Four big US legal tech and KM hires: Litify; Holland & Knight; Orgaimi and Akin Gump

The last few days have seen the announcement of a trio of big-name US legal tech and knowledge management appointments, which follow a very significant hire earlier in July for Akin Gump, where KM leader Patrick Dundas has joined as an equity partner.

Brooklyn-headquartered legal operating platform Litify this week (2 August) announced the appointment of software executive Curtis Brewer as its new CEO. The appointment came alongside the announcement that in the second quarter of 2023, Litify achieved a record amount of growth while continuing to expand profitability. The 2016-founded company said that it is looking to further accelerate that growth with the appointment of Brewer.

The hire comes on the heels of Bessemer Venture Partner’s acquisition of a majority stake in Litify in February 2023, when Bessemer partner Brian Feinstein came on board as chairman. Litify’s customers include leading Florida defence firm Cole Scott & Kissane, which selected Litify as its legal case management system in 2022.

Prior to joining Litify, Brewer served as CEO of Davisware, a leading ERP software company for commercial field service providers. He also previously worked on the executive team for TravelClick.

“Litify stands out to me as a modern software solution for legal that’s flexible enough to support the needs of the entire industry,” said Brewer. “My expertise is in taking a platform-based technology approach that delivers customer value through unique insights and automation. The team at Litify has been on a mission to do just that for legal, and I’m eager to join and share my experience.”

Holland & Knight, meanwhile, announced on 31 July that Glenn LaForce has joined the firm as chief knowledge & innovation officer (CKIO). The CKIO position at Holland & Knight is a newly-created role that will focus on the development, implementation and oversight of firm wide data and knowledge management strategies.

LaForce was previously CKO at Shearman & Sterling and he has held executive level positions at legal technology vendors such as Aderant and LexisNexis. He will work with lawyers and business professionals throughout the firm and will report to chief operating officer Kim Gardner.

Gardner said: “Having worked with [Glenn] previously, I know that he has the experience and skills to lead the development of our data strategy, guide improvements in our knowledge management offerings, and contribute to our innovation initiatives. His work will directly benefit our lawyers and business professionals, and that will translate to enhanced client service.”

In news out of Chicago on 27 July, Orgaimi has appointed UK-based legal tech veteran Dan Wales as its new head of growth.

Wales, who sold DW Reporting to BigHand in 2018, is a serial legal tech investor and adviser, both in his own capacity and as part of US-based ‘operator for operators’ investment fund Bryce Catalyst.

Paul Giedraitis, founder & CEO of Orgaimi said that Wales’ “reputation in the legal tech sphere is second to none,” adding: “When it comes to successfully shaping growth strategies, he has an undeniably impressive track record in delivering rapid results. We look forward to seeing how Dan’s sharp, strategic mindset and vast experience will boost our growth initiatives.”

Wales said: “Orgaimi is on the precipice of something big. They’ve built a powerful, innovative platform that allows law firms to use the data they’re already collecting to enable better client retention, improve employee collaboration, and identify hidden revenue opportunities – all things that enhance a firm’s bottom line.”

Last but not least, Akin Gump announced on 11 July that knowledge management leader Patrick Dundas has joined the firm as a partner in its investment management practice in the New York office. While Akin doesn’t differentiate between equity and non-equity in its partner appointment announcements, our understanding is that he joins as an equity partner, which is a testament to both Dundas’ standing in the market and the investment that Akin Gump is making in its knowledge capability.

Dundas joined from Schulte Roth & Zabel. Akin said that Dundas’ role is “part of a strategy to continue to elevate Akin’s services, harnessing data and insights from diverse sources and leveraging technology to enhance efficiency, client service and knowledge-share.” His focus will be on market intelligence, regulatory and transactional knowledge management, and technology/practice infrastructure.

“With a wealth of experience at the intersection of knowledge management and technology, Patrick will continue to elevate our investment management services, delivering value for clients through the curation of data, insights and experience,” said Akin’s chairperson Kim Koopersmith.

“I’m thrilled to join Akin’s top-tier investment management practice, with the opportunity to create a best-in-class market intelligence and legal practice infrastructure offering that will improve efficiency and client service throughout the practice.” said Dundas.