‘Right People, Right Data, Right Time’ – Litera Buys Clocktimizer

Litera, the fast-growing legal tech platform backed by Hg Capital, has signed an agreement to acquire Dutch legal billing analysis system, Clocktimizer. The machine learning system will play a key role in expanding Litera’s Firm Intelligence group, which at present is represented by another recent acquisition, Foundation Software.

The deal, which is still to be fully completed, also follows soon after the purchase of DocsCorp. This is now the third deal to be carried out since Haley Altman, who was the founder of Doxly – another acquisition by Litera – became the head of M&A strategy execution at the platform, and whose job has been to find companies that fit into Litera’s road map.

As Altman told Artificial Lawyer: ‘This is about the right people, the right data, and the right time [to do this deal].’

She explained that Clocktimizer will play an important role in the platform as its ability to gather billing data can be combined with the operational business intelligence capability of Foundation to give a much deeper insight into new pieces of work before they begin.

For example, they can find not just the surface data, such as what a matter may cost based on prior data collections, or how that matter was broken down into project units, but also using the billing information they can point firms to information about the teams involved and to key documents related to that type of case that has occurred previously.

I.e. although Clocktimizer is primarily about billing analysis, Litera hopes to use its data-gathering capabilities to bring more insight into past work that law firms may have done. In short, it’s all about being smart with the data and thinking laterally about how it can be leveraged in a more connected way.

With this and several capabilities around doc creation and editing, Litera is building out a platform that is not meant to be all things to all people, but rather about mastering part of the contract lifecycle – and primarily the initial creation to execution phase, along with all the data that can be gathered and leveraged from each matter.

I.e. this is about better workflows, but also using internal data to make those workflows better each time, and this should become a virtuous circle.

Altman added that Clocktimizer ‘begins where Foundation ends’ in terms of data collection. And that the end result will be ‘more enriched data to help law firms across several metrics’.

Altman noted that by chance Clocktimizer and Foundation had previously talked about working more closely together. She added that the whole team of 18 people would come across with Clocktimizer and that, as noted, they’d be working hand in hand with Foundation.

She also pointed out that there were also some overlapping customers. So, all in all a good fit, and one that meets Litera’s overall strategic goals.

The question now, as before, is what is next? As mentioned, Litera is making a platform to really excel at the first part of the ‘CLM’ cycle. It likely will continue to focus there.

Also, although Litera has done three deals in just a few months, and that is a lot to digest, it’s clear that Litera, Hg, and Altman have more deals to do – that is for certain.

Chris Vorderer, Managing Director of Firm Intelligence at Litera, said: ‘Litera recognises the importance of passive data collection for pricing, budgeting, and legal project management for law firms.

 ‘We are excited to bring Clocktimizer into the Firm Intelligence business unit to deliver critical data through Foundation’s enterprise data platform while also accelerating plans to help law firms improve profitability.’

And, to conclude, Pieter van der Hoeven, CEO and Co-founder at Clocktimizer, said: ‘Litera’s product portfolio and the importance they place on delivering a great customer experience made them a perfect fit.

‘Bram [a fellow co-founder] and I are excited to stay on with the business. We believe this acquisition opens up a lot of possibilities to build on our successes and continue to provide our customers with solutions they need to meet client demands while accelerating investment in the product to meet our goals.’