D. Casey Flaherty, who for the last two years has been director of legal project management at global law firm Baker McKenzie, and who developed the Procertas technology training and benchmarking platform, has joined LexFusion, a go-to-market collective of legal technology companies launched last October.
He comes to the company as chief strategy officer, as well as third cofounder, joining the original two cofounders Joe Borstein, chief executive officer, and Paul Stroka, chief customer officer.
When Borstein and Stroka launched LexFusion last October, I described it in a post here as aiming to change the paradigm for how legal departments and law firms purchase technology, and thereby turbocharge their adoption and use of innovative technologies.
The company serves as the go-to-market representative of a collective of legal technology companies that it has thoroughly vetted and selected as best-in-breed in each company’s category. LexFusion represents just one company per category, so that all of the companies are complementary, not competitive.
It currently represents seven companies, with more to be announced soon: Agiloft, for contract lifecycle management; Factor, for managed services; HaystackID, for e-discovery services and technology; Frontline, for outsourced IT and financial services; Litera, for legal workflow and workspace technology; Ping, for timekeeping automation; and Priori Legal, for hiring project-based outside counsel.
Cofounders Borstein and Stroka are legal industry veterans who are well known within the industry and who have direct experience with many of these products. Both are former attorneys who worked together at Thomson Reuters Legal Managed Services (the former Pangea3), where Borstein was global director and Stroka was director of legal solutions. Both also went to Ernst & Young after it acquired the Pangea3 business last year.
Flaherty rose to national prominence while a corporate counsel at Kia Motors from 2011 to 2015, where he developed the Legal Tech Audit, a competency-based learning platform focused on the core technology tools of legal practice, and later the Service Delivery Review, using metrics and benchmarking to drive structured dialogue and continuous improvement between law departments and outside counsel.
Based on these concepts, he founded Procertas, providing technology training and benchmarking to law firms, law schools, and other organizations, where he remains a principal. Some 100 law schools use Procertas as part of students’ technology training.
As director of legal project management at Baker McKenzie, Flaherty built a global team of 55 experts in offices across the globe, helping to bring business discipline to legal practice through process and technology.
Focus on Consulting
At LexFusion, Flaherty will focus on the consultative aspects of the company’s go-to-market operation. With an emphasis on market listening, thought leadership and community building, he will help law departments and their legal service providers identify and integrate offerings that enable them to meet the needs of business at scale and pace.
In an interview yesterday, Flaherty told me that, while he was proud of what he accomplished at Baker McKenzie, he missed being part of the broader legal tech and innovation ecosystem.
“There’s no better place to come back to the ecosystem than at LexFusion, because LexFusion is an ecosystem play,” he said. “It’s all about the way that all of these different innovative technology and service companies fit together.”
My full video interview with Flaherty will be shown tomorrow, April 7, at 11 a.m. E.T. on Litera TV.
His primary role will be as an advisor and consultant to the legal departments and law firms with withich LexFusion works. LexFusion charges no fees to these clients, for consulting or otherwise, as its revenue comes from membership fees paid by the companies within its collective.
I asked Flaherty why an inhouse counsel would want to work through LexFusion rather than directly with the individual companies. He said that a key aspect of LexFusion’s value is in helping its clients begin to navigate the ever-more crowded landscape of legal tech companies.
“It’s figuring out which companies you need to talk to in the first instance,” he said. “So many inhouse counsel have done a good job of identifying their problem, but need to find a problem-solution fit, and they’re not entirely clear on what solutions are out there. To whom should they speak first?”
Asked what he brings to the company, Flaherty pointed to his broad experience in the legal industry, having worked as in inhouse counsel at Kia and in law firm management at Baker McKenzie, and having himself been a legal tech founder through his company Procertas.
“We have all manner of customers with all manner of needs,” he said, and his experience “helps me meet people where they are.”
“It’s a milestone when one of the brightest minds in your space not only believes in what you are doing, they agree to become part your story and join you in advancing the collective conversation,” Borstein said. “Casey’s presence will make an immediate impact on the practices of our corporate and law firm clients, as well as the businesses of our member companies.”
Haley Altman, global head of corporate development at Litera, one of the companies within the LexFusion collective, said she is thrilled that Flaherty is joining the company.
“Casey understands how to help firms and corporate legal teams better use the tools they already own and to supplement with additional tools that drive value,” Altman said. “His extensive experience across the legal ecosystem, from inside the firm to in-house, particularly as it relates to legal project management, is a great compliment to the LexFusion team.”