payments platform that provides e-payments and accounts-receivable management for law firms.

Finally, it was revealed on Sept. 24 that the practice management company Rocket Matter had been acquired by the private equity firm Lightyear Capital LLC, which will make it part of a new company, ProfitSolv, that also includes another recently acquired companies, TimeSolv, a provider of cloud-based legal billing and timekeeping software.

In my column last week at Above the Law, I raised the question of whether the pandemic was driving this recent spate of acquisitions.

Actionstep, founded in 2004, says that its software is used by thousands of small and mid-sized law firms around the world. The company has operating entities in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and the United States.

Actionstep’s cloud-based platform includes a full array of practice management features, client relationship management, matter management, billing and trust accounting, document automation and storage, time tracking, and reporting.

In the announcement of the investment, Ted Jordan, Actionstep’s founder and chairman, said:

“At Actionstep, we have a passion for innovation and we take pride in delivering unquestionable value to our customers. With Serent’s partnership, we’re looking forward to bringing that same innovation and value to even more law firms and lawyers in our main regions of New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and of course the United States. Through Serent’s resources and growth team, we believe we can accelerate our go-to-market capabilities and significantly expand our footprint in these core markets.”

Also in the statement, Stewart Lynn, partner at Serent Capital, said, “We have spent the last few years evaluating the legal technology landscape and Actionstep’s functionality and customer satisfaction have consistently stood out.”

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.