Exclusive: Harbor acquires Stout’s Legal Management Consulting Practice 

Global legal technology services provider Harbor has acquired the legal management consulting business of investment bank and advisory firm Stout, we can reveal. 

The acquisition – the first since Harbor rebranded after combining HBR Consulting, LAC Group and Wilson Allen – will see the entire Stout LMC team come on board, led by managing directors Jim Mitchell and Stacie Neeter, whose clients include enterprises in the energy, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, and financial services sectors. They join Harbor’s legal technology and operations team. 

Before joining Stout in November 2016 to launch the LMC practice, Mitchell and Neeter both held roles at Arthur Anderson and Huron Consulting Group, where they worked for a time with senior Harbor executives including chief executive officer Matt Sunderman. 

Speaking to Legal IT Insider, Sunderman said that Harbor is acquiring the Stout LMC practice because of its great leadership; because it can help Harbor expand into net new areas such as legal hold, data preservation and eDiscovery technology implementation; and because the acquisition will add more depth to the work that Harbor is already doing around contract lifecycle management, enterprise lifecycle management, and general corporate strategy.  

The key driver is net new business, and Harbor has previously referred eDiscovery and legal hold advisory and implementation projects to the Stout practice.

Sunderman said: “Jim and Stacie have been in this space for two to three decades and have worked with over a third of the Fortune 500 companies. They help those companies upgrade their existing technology; implement new technologies where there are gaps; and align technology from a data integration and migration perspective.

“Many corporate law departments we work with know Jim, Stacie, and their team as trusted advisors. Having collaborated with the legal management consulting practice at Stout over many years, we are confident in their expertise and commitment to client success.”  

For the Stout team, it will be beneficial to be part of a company that focuses on the legal ecosystem and Neeter said in a statement: “Harbor is a natural fit for our team. Its focus on the legal ecosystem and its scale are compelling to our clients in the Fortune 500, and we look forward to even closer collaboration with our new colleagues as we help corporate law departments and their outside counsel achieve their goals.” 

Mitchell added: “Law departments today are under considerable pressure to streamline operations by adapting their business processes, using technology strategically, and making the most of their data. As part of Harbor, we will be able to deliver services more effectively to the legal market, both as advisors and as hands-on resources.”