In what it is positioning as a relaunch of the company, Axiom Managed Solutions, one of two companies spun-off last year from alternative legal services provider Axiom, is changing its name to Factor and launching a new website at www.factor.law.
The company also said that two of the original investors in Axiom, Benchmark Capital and Carrick Capital, “are doubling down on the newly branded organization and will remain long-term investors.” The company declined to provide details on the investments.
These moves, say the company, position it for rapid growth as it plans to expand its standing in the corporate legal market and double in size.
Chris DeConti, Factor’s chief client officer and head of strategy, told me yesterday that he considers this more than a name change or an attempt to create an identity distinct from Axiom.
“As we have been working on this over the last several months, we thought about it as something a lot more significant than coming up with a new name for the company,” he said. “It was really an opportunity to take stock of the legal ecosystem and think about where we fit within that.”
As DeConti sees it, that sweet spot for Factor is at the center between two very different extremes. At one extreme are the traditional law firms providing high-value, bet-the-company legal advice. At the other are the cluster of alternative legal services providers, legal process outsourcers, and technology companies focused on commoditized legal work.
“What’s left unaddressed is the big center where our clients spend most of their time,” he says. “We define that center as transactional legal work – getting contracts done. That’s where we specialize.”
The new name is meant to convey that – that the company serves corporate legal departments by bringing together the factors that are critical to them – the legal skill and experience of traditional law and the process efficiency and tech-enablement of alternative providers.
DeConti says that Factor is unique in the market in that 90-95% of its revenue comes in negotiating contracts. “And these are not fill-in-the blank contracts. This is sophisticated work that was formerly handled by fairly senior legal counsel.”
What Factor does for legal departments, DeConti says, is take responsibility for an outcome. “You’ve got 500 or 100,000 contracts that need to be negotiated this month or this year – we’ll figure out how to get that done. It’s up to us to come up with the right mix of lawyers and technology to get that done.”
That frees inhouse lawyers to do the more-important work of helping their company avoid legal risks and achieve its commercial objectives.
“The problem is most legal departments are so swamped with transactional legal work that’s always more urgent to get done that they spend too little time on the important work and too much on the transactional. That’s work that could be done by someone else.”
“We think that by bringing together the best of old law and new law, we can fill that gap.”
Going forward, Factor will remain focused on transactions. The company is already profitable, DeConti says, and, with the backing of Benchmark Capital and Carrick Capital, is confident it has the funding it needs to pursue ambitious plans for growth.
The company will also be developing specific products to address specific regulatory requirements. The first of these will be a product to help large banks remediate contracts to help with phasing out of LIBOR.
The company will also be partnering with law firms to offer joint solutions to legal departments.