On April 12, 2022, US-based language service provider (LSP) Big Language Solutions (BIG) announced the acquisition of Italy-headquartered legal translation specialist, Lawlinguists. The terms of the transaction, which closed on April 4, 2022, were undisclosed.
Lawlinguists was founded in 2011 on a lawyer-centric language offering. All three founders — Riccardo Massari, Daniel Nagel, and Raffaele Sena — are attorneys who, according to BIG CEO Jeff Brink, “set out to fill a void in the market.” With headquarters in Milan, and offices in Barcelona and Stuttgart, the LSP operates a linguistic network composed entirely of lawyers.
The transaction sees BIG expand its presence in Europe and continue its regulated-industry focus, following the addition of UK-based life sciences specialist, Dora Wirth Languages (DWL), to its portfolio in July 2021.
Previous deals — part of BIG’s buy-and-build strategy, which is backed by MSouth Equity Partners — include the acquisition of LSP Protranslating in 2019, healthcare specialist ISI in September 2020, and over-the-phone interpreting (OPI) provider Language Link in April 2021.
CEO Jeff Brink told Slator that BIG’s consolidated 2022 revenue is projected to come in at around USD 90m.
‘Translation by Lawyers for Lawyers’
Lawlinguists works in more than 100 language pairs and translates legal documents exclusively. Its clients, located primarily in Italy, Germany, and the UK, include law offices, multinational corporations, and public institutions.
Its unique selling point (a network of linguists who are also lawyers) is, according to Brink, “important for critical legal content when a ‘translation’ is not good enough.”
Asked about the genesis of the deal, Brink said that sourcing was done by Lion People and BIG met all three owners and management twice, in person, in Milan and Stuttgart.
“Culture is so important to what we are building at BIG, so we prioritize face-to-face time,” he said, adding that the entire Lawlinguists team “fit in immediately” with the BIG organization and will stay in place post-acquisition.
Leveraging Premium Services for Growth
Having released its proprietary security platform, LanguageVault, in June 2021, BIG now plans to use the Lawlinguists acquisition to move strongly into the legal sector of the regulated industries translation market.
Brink explained, “Lawlinguists adds a premium service and expands our footprint in Europe. Their legal language expertise gives us a distinct advantage with critical documents, such as contracts and agreements.”
Expanding on the strategy, Brink said, “We plan to utilize BIG’s global legal sales team to quickly extend Lawlinguists’ offerings across Europe and the US.”
Brink also revealed that a BIG master brand is in the cards. Previous acquisitions have continued to operate under their existing brand names, but also co-branded as “a BIG Language company.”
While the Lawlinguists brand will be retained in the short term, the company now “expects to master brand most of our business units to BIG Language by year end,” Brink said.