From Death Tech to Legal Tech as Legatics Hires Farewill’s CFO

Transaction management platform Legatics has hired David Biggs from pioneering ‘death tech’ business Farewill to be its CFO, as the company steps up its expansion drive.

The deal-focused startup has also hired in recent months Steve Wheeler, Steve Brown and Tina Faghihi, as CTO, Head of Marketing, and Head of Customer Success, respectively – all as part of a strategic growth plan to take the UK-based startup to the next level.

Biggs (pictured above) has a track record of working at high-growth companies. Before joining Farewill, which has gone from a small startup providing online Wills to now a well-known brand, he also worked as a CFO at Pusher and Mint Digital.

Biggs told Artificial Lawyer that he really liked working at early-stage companies and especially SaaS businesses.

‘I was at Farewill for three years. I joined pre-pandemic and it was really growing. We couldn’t hire fast enough. We went on a journey and we got to scale up. But then I wanted to do something else.

‘With Legatics there are some comparisons to Farewill, for example they have a super-sticky product, they are solving a really important problem, and they are a nice bunch of people who want to grow the business,’ he explained.

Artificial Lawyer asked what can CFOs do to help a business at this early stage? He noted that it was not about helping to raise more VC cash, but rather ‘optimising capital allocation’. Plus, they don’t really need more cash – just yet – as they raised £3m in June 2021.

Biggs said the focus now was on ‘how do we invest the right way in sales and marketing, how can we improve the efficiency of that?’ and that ‘you can also look at the cost of client acquisition’.

‘I am a nerd for SaaS metrics,’ he added.

Anthony Seale, CEO of Legatics, then told this site: ‘We hired David because he has seen companies at this stage before. He has been part of brilliant success stories. We have shared values around how a business should operate – and we also get on really well.’

So, where is Legatics now, which started back in 2015, just as the ‘New Wave’ of legal tech startups were arriving on the scene? Seale explained that they have about 45 staff now and are actively hiring. The client roster has doubled in the last year and revenue has been growing.

They have also found that clients are now engaging more with the transaction system – which allows for smoother and more efficient deals – and that in turn was increasing the client spend.

‘We have an enterprise licence approach, but this is based on the amount of use,’ Seale said. He observed that stickiness of clients was extremely high and that once a law firm started using the system they stuck with it and many have then expanded their use of it across the firm.

Seale added that they had seen the company move from being viewed as ‘innovation’ when they started, to ‘business as usual’ for many deal teams, to now moving toward being ‘ubiquitous’ at some firms.

Overall, it seems like the hire of Biggs and other senior team members is a clear statement of intent that after a steady development of the company over several years that Legatics is now stepping up a gear and pushing for more rapid expansion.