Elevate Services is launching a unit focusing on digital transformation within corporate law departments and Big Law firms, as the company aims for a public stock market rollout in 2021.
Elevate, an alternative legal services provider—or “law company,” as its founder prefers—hired the former head of IBM Watson’s legal division, Brian Kuhn, to lead the operation.
Kuhn joins as vice president of the company’s digital strategy and solutions business unit, set to launch Jan. 14. He will report to Elevate Chairman and CEO Liam Brown.
Kuhn told Bloomberg Law he was drawn to Elevate in large part because of the vision of Brown, which he described as “radical, in a tempered and feasible way.”
Kuhn’s unit at Elevate, which will include additional new hires and transfers of existing company officials, will concentrate on finding solutions to law department and firm issues that could be described as “digital.”
That includes everything from AI and blockchain, to advanced analytics, cloud computing, and “containerization,” the process through which legal tech vendors can deploy apps into private law firm cloud environments.
Kuhn’s team plans to offer customization of existing Elevate products or services, and also will conduct larger-scale digital transformations by building tailor-made products or service plans for customers. The team also will offer consulting engagements, Kuhn said.
At least one product Kuhn’s unit will offer will delve deep into not just how law firms bill corporate law departments, but “what your lawyers are doing for you that tends to work.”
That tool guides general counsel in massive insurance litigation matters, for example, to be able to more effectively manage their relationships with outside counsel, said Kuhn.
“Law departments and law firms face increasing pressure to operate differently, yet meeting this challenge requires help beyond their internal resources,” Brown said in a statement. “With Brian leading our new Digital Strategy and Solutions practice, we will help our customers thrive in the coming wave of digitization.”
Kuhn arrived at Los Angeles-based Elevate at an auspicious moment. The company has obtained significant investments in recent months, and is predicting continued fast growth.
Elevate is internally aiming for a public listing on the AIM stock exchange in London in 2021, according to a presentation last June.
The company received $25 million in funding from private equity firm Kayne Partners last June, and predicted that its revenue would climb to $197 million by 2023, with gross profits of $68 million, according to the presentation.
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