Founder and Executive Chairman
Elevate is a home to those of us who have dedicated our careers to trying to improve the legal industry. It is our place to ‘make a dent in the universe.’ We enjoy and value our relationships with like-minded people throughout the legal community and we find deep satisfaction in seeing our ideas, innovations, and plain hard work result in real improvements in the careers and lives of our fellow professionals.
During the dot-com boom of the late 1990s I was one of the founders of a Virtual Data Room Internet technology company. A number of my M&A lawyer friends were burned-out and unhappy working late, night after night, on cumbersome, labor-intensive, paper-based diligence projects. We imagined a better way, so despite being told, ‘you must be crazy, it will never work,’ we left our corporate careers, raised Silicon Valley venture capital, and started a company to create a streamlined, automated, online experience, freeing lawyers up for the more fulfilling, higher value work they’d actually gone to law school for – and avoid burning the midnight oil. We sold that business just months before the dot-com bubble burst in 2001. That experience inspired me to look for other areas of the legal industry that would benefit from a novel ‘cheaper, better, faster’ approach. I spent the next ten years working with a talented global team to build a leading Legal Process Outsourcing services business. We used Lean and Six Sigma process management techniques to help litigation lawyers avoid redundant and wasteful work as they found the stories buried deep in mountains of documents to develop their case strategies. At the peak of success of that business in 2011, I had a disagreement with the private equity investors over staffing and customer service strategy. When the investors chose to change direction from our business plan to pursue a strategy I did not believe to be in the best interests of our customers, employees and minority stockholders, I refused to comply. I was fired.
My mission was nowhere near accomplished. The structural changes in the legal industry were just getting underway and increasingly I had been meeting professionals in law departments and law firms who were looking for help to meet the ‘more for less’ challenge they faced. More and more people were challenging the status quo and ‘thinking out of the box’, but many were frustrated by the resource constraints or appetite for change where they worked. It seemed to me that there was a need for a law company with legal industry focus, management and financial resources, and patience, to offer these legal industry innovators a place to experiment and discover new ways of working to really help customers – and then deliver those capabilities. So we started Elevate in 2011.
It is not just about why Elevate exists, whom we serve, or what we do, but also how we do it that distinguishes us. I deeply believe that our company and our people must be free to do the right things the right way. We must be structured and aligned – from balance sheet through operations and compensation – to truly help customers, not just in our words, but also in our actions. I chose the name “Elevate” for the company for a number of reasons. It reflects my desire to help our customers improve their future operations from where they stand today. It speaks to my hope that my colleagues find their careers at Elevate challenging, fulfilling and fun – and that they feel they grow while we work together. I also chose it because I wanted to try to ‘rise above’ my experience with the private equity investors – in particular the dispute that we had before I was ultimately successful in selling my ownership stake to them, which provided us the capital to fund Elevate without the need to give up control to institutional investors. We believe this is an important differentiator for our customers because it allows our management team to build our business for the long-term, focused on the needs of our customers and our Associates, without the risk of a change of strategy or a sale driven by investors who are not really involved in the business or passionate about our vision, mission, philosophy or core values.
Consulting. Technology. Services. For Law.
Elevate helps law departments and law firms with practical ways to improve efficiency, quality and outcomes.
We seek to become our customers’ most trusted law company partner by delivering reliable, high-quality advice, services, technology, and talent. We listen to our customers to understand what they want to achieve before we propose a solution, then we guide them and help them get there. We make commitments carefully and we do what we say we will.
We are committed to being a preferred employer by providing our Associates with challenging work and opportunity to grow, in a workplace of respect and fairness, where their personal contributions make a difference, and where those contributions are acknowledged and rewarded.
We believe sustainable, long-term profitability and value creation for our owners result from these commitments to our customers and our Associates.
Our Core Values
Our core values are our essential and enduring tenets, not to be compromised for financial gain or short-term expediency. They will not sway with trends and fads, nor will they shift in response to changing market conditions.
- We Deliver. We are careful about the commitments we make to our customers and to each other. We do what we say we will.
- We Innovate. We celebrate creativity. We challenge the status quo and continuously ask of ourselves, and each other, “How can we improve?”
- We Care. We listen to our customers’ needs and help them solve their business problems. Our work is a positive influence on our personal lives and the lives of our families.
We are grateful to the many customers and colleagues who have worked with us in the past. We are fortunate to work with many of you again. Thank you for your support.
We also look forward to building new relationships and working with new customers and colleagues in the years ahead. Thank you for considering Elevate.
Founder and Executive Chairman