Litera Buys Concep To Boost Operational KM

It’s another legal tech M&A deal and it’s Litera in action again, this time buying Concep, a system that collects relationship marketing data for law firms. The new addition will become part of Litera’s Firm Intelligence Group.

This is the 13th deal by Litera in the last couple of years, and comes just a week after the ever-growing platform took on Kira Systems. And it will not be the last deal they make, that is for certain. There’s plenty more in store.

But, back to Concep. Artificial Lawyer spoke to Barry Solomon, VP Firm Intelligence at Litera, who came aboard as part of Foundation Software, which the platform bought earlier this year. Litera also bought Clocktimizer this year as well.

All three companies will now work on how they can integrate what this site calls Operational Knowledge Management data, i.e. KM information that is not necessarily about contracts and documents, but about the workings of the business, from hours billed, to teams involved in deals, to now via Concep, the marketing interactions a firm has had with clients and potential clients.

Picking up the term, Solomon said: ‘There are a lot of solutions that solve problems on their own. For example, Concep is focused on marketing data. But the real power of operational KM is when you pull all of this together and can search across it.’

He gave the example of a scenario where you had information on who had been to a certain event, which of the lawyers at the firm there had undertaken work that was relevant to a certain type of matter to certain types of clients who had attended, and then building a bigger, more accurate picture from there.

He added that perhaps in the future they will be able to then link this to the output of Kira in terms of extracted data about the past work product that may be relevant to a particular client.

To some extent this really is a frontier that Litera is exploring and they are still seeing what can be achieved by connecting multiple data sets together. One reason this is still developing is that, as noted, the first two members of the Firm Intelligence group only joined this year, and Concep is just arriving. So, early days for this work with many possibilities ahead.

‘Concep integrates with CRM systems like InterAction and Salesforce, so we can get insights into marketing plans, events, and communications with clients.[When we add this to Foundation and Clocktimizer] we get: 1 + 1 + 1 = 10 from having data from multiple sources that previously were all in silos,’ Solomon explained.

All of this will also help firms plan ahead better in terms of marketing, e.g. who to invite to certain events. I.e. rather than just inviting anyone connected to a practice group’s focus area, you could narrow it down by the specific matters they’ve needed help with before, and if speakers at the event perhaps have been part of the teams that have helped those clients before.

We didn’t discuss it, but in theory you could use Clocktimizer’s billing information to group potential client targets by the fees paid to the firm in the past – working on the basis that past clients are more likely to use the firm again than clients who have never had dealings with its lawyers before, or only very minor dealings. This could help reduce the ‘cost of sales’ that law firms experience when trying to generate new work through marketing efforts.

Going back to the point about Operational KM, Solomon noted: ‘When we talk about KM, it’s usually about looking at KM in terms of documents. But, there is so much more there than documents.’ And the purchase of Concep is all about this extended vision of KM.

In a statement, Chris Vorderer, Litera Managing Director, Firm Intelligence, added: ‘We continue to expand our offerings beyond the practice of law to include the business of law. This acquisition will provide our customers with the means to connect and engage with their clients in more meaningful ways using the power of their data to drive business results.’

While, Dan Morgan, Concep CEO, concluded: ‘We are excited to become part of Litera’s growing worldwide brand. As a Litera offering, professional services firms will be able to surface truly unique data insights and perspectives, driving ever more effective actions through Concep’s marketing workflows. This is good for our clients and our highly valued CRM partners.’

Concep was founded in 2002 and has offices in London, New York, and Sydney. The purchase price was not disclosed.