For the 19th year, BTI Consulting Group has announced its honorees as BTI Client Service All-Stars for 2020, 475 law firm professionals chosen by corporate clients to be recognized for their commitment to superior client service.

Of the 475 honorees, all are attorneys — all, that is, but one. The lone exception, the only allied professional to make the list, is Justin Hectus, chief information officer and chief information security officer at the west coast law firm Keesal, Young & Logan.

The individuals selected as BTI Client Service All-Stars were nominated by 350 top decision-making in-house corporate counsel at large organizations with $700 million or more in revenue. BTI does not allow law firms to nominate their own employees.

BTI Client Service All-Stars are selected based on their client engagement, investment in learning clients’ business, savvy knowledge of clients’ unique rules and people, unequivocal and concise expression of their thoughts, and forward-thinking anticipation of what next steps should be.

Hectus has worked at KYL his entire career. He has been CIO and CISO since 2016 and before that was director of information for 15 years.

In 2019, the International Legal Technology Association presented KYL with its Distinguished Peer Award for Transformation Project of the Year (under 100 attorneys) for Keesal Propulsion Labs (KP Labs), a captive consultancy within the firm that Hectus cofounded. He also won individual ILTA Distinguished Peer Awards in 2011 and 2014.

Another project he helped develop is KYL’s Compliance, Operations and Data Control Advisory (CODA), which helps clients adapt to the increasingly complex regulatory and security environment by leveraging technology.

The founder of KYL, Skip Keesal, said that Hectus has been an asset to the firm. “Guided by Justin’s leadership, KYL has transformed itself and its clients through use of technology and collaboration with internal stakeholders, clients and business partners.”

Connie Brenton, VP, law, technology and operations at Fortune 500 company NetApp, a KYL client, and former CEO of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium, said that Hectus stands out for his exceptional ability to leverage automation and AI to craft new solutions and to change how legal services can be delivered. But she said that he goes even farther.

“To stand out from the best you need to be able to connect with people in a way that your clients know you care about them and their business as though you are family, as though the business was your own,” Brenton said.  “Justin Hectus is one of those very rare people who truly cares about the personal and professional success of those with whom he works.”

As for Hectus, who is based in the firm’s Long Beach, Calif., office, he said the recognition is humbling. “It is incredibly gratifying that BTI and the clients they survey include people who were once thought of as back-office professionals on the all-star service team.”

Photo credit: Sunshine Harmon Portraits.


Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.