In May, Hummingbird, one of two main document management vendors to large law firms, announced it was being acquired by Symphony Technology Group. That announcement may not, however, be the last word. 

On July 5th, Opentext, an enterprise content management (ECM) systems company, announced “its intention to make an offer… for all of the common shares of Hummingbird.” Today (July 11th), Hummingbird announced “the formal commencement of an unsolicited offer” and that its board “will thoroughly evaluate the Open Text offer.”

I am a legal technology consultant, not a financial analyst, so make no comment about how this will unfold. I do note though that years back, Novell acquired SoftSolutions and “upgraded” that document management product to make it much less useful for law firms. With this history, BigLaw customers of Hummingbird should watch the outcome here carefully. Symphony’s bid appears a financial play and therefore unlikely to affect products. Opentext, however, as a player in the same space, seems more likely to influence Hummingbird product direction. Of course, any changes could be positive or negative for law firms – only time will tell.