UK-based legal spend tracker Apperio tells us that it will be hiring for a US office as soon as possible as it expands its sales operation into the States, with a particular focus on private equity firms.
The Apperio legal spend management platform is specifically designed for companies’ in-house legal and finance teams. At present, it is running U.S. sales operations from its London headquarters but following an announcement yesterday (24 June) that it will “vigorously” expand into the US, founder Nicholas d’Adhemar told Legal IT Insider: “Apperio will be hiring for a US office as soon as possible, and in the process we plan to bring some of the company DNA from our UK headquarters. We are hiring across the business at the moment and the US is no exception. The plan is to bring some of the team and DNA from our UK headquarters and mix that with new hires as we grow. Our culture and cultural values are what makes Apperio and it’s important that the new office is part of the team rather than just a satellite office.”
He added: “Our US efforts have initially been focused on certain geographies, namely New York, Boston and San Francisco. That is in part because there is a high concentration of PE firms and that is where we are being pulled to. Along with some of the sales team, we’d spent more time in the US than in the UK this year and we were due to open an office in the East Coast. That was the plan until Covid-19 hit. We have managed to add new customers and their law firms via Zoom since the crisis started. We are actively monitoring the situation and the plan is still to have an office and a team as soon as restrictions are lifted.”
d’Adhemar was formerly a lawyer and investor in private equity and tells us: “I realised first-hand the pain caused by a lack of transparency over legal spend, resulting from delayed and ambiguous billing. Apperio was designed specifically to address a gap in the market for spend management of both billed and unbilled legal fees.”
There are a number of factors that make Apperio a good fit for the private equity market. Deals typically have hefty legal fees that are often invoiced after completion. d’Adhemar says: “No one is really paying attention to the ‘number’ until the invoice arrives. This happens time and time again. The large build up of legal spend necessitates being able to monitor legal spend long before the bill arrives. This combined with increasing regulation and LP expectations in terms of transparency over fees mean they need real time access and an audit trail.”