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Newcastle firm Acritas looks to China for expansion

LEGAL research firm Acritas grew its turnover by 60% last year after strong demand for its Sharplegal service, and is now looking to secure work in China as part of its worldwide expansion.

Lisa Hart of Acritas
Lisa Hart of Acritas

LEGAL research firm Acritas grew its turnover by 60% last year after strong demand for its Sharplegal service, and is now looking to secure work in China as part of its worldwide expansion.

The Newcastle-based business, which was set up in 2002, is used by some of the world’s biggest legal firms after launching its Sharplegal surveys as a tool to spearhead its expansion.

The firm, which employs 30 staff, recently visited the US to speak to prospective customers interested in the surveys, which provide the legal sector with a host of in-depth market analysis based on interviews with more than 3,000 senior legal buyers each year.

The popularity of the surveys helped the firm record a record turnover for last year of £1.6m, which is a 60% increase on its performance in 2009, with the company now aiming for similar growth this year.

The company, which has offices in London and New York, is now looking to expand its work in China, which it sees as a key market for its future.

The firm works with many of the world’s top 100 law firms, who use its research to help develop their business strategies, better understand their clients’ needs and enhance their performance.

Acritas chief executive and founder Lisa Hart said: “I am delighted with the end of year results for 2010 and, thanks to a very strong start to 2011, I am confident we will be able to build on that success.

“The international legal sector is highly competitive and, if firms want to compete effectively, then they need early warning of emerging industry trends and to plan for the changing needs of their clients.

“It is also crucial that they know how they are perceived within the industry and by clients, as well as what their clients expect of them.

“We carry out the research legal firms need to gather all that information and more. We then tailor it to individual law firms so they can be sure they have the most up-to-date and relevant market intelligence possible to help grow their business.”

Sunil Sehgal, legal director of Coca-Cola Enterprises, recently became the 10,000th interviewee as part of Acritas’ ongoing collation of up-to-date views.

He said: “I think it is important that in-house lawyers openly share their views on working with their law firms and on how they see the sector in general. It is only through providing feedback on the current ways of working and market conditions that improvements can be made.

“The information provided by Acritas will be invaluable in keeping up to date with issues affecting my role, as well as the wider legal market.”

 

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