Artificial Lawyer understands that UpCounsel did seek an arrangement with LinkedIn, as far back as October 2019, however, in information shared by Raj Abhyanker, of LegalForce RAPC Worldwide – who had brought a case against the company and then settled with them – it appears that whatever result came out of those discussions, LinkedIn did not wish to say a deal to acquire the whole company had been agreed.
Abhyanker has relayed information that appears to show that LinkedIn was not in the process of acquiring or taking on the assets of UpCounsel, at least in October 2019.
However, it’s possible that some sort of partial deal did take place, even if there has not been an official comment on it, either in October or currently.
The information followed a formal message to shareholders from UpCounsel’s management, also from around October 2019, that reads:
‘As a shareholder at UpCounsel, I’m reaching out to provide you this official 228(e) notice. In this notice you’ll find that UpCounsel reached a deal to join LinkedIn. Over the next 3-4 months, UpCounsel will be migrating certain assets, clients, lawyers and demand over to LinkedIn. Also, some UpCounsel employees accepted job offers to join LinkedIn.‘
[Note: this message copy has been reproduced verbatim based on what was sent to this site by Raj Abhyanker, of LegalForce RAPC Worldwide .]
What does this mean? The time frame of 3 to 4 months mentioned in the shareholder statement matches the current scenario, i.e. from October 2019 to February 2020 – when UpCounsel announced it would be closing the site. However, it also appears that at least in October 2019, a transaction for the entire business was not certain.
That said, it’s presumably not impossible for people employed at UpCounsel to move to LinkedIn. Or perhaps there is now some other type of arrangement different to what was explored in Oct 2019? This latter scenario may well be the outcome.
Either way, the UpCounsel team have to move somewhere, at some point, if the intention is to close the site on 4 March this year. And some may have already moved.
Artificial Lawyer has contacted LinkedIn and UpCounsel for further comment.