Our Team

Executive Leadership

Liam Brown

Liam Brown

Chairman and CEO

Liam helps general counsel and law firm leaders improve effectiveness and efficiency. In 2011 he launched Elevate as the law company to provide consulting, technology, and services to law departments and law firms. Liam was previously the Founder, President, and CEO of Integreon, a global LPO, which he led from a startup in 2001 to annual sales of $150 million by 2011, before he sold to private equity investors. Prior to Integreon, he was the Founder, President, and COO of a pioneering VC-backed Web 1.0 virtual data room legal tech company, which he sold to a public company in 2001. Liam is a frequent speaker at legal conferences and regularly publishes articles about trends in the legal sector. He is also an active investor in emerging legal technologies and an executive coach for founders of startups.

John Croft

John Croft

President

John is one of the leading innovators in the legal services industry, having spent the last 30 years helping law departments and law firms improve their efficiency, quality, and outcomes. While as President and Co-Founder of Elevate, John spends most of his time working with our customers, he is also acutely focused on the culture and diversity of the law company. He also chairs the Elevate Advisory Board. Prior to co-founding Elevate, John served as President at Integreon, where he led business development efforts and managed existing clients on a global basis. During this time there, he grew the company’s revenue from $12 million in 2005 to $150 million in 2011. Previously, he was CEO of the financial and legal outsourcing division of ADP Inc. Before that, John was European sales director for the financial and legal division of St. Ives Plc.

Myriam Schmell

Myriam Schmell

VP Global Sales

Myriam leads the global Elevate sales team. With more than 25 years’ experience in the legal industry, Myriam addresses customer business problems by listening to leaders of law departments and law firms and actively developing innovative solutions to meet their needs. Prior to joining Elevate in 2017, Myriam served as Senior Vice President of Business Development at Epiq Systems, a NASDAQ-listed provider of legal services and technology. Through the strategic expansion of the sales team, service offerings, and physical footprint, and the integration of acquired companies, Myriam helped grow Epiq from a regional provider to a global leader, positioning Epiq for its acquisition by OMERS and Harvest Partners private equity groups, and subsequent combination with DTI. Myriam previously worked at LexisNexis, focusing on the acquisition of litigation companies, and also as a corporate restructuring attorney for Venable LLP. Myriam is based in New York and holds both an undergraduate and a law degree from the University of Baltimore.​

Sharath Beedu

Sharath Beedu

VP Products

Sharath leads the product business at Elevate, and has over 20 years’ experience in product strategy, management, and execution across a variety of industries. Prior to joining Elevate in 2018, he was a Senior Director of Product Management and Industries at Apttus in California where he led a team of industry experts in Healthcare and Life Sciences, Financial Services and EU. Prior to his role at Apttus, Sharath worked in a variety of product, strategy and marketing roles at leading SaaS software companies including Model N, Intuit and Sciquest. Sharath has also developed several products at pricing & revenue management pioneer, Manugistics, and internet travel pioneer, Gethere (acquired by Sabre). Sharath holds an MBA from Duke University and BTech in Electronics from the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka.

Kunoor Chopra

Kunoor Chopra

VP Legal Services

Kunoor leads Elevate’s Legal Services department defining and designing custom solutions that combine people, process, and technology to meet unique customer needs. Prior to joining Elevate in 2012, Kunoor was the Founder, President and CEO of LawScribe, Inc., a pioneer legal process outsourcing company formed in 2004 to provide litigation, corporate and intellectual property support services to law firms and corporations. LawScribe was acquired by UnitedLex in 2010, where Kunoor continued as Senior Vice President of Global Legal Services, working closely with her AmLaw100 and global 1000 clients to identify and implement legal solutions. Kunoor is a recognized authority in the area of legal process outsourcing–she speaks internationally on the topic of legal services and her articles have been widely published in the legal press. Prior to LawScribe, Kunoor practiced as an attorney at Nossaman and at Fulbright & Jaworski in Los Angeles. Kunoor holds a JD from Loyola Law School and a BA in Women’s Studies from UCLA. Kunoor is a licensed California attorney.

Prashant Dubey

Prashant Dubey

VP Contract Solutions

Previously, Prashant was President & CEO of Sumati™, the leading global provider of contract review & migration and CLM Managed services, acquired by Elevate in December 2018. Prior to founding Sumati, Prashant gained his executive experience at companies such as Bain, Baxter International, Tripwire, Covansys, and Fios. He has been in the legal services industry since 2003 and most enjoys his role as a “market maker.” Prashant is the co-author of leading legal industry books such as Litigation Readiness (Lexis Nexis) and The Generalist Counsel (Oxford University Press). He has also authored dozens of articles in contract management, e-discovery and the changing role of the General Counsel. Prashant serves on public and private boards including Oregon Health & Science University and The University of Chicago. He holds a BA in Economics and an MBA in Strategy from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Megan Heltemes

Megan Heltemes

VP Operations

Megan heads Elevate’s Americas operations. She has over 17 years’ experience in the legal services industry and a specialist in the areas of solution design, service delivery and program management. Megan is a founding and active member of Reach, Elevate’s corporate social responsibility and Associate engagement program. She is a seasoned leader in developing high-performing teams and building high-functioning operations. Prior to joining Elevate in 2013, Megan was Vice President of Consulting at Integreon where she helped law firms, investment banks, and corporations design and implement professional global service center solutions in the US, UK, India, and the Philippines. ​Megan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from North Dakota State University.

Pawan Kumar

Pawan Kumar

VP Operations & Country Head (India)

Pawan is accountable for delivering an Elevated Experience to customers from Elevate’s service centers in Gurgaon and Chandigarh. His professional experience spans over 20 years, including over 15 years specializing in Legal Operations and Legal Technologies. Pawan joined Elevate per the acquisition of Sumati Group in 2018. As a founder and co-owner of Sumati Group, a Legal and Technology Services company with 100% focus on CLM, Pawan was responsible for the strategic and operational leadership in planning, executing and spearheading key account management and delivery operation. He holds a Masters in Business Administration from Symbiosis International University, a Masters in Information Technology, and a BSc in Physics and Maths from Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University.

Nancy Fraser Michalski, RN

Nancy Fraser Michalski, RN

VP Med Legal Services

Nancy leads Elevate’s Med Legal service line which focuses on assessing economic damages in bodily injury cases. A registered nurse with over 35 years’ experience in the medical billing arena, Nancy is a nationally recognized expert with extensive experience testifying in state and federal courts on the reasonable value of past medical services and the pricing of medical care. Nancy was the Founder and CEO of Med Legal Consulting Source, which was acquired by Elevate in 2012 and prior to that served as the Director of Medical Billing and Surgical Services for an outpatient surgical center and medical clinic for 17 years. She is a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, the American Association of Medical Audit Specialists, and sits on the Oversight Committee of LEDES, the global non-profit organization that sets the standards and codes for the electronic exchange of billing information between law firms and corporations. Nancy received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she has been an active member of the Board of the School of Nursing since 2006, and is certified in Healthcare Management and Development from the University of Southern California.

James Odell

James Odell

VP and Managing Director, Australia and Asia Pacific

James heads Elevate’s business in Asia Pacific. He brings significant front-line experience managing major international law firms across developed and emerging markets, having been based previously in London, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Prior to joining Elevate in 2013, James was COO at Baker & McKenzie, responsible for the delivery of all business services functions to the practice in South East Asia and Australia. During that period, Baker & McKenzie was recognized for excellence in South East Asia by Chambers, named ‘Law Firm/Legal Advisor of The Year’ by the Financial Times and Mergermarket, and named Australia’s ‘International Firm of the Year’ by Australian Legal Business. Prior to Baker & McKenzie, James served on Linklaters’ central Strategy and Planning team, advising the Firm’s global executive committee during a period of post-merger consolidation and rapid profitability growth. ​ James began his career in defence aerospace and has a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Bristol. He is based in Sydney.

Janvi Patel

Janvi Patel

Vice President

Janvi is VP, Elevated Lawyers, where she leads the growth of flexible resourcing as a customer solution. Janvi is Co-Founder and Chair of Halebury, an Elevate business, a leading provider of flexible resourcing solutions to FTSE 250 companies through strategic partnerships with customers such as BT, Sky and Virgin Media. In her role as Chair, Janvi focuses on corporate growth and strategy and managing client relationships. Halebury, one of the first alternative legal services providers, was founded in 2007 in response to a gap in the market for the provision of flexible legal advice provided by experienced in-house lawyers. Janvi joined Elevate in 2018 when Halebury became an Elevate business.  Janvi is a regular speaker at industry and business forums, Speakers for Schools and is an appointed Board member on Thompson Reuters’ In-house Consultation Board. She is also a board member for several non-profit organizations. ​Prior to co-founding Halebury, Janvi obtained a BA in Law and Accountancy at the University of Manchester, and then embarked on her training contract at Charles Russell (now CRS). She qualified into CR’s employment team and remained part of that team until she moved in-house to Nortel as a senior employment lawyer for EMEA. Awarded an honorary degree from the University of Law in the UK for her contribution as a lawyer and entrepreneur, Janvi is a known advocate for women’s rights.

Howard 'Bud' Phillips

Howard 'Bud' Phillips

Chief Information Officer

Bud has over 25 years of experience integrating technology, operations, and strategy. Most recently, and prior to joining Elevate in 2015, Bud was CIO for AmLaw firm LeClairRyan, where he transformed the firm’s legacy IT architecture to a virtualized, secure, and cost-efficient system, harnessing infrastructure as a service cloud computing technology, to support rapid firm growth. Bud led the customer acquisition operations group at Capital One, achieving significant gains in quality, capacity, and cost-effectiveness by applying Agile and Lean leadership and management principles. Prior to that, as a management consultant at Deloitte Consulting and Monitor Group, Bud advised many large corporate clients on industry evolution, cost reduction, acquisition strategy, market positioning, and competitive intelligence. Bud has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BBA in Business & Economics from William & Mary.

Joyce Thorne

Joyce Thorne

VP People

Prior to co-founding Elevate in 2011, Joyce was previously at Integreon, where she built the global learning and development function across multiple solutions and locations. Though now based in New York, Joyce was initially based in Mumbai, India from 2003 until 2007, where she was a member of the global executive management team that grew the company from 100 to over 2,000 employees. During this time she led a global team of 30 involved in promoting Integreon’s value proposition with clients; implemented new solutions and client centers at delivery sites in the UK, US, India, and the Philippines; built onboarding programs, and defined workflow, success measures, and SLAs. She created systematic talent management processes including standardized curriculum development, certification programs, and learning effectiveness measures, mentoring, professional development and middle management training programs to improve retention and develop new leaders.

Lokendra Tomar

Lokendra Tomar

Chief Corporate Development Officer and Chief of Staff

Lokendra has over 20 years’ experience managing global operations and business strategy. Prior to joining Elevate in 2013, he was COO and Head of Corporate Strategy at Integreon, which he helped grow from $20 million in 2006 to nearly $150 million in revenue by 2011. Previously, Lokendra led Strategy & Corporate Development and M&A at MphasiS, now part of Hewlett Packard, where he completed several acquisitions and established their Research and Analytics business in India. He was also instrumental in building and managing Research and Analytics capabilities for Adventity, now part of Sutherland Global Services. Lokendra is an alumnus of Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program, a merit-holder engineering graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and he also holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM).

Steve Harmon

Steve Harmon

General Counsel and Secretary

Steve has over 20 years’ experience working in large in-house business development and legal organizations. In addition to his role at Elevate where he has led the legal and corporate development functions since 2018, Steve concurrently remains in his role as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Cisco which he joined in 2000. Steve was a founder of CLOC–the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium–and is a generally acknowledged international leader in the genesis of the professionalization of the legal operations role. Over the course of his career at Cisco, he has had lead responsibility for technology licensing for the routing segment and has had oversight for the legal development of the telepresence line of collaboration products. Additionally, he owned top-level responsibility for Global Export Compliance, Trademarks, sales support for the professional services organization, and the award-winning legal operations function. Steve received his JD and BS in Management Information Systems and Services from Brigham Young University.

Nicole Nehama Auerbach

Nicole Nehama Auerbach

VP ElevateNext & Deputy General Counsel, Elevate Services

Nicole co-leads the ElevateNext business and, alongside Pat Lamb, is a founder of ElevateNext Law, LLP, a new model law firm founded in 2018, that sits alongside Elevate to provide customers with a one-stop solution that includes the practice of law. Nicole also serves as Deputy General Counsel at Elevate. Nicole is nationally known as an innovator in the legal industry, having founded Valorem Law Group in 2008 to pioneer the alternative fee movement. Valorem was named “One of the 22 Best Firms at AFAs” by BTI Consulting in 2016. Prior to forming Valorem, Nicole practiced for 15 years at an AmLaw 100 firm in Chicago, where she was a partner in the litigation department. She represents clients in federal and state courts and in arbitrations across the country using alternative fee arrangements. In 2017, Nicole was named one of the “Most Influential Women Attorneys in Chicago” by Crain’s Publishing. Nicole was previously named “One of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Illinois” by Illinois SuperLawyers and one of “Forty Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch” by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company. Nicole is a certified arbitrator through the American Arbitration Association. She is also a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management. 

Rajitha Boer

Rajitha Boer

Vice President

Rajitha founded Yerra Solutions in 2013 after nearly two decades of experience working with the legal and IP departments of major international corporations and joined Elevate in 2019 upon its acquisition of Yerra. Rajitha has provided dozens of Global Fortune 500 companies with expertise related to defining and executing technology and operational strategies and comes highly recommended by some of the largest organizations in the world. Rajitha began her career as a software developer with intellectual property solutions provider Master Data Center (acquired by Thomson). She spent several years managing products for Thomson before joining the legal technology company Datacert (later acquired by Wolters Kluwer). During her seven-year tenure at Datacert, she worked closely with global clients to evaluate legal and IP operations and implement technology. The role of VP, Strategic Accounts eventually took her to Europe to lead the company’s EMEA operations. Her entrepreneurial spirit drove her to strike out on her own and start Yerra Solutions. Rajitha holds an MBA in Financial Management and Information Systems from the New York Institute of Technology and a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems from University of Phoenix. She is the recipient of a Finance Monthly CEO Award, was named 2016 UK Game Changer of the Year by ACQ (Acquisition Finance) Magazine and received a 2017 Stevie Award for Woman of the Year.​

Jack Diggle

Jack Diggle

VP Global Consulting

Jack heads Elevate’s global legal consulting practice. He joined Elevate in 2014 from Barclays where he led the strategic change agenda for their global in-house legal department. Previously Jack worked as a strategy consultant for over 15 years in the financial services sector, initially for PwC Consulting and subsequently specializing in legal services as a partner at a boutique consulting firm. Jack has worked extensively with magic and silver circle law firms and major in-house legal departments. His experience covers both the development of in-house operating models for legal practice areas and operations teams, as well as extensive experience in all aspects of external counsel management. He also has experience setting up shared service centers onshore and offshore. All his work is grounded in an understanding of the change management required in a legal services environment to successfully implement new models. Jack holds a BA in Economics and History from the University of Durham.

Tariq Hassan

Tariq Hassan

VP Procurement Services

Tariq is responsible for designing, delivering and managing procurement services to law firms. Prior to co-founding Elevate, he was Chief Procurement Officer and Head of Procurement Solutions at Integreon. Tariq has over 25 years’ experience enhancing supplier management and improving third party relationships in the legal and financial services industries. He has developed a reputation as a thought leader and a leading practitioner of procurement strategy, having reduced multiple clients’ procurement costs by over 50%, delivering double-digit sourcing savings. His recent track record of success at law firms includes reducing a five-year $75 million overhead spend by $12 million for two leading UK law firms. Tariq holds a Master’s degree in Law from Cambridge University and an LLM from Suffolk University.

Dr. Daniel Martin Katz

Dr. Daniel Martin Katz

VP Data Science and Innovation

Dr. Daniel M. Katz manages Elevate’s data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) strategy. He assists in both internal and customer efforts to infuse data science and AI into existing work streams. This includes supporting not only the customer’s technical requirements but also the associated education and change management. Prior to joining Elevate, Daniel was the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at LexPredict–a legal technology and analytics company which was acquired by Elevate in November 2018. In addition to his work at Elevate, Dr. Katz is also a Professor of Law at Illinois Tech-Chicago Kent College of Law where his academic work focuses on the scientific study of legal complexity as well as the application of artificial intelligence and analytics in law. Dr. Katz’s academic work has been published in leading academic journals including Science, Plos One, Journal of Statistical Physics, Artificial Intelligence & Law and Physica A; legal journals including Cornell Journal of Law & Public Policy, Emory Law Journal, Virginia Tax Review, Iowa Law Review, Illinois Law Review, Ohio State Law Journal, Journal of Law & Politics, and Journal of Legal Education; and has been featured in publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Wired Magazine, Bloomberg Business Week, 538.com, National Public Radio, BBC Radio, The American Lawyer, ABA Journal, Legal Futures (UK), Law Society Gazette (UK) and The Globe and Mail (Canada). Daniel earned both his Ph.D. and J.D. at the University of Michigan.

Patrick J. Lamb

Patrick J. Lamb

VP Elevate Services and Founder, ElevateNext Law.

Pat is a founder of ElevateNext Law, LLP, a new model law firm founded in 2018, that works seamlessly with Elevate to provide law department customers with an innovative, one-stop solution that includes the practice of law. Pat is also a Vice President at Elevate. Pat has been practicing law for over 35 years and has always challenged the status quo. A former equity partner in an AmLaw 100 firm, he is one of the co-founders of the award-winning Valorem Law Group, which achieved widespread recognition for its use of non-hourly billing, success fees, and value adjustment lines. Pat developed his solutions focus from his drive to provide outstanding customer service. The breadth of Pat’s experience stems from his long career as a trial lawyer, handling claims ranging from lease disputes to product liability to fraud and breach of contract. He has led internal investigations and advised clients on litigation risk issues. But above all, he has been focused on avoiding expenditure of client resources where there the needed return on investment is lacking. Pat is a prolific speaker and author, having authored two books on alternative fee arrangements and, for years, co-authoring the award-winning “New Normal” column for the ABA Journal. Pat has spoken to audiences throughout the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. He has served as an instructor for the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Managing Legal Services program. Pat holds a JD from the University of Michigan and a BS in Communication from Northwestern University.​

Denise Nurse

Denise Nurse

Vice President

Denise is VP of Elevated Lawyers and CEO of Halebury, an Elevate business. Together, Halebury and Elevated Lawyers provide genuine flexibility and robustness to clients in meeting their legal resourcing requirements. Denise focuses on developing client relationships and developing new product and services solutions, along with identifying the most effective, efficient and empowering ways of working with clients and their legal teams. Denise joined Elevate in 2019 with the acquisition of Halebury, which she co-founded in 2007 with a mission to create the kind of progressive law firm that she would have liked to engage and work for. This mission continues to be a focus now that Halebury is a key part of global law company Elevate.​ Denise mentors young entrepreneurs and women in law and tech and is a champion for diversity and inclusion in business. Denise holds an LPC from College of Law, London, and an LLB from the University of Liverpool.

Kevin O'Shea

Kevin O'Shea

VP Global Talent Acquisition and People Director for EMEA

Kevin provides leadership in the design and delivery of Elevate’s talent acquisition strategy with a particular focus on customers needs. As the former head of Elevate’s flexible legal resourcing solution–which he also helped to build–Kevin possesses great insights into to the requirements of Elevate’s wide-ranging customer base when it comes to sourcing the right talent. With a family legacy in law, Kevin was driven to legal recruitment. Prior to joining Elevate in 2014, Kevin was the Found​er and Managing Director of a recruitment firm in London. He has been involved in the legal sector for over 10 years.​ An NLP practitioner, Kevin has developed unique competency testing and interview techniques to ensure optimum, speedy hiring decisions to best align with customers needs. Kevin is highly invested in the development of Elevate’s most valuable resource, people. Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Reading.

Pratik Patel

Pratik Patel

VP Innovation

Pratik spearheads cross-solution innovation across the globe. Most of Pratik’s time is spent working with enterprise accounts seeking to transform their legal function in terms of resourcing, spend and use of technology, and his career-to-date has been wholly committed to helping lawyers better manage the customer and business aspects of the law. Pratik joined Elevate in 2012 as part of the acquisition of RFx LEGAL Analytics, a leading provider of legal spend management, analytics and sourcing intelligence solutions, which, as a founding member and partner, he led from inception to becoming a recognized legal spend management provider. Prior to founding RFx LEGAL, Pratik served as a senior managing consultant at Huron Legal, where he played a key role in the rapid growth of Huron’s Legal consulting practice. Pratik was recognized as ILTA’s Most Innovative Legal Consultant in 2015 and also serves as faculty for College of Law Practice Management. Pratik holds a bachelor of business administration in finance from the University of Texas at Austin.

Jerome Raguin

Jerome Raguin

Vice President

Jerome has been working with in-house legal departments in Europe, Asia, and North America since 2004. He specializes in legal business processes and the technologies that support them. His experience with best practices in legal operations, process, and technology has been gleaned from helping more than 75 legal and IP departments to increase efficiency. This includes advising large, global organizations in creating target operating models, selecting the right technologies, gaining cost transparency and reduction and executing change management initiatives. Prior to its acquisition by Elevate in 2019, Jerome was Yerra’s Chief Growth & Strategy Officer, ensuring that the company’s rapid growth was managed in such a way as to best benefit clients while also facilitating further expansion. The founder of Lex Connect, an educational and benchmarking platform for legal departments, Jerome transitioned to Yerra following its acquisition of Lex Connect in 2016. Jerome speaks four languages, holds multiple advanced degrees and is currently pursuing an LLM in International Dispute Resolution from the University of London.

Matt Todd

Matt Todd

VP Legal Business Solutions

Matt leads Elevate’s Legal Business Solutions and US Consulting practice which focuses on design, development, and delivery of practical solutions to help corporate law departments and government agencies manage their legal operations and reduce legal spend, and help law firms improve profitability through the use of value-based pricing (AFAs) and project management. Prior to joining Elevate in 2016, Matt served as Executive Director and Global Head of Legal Business Solutions for JPMorgan Chase & Co., where he managed legal department operations, including the selection and spend management of outside counsel and other legal service providers, as well as the creation and implementation of strategic cost and relationship management programs. Prior to that, Matt served in a senior management role with law firm ReedSmith, where he oversaw the firm’s knowledge management initiatives and the creation of the team responsible for legal project management and alternative fees; and with WilmerHale, where he served as Managing Director, Information and Research Services. Matt was previously the CTO/CKO of LawPort and prior to that a practicing solicitor for a London-based law firm. Matt holds an LL.B and LPC from the University of Bristol.

Corporate Board

Liam Brown

Liam Brown

Chairman and CEO

Liam helps general counsel and law firm leaders improve effectiveness and efficiency. In 2011 he launched Elevate as the law company to provide consulting, technology, and services to law departments and law firms. Liam was previously the Founder, President and CEO of Integreon, a global LPO, which he led from startup in 2001 to annual sales of $150 million by 2011, before he sold to private equity investors. Prior to Integreon, he was the Founder, President and COO of a pioneering VC-backed Web 1.0 virtual data room legal tech company, which he sold to a public company in 2001. Liam is a frequent speaker at legal conferences and regularly publishes articles about trends in the legal sector. He is also an active investor in emerging legal technologies and an executive coach for founders of startups.

Richard Little

Richard Little

Director

Richard is an Executive Director at Elevate, bringing 35 years of experience as CFO of high-growth, public and private, technology and technology-enabled services companies. Richard served as CFO and General Counsel at Elevate from the Company’s founding until 2015. Prior to Elevate’s inception in 2011, Richard was CFO and CAO at Integreon during the company’s growth from annual sales of $32m in 2008 to almost $150m in 2011. Previously in his career, Richard was CFO at HireRight, Teradata, and Quotron Systems. He has extensive experience financing growth, having led numerous underwritten public offerings (both IPO and secondary), private placements (both debt and equity), and lines of credit. Richard also has significant M&A, global investor relations, HR, and legal experience having headed the legal departments of several large public companies and in his role as general counsel of three companies. Richard has an MBA and a BS from The University of California, Los Angeles.​

Paul Sparta

Paul Sparta

Director

Paul is an Independent Director, serving on Elevate’s Board of Directors since 2018. In addition to his position on the Board of Directors for Elevate, he also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for VBrick Systems and as a member of the Board of Directors for Branding Brand, Cognitive Scale, and WayBlazer. Paul is Managing Partner of Acme Nova Partners, a private early-stage and opportunity capital fund. Previously, Paul was Chief Integration Officer for SuccessFactors (acquired by SAP) a public company that provides Cloud-based enterprise HR software, and he was Chairman and CEO of Plateau Systems, a provider of SaaS HR and Learning software that was acquired by SuccessFactors/SAP. Paul has an extensive background in technology consulting and software. He is a US Navy veteran. He has authored several articles in leading publications on enterprise software and technology.

Dawn Haghighi

Dawn Haghighi

Director

Dawn serves on the Elevate Corporate Board as an Independent Director. In addition to her Directorship at Elevate, Dawn serves as General Counsel, Privacy and Compliance Officer for the Murcor companies, PCV Murcor Real Estate Services (Los Angeles), Hightide Settlement Services (Anaheim) and Vendor Resource Mortgage Services (Dallas). Prior to joining the Murcor family of companies, her career encompassed senior management positions with responsibility for matters at several multi-national corporations, including Assistant General Counsel and Privacy Officer for Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd., General Counsel for the Illinois Division of Charter One Bank, NA (Royal Bank of Scotland), Midwest Employment Counsel for Nordstrom, Inc. and practiced with leading law firms. Dawn is a frequent lecturer before boards, foundations, and professional organizations around the world. Her community involvement also vests in memberships of a number of international, public policy, and not for profit organizations. Dawn has received many professional awards including the Association of Corporate Counsel Committee Member of the Year Award, the Association of Corporate Counsel Advocacy Award, the Los Angeles Business Journal In-House Counsel Awards (Finalist), the Alston & Bird Women of Distinction Award, the Association of Corporate Counsel Robert Townsend Member of the Year Award and the Association of Media and Entertainment (Honoree).​

Hillary Smith

Hillary Smith

Director

Hillary has served on Elevate’s Board of Directors since 2018. She has been the General Counsel at a number of technology companies, most recently leading the Legal, Compliance and Security teams at Square. Prior to her current role as the General Counsel of Square, Hillary was the General Counsel for Zenefits, a benefits and Human Resources company, and Success​Factors, Inc., a global public company until its acquisition by SAP for $3.4 billion in 2012. Following the acquisition by SAP, Hillary led the legal team supporting the global cloud business at SAP. Hillary has also served as the General Counsel of Right Media (acquired by Yahoo! in 2007) and as Yahoo’s Associate General Counsel supporting the company’s global advertising products and businesses, and as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of DoubleClick Inc. She began her legal career at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison following a federal district court clerkship in the Eastern District of New York. In 2012, Hillary was honored as one of the San Francisco Business Times’ Most Influential Women in Business. She has also been honored by the New York County Lawyers’ Association as one of the Outstanding Women of the Bar and has served as a member of the Federal Bar Council Inns of Court Project and Women in Digital Media. Hillary obtained her JD from Cornell Law School magna cum laude where she was the editor-in-chief of the Cornell Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif.

Leon Chen

Leon Chen

Director

Leon has served on Elevate’s Board of Directors since 2019. A partner for Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors’ growth private equity activities, Leon is primarily responsible for identifying and analyzing investment opportunities, monitoring of portfolio companies, and deal execution. Prior to joining Kayne Anderson in 2012, Leon was the director of business development at Relativity Media, a film financing and production company based in Los Angeles. Prior to that, he held positions at Clarity Partners, a Los Angeles-based middle market private equity firm and at Citigroup in the investment banking division in New York. While at Clarity Partners and Citigroup, Leon focused on transactions in the media, telecommunications, and business services industries. Leon earned a B.B.A in Finance from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Advisory Board

John Croft

CHAIRMAN, ADVISORY BOARD

John is one of the leading innovators in the legal services industry, having spent the last 30 years helping law departments and law firms improve their efficiency, quality, and outcomes. While as President and Co-Founder of Elevate, John spends most of his time working with our customers, he is also acutely focused on the culture and diversity of the law company. He also chairs the Elevate Advisory Board. Prior to co-founding Elevate, John served as President at Integreon, where he led business development efforts and managed existing clients on a global basis. During this time there, he grew the company’s revenue from $12 million in 2005 to $150 million in 2011. Previously, he was CEO of the financial and legal outsourcing division of ADP Inc. Before that, John was European sales director for the financial and legal division of St. Ives Plc.

Michele DeStefano

Advisory Board Member

Michele DeStefano is a Professor of Law at the University of Miami and Guest Faculty at Harvard Law School’s Executive Education Program and at IE School of Law. She is the founder of LawWithoutWalls and MOVELΔW. Michele is a former Climenko Fellow and Lecturer at Harvard Law School. Before attending law school at Harvard, she was an advertising executive at Leo Burnett and a marketing manager at Levi Strauss & Company. Michele writes and speaks about creative problem solving, collaboration, culture change, communication, and innovation for lawyers. Her latest books include Legal Upheaval: A Guide to Creativity, Collaboration, and Innovation in Law and New Suits: Appetite for Disruption. Michele earned her B.A., magna cum laude, from Dartmouth and J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

Iohann Le Frapper

Advisory Board Member

Iohann serves as Group General Counsel of a French multinational pharmaceutical and cosmetics company. He serves as well as the Vice-Chair of the ICC international Corporate Responsibility & Anti-corruption commission. He was previously Chief Legal Officer of Gulf Bridge International and general counsel & compliance lead for the Networks group for Alcatel-Lucent. Iohann has also been the global Chair of the board of directors of the Association Of Corporate Counsel and the president of ACC Europe Chapter.
He also served as corporate counsel at Total in the oil & gas and started his career in private practice as an associate attorney at Hogan Lovells.
Iohann was admitted to the Paris bar and received his degrees from McGill University (LL.M in Comparative Laws) and University of Paris (D.E.A. in Business & Tax Laws).

Susan Hackett

Advisory Board Member

​Susan is the CEO of Legal Executive Leadership, LLC, which she founded in 2011 after serving for 22 years as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the Association of Corporate Counsel in Washington, DC. She specializes in helping law departments (and the law firms and other law companies who support them) re-think and re-design the way they work. She helps her clients leverage executive leadership, management, change, and technology practices to deliver measurable results and to improve collaboration between multidisciplinary teams to advance corporate’ strategic goals. Her practice includes: strategic planning, establishing metrics and continuous improvement processes, benchmarking leading knowledge practices, assessing workflow and staffing options in-house and improving outside counsel value and pricing, evaluating technology and data options, re-engineering legal operations and service delivery, and more. In short, she helps corporate legal teams change: creating a bridge from the way they used to work, to the practice models that will help them succeed and drive distinguishing client value in the future.​

Paul Lippe

Advisory Board Member

Paul has been a member of Elevate’s Advisory Board since 2016 when Elevate acquired OnRamp Systems, of which Paul was CEO. Legal OnRamp was first developed as a law department productivity and collaboration platform for Cisco Systems and is widely recognized as a pioneer in the reinvention of law. Paul recently co-founded xMentium (still in stealth mode), the leader in “Expression Management,” which has applicability for legal department playbooks and other re-used and translated expressions across complex global enterprises. ​​​​Previously in his career, Paul was General Counsel at Synopsys, an electronic design automation company. Paul was also CEO of Stanford SKOLAR, a medical digital library and e-learning company spun off from Stanford Medical School. A graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School, Paul speaks and writes regularly about the “New Normal” in law.

Silvia Hodges Silverstein

Advisory Board Member

Silvia has been a part of the legal industry since 2002. She has worked for EAN International (now GS1), the global standards organization in supply chain management, as well as for law firms and legal software companies. Silvia co-authored the Harvard Business School case studies GlaxoSmithKline: Sourcing Complex Professional Services (N9-414-003) on the company’s legal procurement initiative and Riverview Law: Applying Business Sense to the Legal Market (N9-414-079) on a new model law firm that uses management information systems and cause analysis to reduce legal costs for its clients. She is the author of many articles on law firm management including “What we Know and Need to Know about Legal Procurement” in the South Carolina Law Review and The Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics’ “I didn’t go to law school to become a salesperson.” She also authored and edited a number of books, including the Legal Procurement Handbook and Buying Legal: Procurement Insights and Practice. The Buying Legal Council also publishes Winning Proposals: The Essential Guide for Law Firms and Legal Services Providers. Silvia is a Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School and an Adjunct Professor at Fordham Law School, where she pioneered courses in law firm management. She earned her PhD at Nottingham Law School (UK) and holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Universität Bayreuth (Germany) and Warwick Business School (UK) as well as an Undergraduate Degree in Economics from Universität Bayreuth (Germany). She is a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management.

John Weber

Advisory Board Member

Trained as a lawyer, John spent 15 years practicising as a regulatory and government litigator at Minter Ellison in Australia. He later led the Government Practice and was a Managing Partner, Executive Leadership Team member and Board member for a further 12 years, and CEO for six years. John spent 2 years as a member of the International Executive of DLA Piper and as Australia Managing Partner. Since 2017 John has worked as a non-executive company director. He is the Chairman of Airservices Australia, and a director of Western Sydney Airport, AMSG Group and Dimeo ​​​​​​Group.

Christina Blacklaws

Advisory Board Member

Christina studied Jurisprudence at Oxford and qualified as a solicitor in 1991. She has developed and managed law firms including a virtual law firm and set up the first ABS with the Co-op. More recently, she was Director of Innovation at a top 100 firm. She now runs her own consultancy business providing strategic advice particularly in the area of transformational change, technological developments and diversity and inclusion. She holds a range of public appointments including chair of the LawTech Delivery Panel, chair of the Next Generation Services Advisory Group, part of Innovate UK, member of the Legal Support Advisory Group and of the Family Justice Council. Christina was President of the Law Society of England and Wales until July 2019 and performed a huge range of ambassadorial and representative functions both domestically and internationally. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion, technology and access to justice and uses every opportunity to advocate and progress positive change in these areas. On access to justice, Christina led on a number of high-profile campaigns to protect and empower some of the most vulnerable in our society including chairing the Grenfell Lawyers Forum. On innovation and the future of legal services, Christina chaired the Law Society’s Legal Technology Policy Commission which produced a wide-ranging report and recommendations about the use of algorithms in the justice system. In addition to her government posts, Christina sits as a Commissioner on the Oxtec Commission which is advising government on the use of technology in elections. She is heavily involved in the technological issues relating to supra-national legislative and regulatory frameworks as well as the need to demystify lawtech and empower all lawyers to embrace relevant technology. Christina led on the Society’s relationship with Barclays to develop lawtech incubators. On diversity and inclusion, Christina has developed and leads on a programme focussed on women in leadership in law. The project produced the largest ever global survey on the issue, two toolkits which supported over 250 roundtables in 22 jurisdictions and led to 3 insight reports and a Women in Law Pledge which was supported by the government and all legal representative bodies. This was launched at the international symposium Christina arranged in June 2019. Christina represents the Women Lawyer’s Division and is an active committee member. She also sits on the Thomson Reuters Women in Law Advisory Board and the Chartered Institute of Insurers’ ‘Insuring Women’s Futures’ Advisory Board. Christina is a multi-award winning (for innovation and diversity and inclusion) published author, speaker and lecturer and frequent media commentator.

Ken Grady

Advisory Board Member

Ken is an Adjunct Professor and Research Fellow at Michigan State University College of Law. A recognized thought leader, Ken regularly writes and speaks internationally on legal industry issues, including innovation, the future of law and the intersection of legal services, leadership, efficiency, and change. Ken helped pioneer ideas in the legal industry such as appropriate fee arrangements, project management, and process improvement. Ken and others have netted impressive results with these ideas, including reducing legal department expenses by as much as 50% while at the same time supporting companies in high-growth modes. Ken’s training in lean thinking includes studies at the famed Japanese consulting firm Shingijutsu Co. Ltd. under Yoshiki Iwata, an original member of the Toyota Autonomous Study Group that developed the Toyota Production System. Ken’s articles and posts have been featured in many online and print media publications, and he is the former editor and author of the blog SeytLines.com named to the ABA Journal’s Blawg 100. Currently, he is the editor and primary author of The Algorithmic Society (on Medium), named to the ABA 2017 Web 100 list of law blogs and social media. He has earned a number of accolades during his career. He is a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management and was named to the Fastcase 50, which honors the law’s “smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders.” He also was honored by the Financial Times for innovative leadership of in-house counsel/outside counsel relationships. Ken was CEO of SeyfarthLean Consulting, LLC, a Seyfarth Shaw subsidiary. Before retiring from in-house positions, Ken’s career included general counsel roles at three Fortune 1000 corporations and executive leadership positions in Fortune 500 and 1000 corporations. While in private practice, Ken was a partner at McDermott, Will & Emery. Ken was an active member of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) for 14 years. He served as a member of the ACC’s Board of Directors, its Value Challenge Steering Committee and its Advocacy Committee.

Jim Rishwain

Advisory Board Member

James M. Rishwain, Jr. is Partner and Chair Emeritus of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, an international law firm.  Jim served more than a decade as Pillsbury’s global chair and CEO. Before becoming the firm’s chair and CEO, he served for a decade as the global leader of the Firm’s real estate practice. Jim presently serves as the leader of Pillsbury’s Real Estate and Construction Industry Team, with real estate and construction as core elements of the firm’s strategic focus. He also offers strategic counsel to global developers, investors, lenders and property owners who set the pace in their industries. Leveraging his deep knowledge of capital markets and real estate, he advises on investments and acquisitions, development, finance, joint ventures, leasing, exchanges, multifamily tax-exempt bond transactions, syndications and REITs. His real estate transaction work has earned him distinction as the California Lawyer of the Year and a Deal of the Year award.  His practice further extends to family offices and professional service firms where he provides strategic and operational advice and guidance.  Jim also serves on numerous board of directors of for profit, civic and charitable organizations. Jim advises organizations on their strategic growth and development plans. Finally, Jim is active in many organizations in the City of Los Angeles, including those with respect to sports and entertainment, schools, parks and homeowners associations, and energy and infrastructure.  Jim is an active proponent of diversity in the legal profession and holds a CEO Diversity Leadership Award from Diversity Best Practices. In each of his years as Firm Chair, Pillsbury was named as a Working Mother Best Company, and was among the Top 10 best companies in the United States in 2008.  Jim has been an active advisory board member for Elevate Services since 2016.

Mark Smolik

Advisory Board Member

Mark serves as Chief Legal and Compliance Officer for DHL Supply Chain in the Americas. He also serves as Global Chair of the company’s Supply Chain Legal Services Practice Group. The company employs 48,000 associates throughout the Americas and provides third party logistics, supply chain management, and contract packaging services to many of the world’s largest companies. Prior to joining DHL, Mark served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Ethics Officer of Safelite Autoglass where he also led the Human Resources and Government Affairs departments.  Prior to joining Safelite, Mark served as Senior Corporate Counsel with The Sherwin-Williams Company. Mark received his Juris Doctorate degree from the Cleveland Marshall College of Law and his Bachelor of Arts Degree from John Carroll University.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of Columbus One, the economic development organization for the eleven county Columbus, Ohio region. Mark also serves as a member of the Board of Advisors of ClariLegal, and the Board of Visitors of the Cleveland Marshall College of Law, where he is also a member of the College’s Hall of Fame. Mark serves as the 2020 Chair of the ACC Law Department Management Network.  He is a frequent speaker, and the author of several publications, on the changing dynamics of the legal industry. Mark is also the founder and Chairman of Qualmet, a performance data and supplier evaluation organization focused on driving accountability and sustainable value throughout the legal industry.

Share This