Legal IT News: Onit acquires Bodhala + latest

Onit has acquired New York-headquartered data analytics and legal spend management company Bodhala.

Bodhala applies machine learning and AI to help companies source outside counsel at competitive and market-driven rates.

“A decade ago, Onit reinvented enterprise legal management by showing how workflow and process automation could drive useful and easily adopted best practices. Today, we occupy the forefront of business process automation, AI and legal business intelligence. Our vision for the next wave of business transformation has legal departments running their operations based on actionable data,” said Eric M. Elfman, CEO and co-founder of Onit. “The acquisition of Bodhala, combined with our enterprise legal management and AI-enabled technology platforms, gives our customers the power to exponentially multiply the savings and value associated with their legal spend.” 

Bodhala will operate as an independent subsidiary of Onit. The company represents the third acquisition for Onit in less than a year. In November 2020, Onit acquired legal AI innovator McCarthyFinch and then document automation leader AXDRAFT 30 days later. Onit also acquired SimpleLegal, a modern legal operations software provider, in May 2019.

In other news out of the US this week, Aderant tells us that its Handshake knowledge management (KM) enablement suite now integrates with Microsoft Teams. Law firms using newly released Handshake 3.9.6 can now create teams which extend Microsoft Teams’ innate features to effectively share and control access to information. 

Handshake customers can now provision or “spin-up” teams for their firm based on any entity (i.e., matter, client, department, practice group, etc.) using the Handshake Provisioning app. IT staff can set up rules and templates to automate large requests or allow individual users to request teams from their Handshake ecosystem.   

“Handshake is a longstanding pillar within the legal KM community,” said Aderant President Chris Cartrett. “Empowering firms to surface their ‘single source of truth’ wherever their lawyers and clients are working is paramount to this new release, and the future of legal technology as a whole.” 

Handshake 3.9.6, with Microsoft Teams Provisioning and other features as mentioned in this release, is available to all Handshake active maintenance customers..


In the UK there have been some interesting movers and shakers in the past few days. BigHand has appointed Claudia Belardo to the newly created role of CCO – chief customer officer. Belardo, who will be also taking a seat on BigHand’s operational board, will be responsible for driving BigHand’s customer-centric strategy, a key part of the company’s growth plans.

Belardo was most recently vice president of customer experience transformation at IFS and has held similar roles at SAP and Alfresco.

Sam Toulson, CEO of BigHand commented, “We have always been a customer centric business and I’m proud of the relationships we hold with our customers. However, we now have over 3,500 customers across our product offerings, so it is the natural next step to invest in enhanced expertise. We have very exciting growth plans and have made several steps in progressing these over the past 12 months including investing in R&D to drive our cloud migration plans, growing our domain expertise and now building our customer success strategy. I’m thrilled to have someone with Claudia’s experience join our team. We spent a lot of time searching for the right candidate and Claudia ticks all the boxes; her vast experience, passion and energy really stood out and I’m really excited to welcome her as our newest BigHander”. 

This is the latest hire for BigHand who have been on a big recruitment drive over the past six months, increasing their headcount to support their growth plans.

And UK cloud provider CTS has partnered with Tessian to bring to the market Tessian’s email security solutions, which focus on preventing human error.

This partnership supports Tessian’s client base in delivering transformational digital strategies, drawing on CTS’ expertise to consult with clients’ in-house IT teams to achieve their goals. As a cyber security partner, CTS use their expert knowledge of the legal sector, technology and specialist software to design secure, high-performance platforms for the modern workplace.

David Fazakerley, Legal In-house CIO at CTS, said, “We are very excited to be partnering with Tessian with the aim of delivering a high value and collaborative proposition to our clients. Together, our specialist teams have a deep understanding of world-leading threat intelligence and analytical technology, which empowers our clients with the tools and knowledge to protect their client data.”

Matt Smith, chief strategy officer at Tessian said: “We are thrilled about this partnership with CTS. Human error is the leading cause of data breaches today and we are seeing significant growth as more and more firms trust Tessian to secure the human layer and prevent mistakes from turning into security incidents. Having CTS, an expert in legal sector IT, on board will be instrumental in supporting our clients’ future growth”.