Welcome to the Legal Techo Chamber Power Rankings – Round Two

What are we doing here?  Well, like we explained last month:

Any consumer of sports media knows about Power Rankings. All the big websites have them for the NFL, NBA, MLB and everything from curling to badminton. But what if your favorite sport is legal tech? Then consider yourself lucky because we’ve got you covered.

Just like the AP’s college football rankings, each month we rank the most powerful men and women in Legal Tech from 1 to 25. What is our methodology? It’s as simple as it is hard to articulate: we identify who we think are the most powerful, interesting, innovative or important players in the legal tech community, and we rank them.

In some cases the power source is personal; in other cases it is almost 100% due to one’s role within their organization. Some on the list have made a lasting impact for many years; some will disappear soon and never make the list again.

Each list will reflect a moment in time, and at this particular moment, here are the 25 most powerful people in Legal Technology.

Below is our power rankings’ second iteration.  Obviously, if there’s going to be any underpinning of accuracy to this whole thing (along with–of course–the shenanigans, tomfoolery, and ballyhoo) than incremental changes to the LTC Power Rankings are unlikely to be done wholesale.  But we did have a few folks move their way up and a few folks shake their way down.  Look forward to your reactions on the movements.

Oh–speaking of reactions–we did notice a few gentle suggestions from some exceedingly temperate thought-leaders on social media that the ranking could be improved in various ways.  Some of you – looking at you Jeff Marple – made helpful suggestions. We appreciate that. Some of you just made snarky comments. We actually appreciate that too, maybe even more (sorry Jeff). In any event, as always, we welcome your thoughts–the good, the bad, the ugly.  But if you’re tossing in a pointed criticism about the list, if you want us to do something about it, you have to complete the thought and help us identify those power players we’ve missed!  xoxo

Power RankingNameOrganizationComments
1Cornelius GrossmanEY Law
2Ben MeyerHgCapitalTemasek alum Ben Meyer takes the #2 spot on this month’s rankings -- since his arrival at HgCapital in 2018, Hg has been making moves in legal tech. In May, Hg acquired Litera Microsystems. Just 2 months later, Litera bolts on Workshare, extending its core drafting/editing capabilities into transaction management workflow.
3Andrew LeaitherlandDWFDWF made waves this past month, securing a 5-year contract from BT to provide insurance & real estate services.  The deal includes provisions to rebadge “dozens” of BT in-house lawyers to DWF’s managed services arm. The deal represents a key vote of confidence in DWF’s post-IPO future from a marquee brand client.  That gives DWF group CEO Leaitherland enough clout to crack the #3 spot in this month’s Power Rankings.
4David CambriaBaker McKenzieIn 2018, David Cambria switched teams after decades in-house as Baker McKenzie’s first-ever Global Director of Legal Operations. Just a year later, he scores a promotion and joins the global firm’s C-suite ranks.  As Chief Services Officer, Cambria expands his brief to include Baker McKenzie’s services centers in Belfast and Tampa, and Bloomberg Law reports that his org chart will ultimately hit 800 employees globally. Our conclusion?  He must be doing some things right. Congrats, David!
5Neil AraujoiManage
6Josh BaxterNetDocuments
7Irish McIntyreThomson ReutersMcIntyre jumps a few spots on our rankings since last month on the wave of TR’s splashy acquisition of HighQ.  The deal, reported by @chillmedia at around $300m, is the first signal of how TR plans to deploy its pile of dry powder to advance its platform dreams.  McIntyre’s mandate to make those dreams a reality just got a bit more real, but he’ll need all the luck of the Irish to break TR’s longstanding tradition of acquiring promising startups and then forgetting to integrate them into the core business. 
8Ed WaltersFastcaseThe Dumbledore of #legaltech strikes again.  Just a year after the acquisition of Law Street Media (which at the time confused all the Monday morning quarterbacks), Fastcase last month announced that it is relaunching Law Street Media with integrations into DocketAlarm and the Fastcase research platform as well as a solid board comprised of heavyweights in new media (including Bob Ambrogi of Lawsites, David Lat of Above the Law fame and Kevin O’Keefe of LexBlogs).  A former journalist himself, Walters is a champion of “news powered by analytics.” Plus, Docket Alarm just crossed the 300 MILLION mark for documents uploaded. Ed, we love you!
9Nick WestMDRMishcon is reportedly busy at work on “secret preparations” for a potential IPO.  (Better luck next time on the “secret” part.) Industry watchers say MDR’s valuation could eventually rival that of DWF -- due in large part to its continuing growth path, but also on the back of the differentiation created by MDR Labs under West’s guidance and the firm’s expansion into ancillary legal-plus offerings. 
10Eric ElfmanOnit
11Andrew SiejaRelativity
12Jae UmBaker McKenzie
13Shruti AjisariaAllen & Overy
14Brian PecarelliTR
15Noah WaisbergKira
16Serge SavchenkoOpenText
17Avaneesh MarwahaLitera Microsystems
18Mary O’CarrollGoogle/CLOCAt the annual CLOC gathering in Las Vegas, O’Carroll hinted at overtures to bring law firms closer to the legal ops fold.  CLOC officially unveiled its “CLOC Law Firm Community Site” a couple days ago. Apparently, law firm professionals can now pay $195 a pop for the privilege of accessing… their own subreddit (where the real CLOC members are encouraged to “opt-in”).   Of course, law firms already forking over tens of thousands in sponsorship dollars to CLOC could always and likely will subsidize the cost for these individual membership fees. Savvy as always on the pay-to-play math, CLOC is offering a group rate -- $1795 for up to 10 people from the same firm.  For finding yet another revenue stream for CLOC under the alliterative banner of community, conversations and collaboration, Mary O’Carroll drops 16 spots on our rankings.
19Jeff MarpleLiberty Mutual
20Bill HendersonIU Law
21Eddie HartmanLegalZoomThe people have spoken… on LinkedIn.  In recognition of his important work with LegalZoom (which, despite Noah’s comment, we do not consider “non-meaningful”) and for being an all-around good guy, Hartman makes our August rankings. 
22Liam BrownElevate
23David PerlaBurford CapitalDavid Perla of Pangea3 fame is still crushing it.  Burford Capital just posted $231 million in pretax profits ( 41% growth from the prior first-half period) with total assets now at $2.3 billion (37% growth).  Litigation finance is on the cusp of hitting mainstream, and Perla is yet again on the front lines of legal business innovation (and making it rain).
24Katie DeBordBryan Cave
25Joy Heath RushILTA
Fun While It Lasted...
Jason BarnwellMicrosoft
Leif O'LearyIntralinks
Dan LeibDFIN
Nick BaughamMarks Baughan
James Lee/Thomas SuhLegalMation
Jake HellerCasetext
Doug CullenMerrill

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