The boss of the company that finished top of BusinessCloud’s inaugural Yorkshire & Humberside Tech 50 ranking has revealed it plans two acquisitions and to open an office in London.

rradar CEO and founder Gary Gallen described the achievement as the perfect ‘validation’ of his staff’s decision to join the start-up, which has disrupted the legal industry through its clever use of technology.

Gallen was working as one of the UK’s leading criminal and regulatory solicitors when he decided there was a better way to deliver legal services than traditional channels so launched rradar in 2011.

Today the company is approaching £10m turnover, employs 150 people, has offices in Leeds, Glasgow, Hull and Birmingham.

Gallen told BusinessCloud that rradar was perfectly placed for the next stage of its growth story and was on the brink of their first two acquisitions, a tech business and a legal specialist.

The Yorkshire & Humberside Tech 50 ranking in full

The acquisitions have been self-funded and will add two extra locations and grow the workforce to around 200 by the end of the year with plans to open an office in London in 2020.

Gallen said: “We’re going to move from a platform of smart legal services to a platform of smart business services. Our knowledge stretches beyond law. Lawyers can do a lot more than just be legal advisers.”

rradar enjoyed a growth rate of 62.5 per cent in 2018 and is currently growing at 70 per cent in 2019 with turnover approaching £10m.

rradar has its own IT tech team and has built 50 websites for clients. Its vision is to empower and educate businesses through smarter legal services. It combines its legal expertise with digital tools to deliver business solutions and reduce legal risk. 

The company is used to winning awards but Gallen said taking top spot in BusinessCloud’s Yorkshire & Humberside Tech 50 ranking was extra special.

“Everyone said it would be impossible to grow the business in Yorkshire and Humberside,” he said. “Finishing in number one position on the list validates people’s decision to come to us.

“The vast majority of our staff live in Yorkshire and Humberside. To be number one is a subject of real pride. Our first clients were from the local area. It’s a real recognition.”

The Yorkshire & Humberside Tech 50 ranking in full

The key criteria for the ranking was using tech to make an impact in a disruptive way. Other potential indicators included high/fast-growing turnover, workforce growth and investment/high-profile backers.

The long-list of 128 companies was voted on by more than 700 members of the public while a panel of judges also made their choices. The final 50 ranking was determined by a combination of the two.

The judging panel was comprised of: Amy De-Balsi, owner, Herd Careers, head of innovation and partnerships in Leeds, Bruntwood; Chris Dymond, director, Sheffield Digital;  Jem Henderson, entrepreneur engagement manager (Yorkshire), Tech Nation; Chelsea Boothroyd, engagement manager, Nexus; Laura Harper, general counsel, business & legal affairs, Firesprite; Ryan Gracey, tech and IP solicitor, Gordons LLP; and Jonathan Symcox, editor, BusinessCloud.

Last year rradar won the Tech Company of the Year (small) category at BusinessCloud’s UK Business Tech Awards while Gallen walked away with the Lifetime Achievement Award.