Two of the leading global providers of document management systems for the legal industry are coming together, as the cloud-based DMS company NetDocuments has acquired Worldox, one of the oldest DMS systems still operating, in business since 1988, and one that primarily serves small- to medium-sized law firms.

In a media briefing yesterday, Josh Baxter, CEO of NetDocuments, said that the acquisition is intended to accelerate NetDocuments’ growth among small- and mid-sized firms.

“The acquisition is a way for us to accelerate our footprint in medium- and small-sized law firms and accelerate their journey to the cloud,” Baxter said.

Already, NetDocuments serves virtually every facet of the legal market except solos, with law firm customers that range from five-person firms to the world’s largest. It also serves corporate legal departments and government agencies, including the Executive Office for United States Attorneys.

The acquisition also highlights the continuing movement of the legal industry away from on-premises products to cloud solutions. While Worldox offers both on-premises and cloud versions of its product, the longer-term goal of the acquisition is to eventually move all customers to the NetDocuments’ cloud.

In the briefing, both Baxter and Rebecca Sattin, co-CEO and CIO at Worldox, said NetDocuments will continue to support all Worldox products, both on-premises and cloud, “for the foreseeable future,” and maintain customers’ existing license and subscription agreements.

Rebecca Sattin of Worldox and Josh Baxter of NetDocuments brief the media yesterday on the acquisition.

But the longer-term plan is to work with Worldox customers to move them to the NetDocuments platform. Baxter anticipates that customers who are already using the Worldox Cloud product will be among the first to move, as “they’ve already made a decision to be in the cloud.”

Sattin said that Worldox customers stand to benefit not just from NetDocuments’ proven cloud technology, but also from its greater variety of partner and app integrations.

“Cloud is the core to NetDocuments’ DNA,” she said. “We wanted our customers to have the opportunity to take advantage of that DNA and have a direct path to the best and most proven cloud platform.”

6,800 Customers, 300,000 Users

With the acquisition, NetDocuments, founded in 1999, becomes a company with a combined base of 6,800 customers and 300,000 individual users in at least 52 countries. Both companies serve not only law firms, but also legal departments and other legal organizations.

All but a small group of Worldox employees will move to NetDocuments. Sattin, who was named co-CEO last month after the arrest of the company’s longtime president and who was already its CIO, will became head of a part of NetDocuments’ customer success team.

(Baxter said the arrest had nothing to do with the acquisition, which had already been in the works since early this year.)

“We are thrilled to welcome Worldox customers, partners, and employees to NetDocuments, and look forward to building upon the strong relationships established by the Worldox team,” Baxter said. “Going forward, our focus will be integrating Worldox customers onto our cutting-edge platform at their own pace, while delivering on our commitment to all of our customers through continual innovation on the NetDocuments platform.”

NetDocuments said it will be hosting webinars for customers to answer their questions about the acquisition. Current Worldox customers can also obtain more information by calling (844) 638-3696 or emailing

Leadership from both organizations identified a customer-first approach and vision for the future as key synergies that will align customers for success as they move to future-proof their firms with the leading cloud DMS in the industry.

Baxter credited Worldox for its leadership over the years in the area of document management. “Worldox laid so much of the groundwork for why a legal DMS matters for these small- and medium-sized firms,” he said. “They helped create the ecosystem that has helped NetDocuments accelerate.”

This acquisition comes following NetDocuments’ August launch of PatternBuilder, a document and workflow automation tool based on its acquisition of Afterpattern, a no-code toolkit for law firms and legal teams to build apps and automate legal documents and workflows.

“Industry trends among law firms and legal teams reflect a prevailing cloud-first strategy and the desire to future-proof their organizations with platforms that can deliver a wide variety of tools, seamlessly connect to other technologies, and scale with their needs,” Sattin said in a statement.

“NetDocuments’ proven ability to support these capabilities coupled with their commitment to innovating new, customer-inspired solutions made the combining of our organizations a win-win for customers, partners, employees, and the legal industry as a whole.”

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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.