Exclusive: Holland & Knight to select ZERØ

Holland & Knight has confirmed that it is to select ZERØ after a lengthy pilot, which CIO Matt McKinley tells us unexpectedly revealed that the email management and time capture tool is likely to generate increased revenue or at the very least be cost-neutral.

The Florida-headquartered Am Law 100 firm began testing ZERØ over a year ago. McKinley told Legal IT Insider: “We got wind of ZERØ and started a proof of concept. We had ZERØ come to an all lawyers meeting and they set up a booth to talk to attorneys. ZERØ got a lot of interest.”

The first pilot involved around 30 people but pilot two has involved users “in the hundreds” at the firm, which has around 1,300 lawyers. The firm is still concluding a second pilot but McKinley says the selection is “definitely happening,” and a decision on the timing of a full rollout is likely to be made at the partners’ meeting in March.

He adds: “Our attorneys said that ZERØ makes it easier to do legal work within their email. It prompts them in the context of email with action items. It’s a very useful tool.”

Holland & Knight is taking a mobile first approach and its use of ZERØ on the desktop is expected to be limited at first.

ZERØ has a reputation for being expensive – we spoke to one US head of KM just this week who said the cost is a deterrent – but interestingly McKinley told us: “One of the unexpected benefits that was not in my spec is that ZERØ will add a revenue stream. I was willing to pay a fee without recovery but at worst it will be cost-neutral and we think it will increase revenue as a result of the emails getting filed and through increased revenue streams,” however he added, “Once we get through the second pilot we will know more.”

Email management is not entirely new to Holland & Knight, but McKinley says: “As far as integration with our back end is concerned it’s brand new. We used the iManage integration but it required a lot of interaction on the user side. With ZERØ you can turn on automatic filing or wait until it learns your behaviour and then take off the training wheels.”

While accuracy rates are (rightly) the focus of much attention when it comes to tools that replace human efforts, McKinley says: “Zero is better than 90% – which is better than asking your secretary to do it –  but I’m not concerned if it’s not 100% accurate because the email [wrongly] filed is still in iManage and we can find it. The email just needs to be filed. If it sits inside Exchange, it’s not secure.” ZERØ says it can process an unlimited number of emails “with 99% accuracy.”

For a full Legal IT Insider product review of ZERØ from legal tech consultant Neil Cameron see: http://legaltechnology.com/latest-news/product-review-zero-email-management/

Holland & Knight’s core tech stack:




Plus Microsoft/Cisco and some custom applications.

Mobiles: 3,500, of which all but 200 are Apple