Earlier this year, the legal technology company Litera expanded its product line-up into law firm intelligence with the acquisition of Foundation Software Group, developer of a firm intelligence platform for larger law firms, and the consequent formation of the Litera Firm Intelligence business unit.
Now Litera is further rounding out its firm intelligence offerings with news that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Clocktimizer, a seven-year-old company based in The Netherlands that tracks and analyzes law firm billing data for firms to use in matter management, budgeting and pricing.
The acquisition appears to be a strong complement to Foundation, which is focused more on experience management for law firms, enabling firms to transform their disparate data about clients, matters, people, and parties into usable and actionable information.
In fact, during a briefing this week with Pieter van der Hoeven, Clocktimizer’s cofounder and CEO; Christine Vorderer, managing director of Litera’s Firm Intelligence unit; and Haley Altman, global head of corporate development at Litera, they said that Clocktimizer and Foundation share many customers in common, particularly within the AmLaw 100, and had been talking about integrating even before Litera acquired Foundation.
Foundation’s strength, Vorderer said, has been at giving firms exactly the right evidence they need to answer questions internally or from prospective clients about the work a firm has done or the judges it has appeared before or its diversity.
But with data from Clocktimizer, they can combine that with information from representative matters on exactly what the work looked like, how much the firm spent, and how much it billed.
“How powerful is that in presenting the right bid, knowing the kind of profitability you can expect from a proposal you’re putting in front of a prospective client for a piece of work,” Vorderer said. “Nothing out there now brings that kind of information together in that way.”
“We saw that the fit was almost too good to be true,” said van der Hoeven. “That sounds a bit like a cliché, but it really was, because when you look at both products, where there are things that we don’t do, Foundation does them. On the other hand, stuff that we do, Foundation does not. It was the perfect match.”
For example, he said that his customers often asked for data on issues related to pricing that Clocktimizer did not have, such as deal size or the specific courts in which billing occurred. “Now being able to bring that information in and make that integration seamless, that’s one of the ways where I really do see that this is going to help customers.”
Altman said the deal also fits well with Litera’s broader vision. “We’re increasing our focus on data and interoperability and how the firm shares and communicates, across all of its systems, key and core information, whether that’s through an integration or through how our products integrate together. Being able to bring the right information to the right people at the right time, that’s really important.”
Products Remain Separate
van der Hoeven and cofounder and CTO Bram Fokke will remain with the company in their current roles, and all of Clocktimizer’s employees will be invited to remain with the company.
The Clocktimizer and Foundation products will remain separate for the foreseeable future, but Litera will be working to create seamless integrations of their data.
“We’re both young growing products, so not only is there overlap, but the potential for other law firms around the world is obvious, right,” Vorderer said. ” These firms need both kinds of solutions, and having both solutions tightly integrated is like the home run.”
As I have noted before, Litera has had a run of acquisitions over the past two years. Just two weeks ago, it acquired DocsCorp, a document productivity company. In January, it acquired Foundation Software, expanding into firm intelligence.
Last year, Litera acquired litigation management platform Allegory Law, AI contract drafting platform Bestpractix, and table-of-authorities generator Best Authority, and in 2019, it acquired U.K. company Workshare and deal-management platform Doxly.
[Disclosure: I host the Law Insights program on Litera TV, for which I am paid by Litera.]