The £80m Golden Tikit: BT sells off legal software division

August 19, 2019

2 min read

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What's going on here?

BT has announced the firm will be exclusively focusing on full-fibre broadband across the UK. They have sold their legal software division in a ‘national mission’ to provide Britain ultra-fast broadband.

What does this mean?

The telecoms firm bought Tikit in 2012 in an attempt to “continue to grow and better service the needs of its clients” by providing a platform of time recording and case management for lawyers that in turn boosted their ability to sell IT services to the legal sector.

BT has axed this sector of the firm, alongside a number of other smaller business they previously acquired, in an attempt to focus on building a network for ultra-fast fibre broadband.

What's the big picture effect?

Following an £80m “for sale” sign the future of the legal software firm Tikit is not certain and surrounded by speculation. As BT management team are yet to comment on the sale, there are only predictions about who will acquire Tikit next. The Times have speculated that it is likely Tikit will be snapped up by a private equity buyer, following the acquisition of legal tech firm HighQ by Thomson Reuters.

Whilst the future of Tikit specifically remains a mystery, this shows firms outside of the legal sphere are investing more heavily in legal tech. Following advancements in legal tech with developments of firms such as HighQ, it shows how important legal tech is becoming in an attempt for firms to improve efficiency to reduce time expenditure in legal departments of firms.

However, the decision by BT to sell Tikit does show the importance of politics on business decisions. The sale followed the election of new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who in one of his first moves accelerated the governments timeline for full-fibre coverage, moving the completion date from 2033 to 2025. Of which BT’s chief executive Philip Jansen has agreed to meet.

Whilst agreeing to meet the new deadline, Jansen also suggested that it could lead to failures of BT as a business if they do not make a “fair return of the £30bn investment across the industry”. In addition, 30,000 extra engineers would be required to help build the infrastructure, and BT are to shut dozens of offices across the UK and have sold their St Pauls HQ for £210m.

All of these business changes have shown that, in an attempt to reach the new government target, BT have undergone a huge restructure, portraying just how influential politics is on business decisions.

Report written by Callum Tanton-Parham

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