Introduction to Alacrity Law - with Christopher Thurn

11/05/2021

Alacrity Law are a fast growing legeltech company that improves and change the way you source your legal council. The solution really sticks out and makes a huge difference. We want more people to understand this, so we meet up with their founder  Christopher Thurn so he can share more about Alacrity and their solution. 

Q: How would you like to describe Alacrity's solution, and what field in the market are your targeting?

Alacrity is a law firm relationship management platform, used by General Counsel and their corporate legal teams to bring transparency, accountability and cost optimisation to their external spend.

We are sector and jurisdiction agnostic, in that this is a fundamental business problem faced by all businesses of a certain scale. That said, we are primarily focusing on the UK, Nordics and US markets; and in practice businesses with ~£1m or more in annual legal spend are much more likely to see immediate value in working with us.

Q: There are a few systems similar to yours on the market, how would you say Alacrity differ? and what would be your main advantage?

Unlike other systems:

  • Alacrity is an end-to-end relationship management system that addresses all of the opportunities for improvement across the lifecycle of matters (see the competitor slide).

  • Alacrity is focused on driving value, not just lowering price. As a result, our process aligns expectations at the beginning of every matter; ensures transparent communication while things are ongoing; and evaluates which firms are succeeding. Other systems intervene when work is already completed and lead to endless adversarial and often fruitless arguments over invoices. We think there's a better way that leads to mutually profitable relationships in the long-term.

  • Alacrity is easy to implement on all sides - unlike other tools we require no IT integration, no ongoing admin support, and we can have businesses up and running with days.

  • Alacrity is the only system with a recommendation engine. Our clients can access the best law firms for them in an unfamiliar jurisdiction or niche practice area; or introduce a new competitive element to their panel through involving a firm recommended by Alacrity. This recommendation is unique because it is based in part on the performance data on our platform - so our users benefit from the experiences of the legal community as a whole.

Q: Who would you say is your main target group, and how would their work benefit from using your solution?

Alacrity's main target group are General Counsel, Deputy General Counsel, and Heads of Legal Operations.

Reduce your legal spend

  • Optimise your law firm relationships through data-driven insights

  • Drive best practice in selection and engagement - 16% cost reductions on average

  • Empower front-line lawyers to make better-informed decisions quickly, agree budgets up front, and hold firms accountable

Effective panel management

  • Capture all legal spend data in one place, whether at a global, local or cost centre level

  • Understand the true costs of legal work, and identify opportunities for savings through consolidation or outsourcing

  • Evaluate your relationships with consistency and transparency

Work more efficiently

  • Eliminate the confusion of multiple emails, spreadsheets and documents, by interacting with your firms through a platform where everything is live, tracked and auditable

Drive best practice

  • Ensure consistent adherence to best practice, across both your teams and your firms

  • Hold firms accountable - for example, when it comes to responding to tenders on time, getting to a fair price quickly, and keeping you updated on budget progress for live matters

Deliver impact without friction

  • Alacrity is cloud-based, secure and can be implemented in days without the need for IT resource

  • Our customer success team is dedicated to ensuring that your experience of using the platform is exceptional


Q: What has been the response from your customers so far?

We have a range of clients using the platform, from sole GCs to large, complex legal functions supporting FTSE 100 businesses globally. While the specific impact for each is different, all are delighted with the platform, and we routinely provide references from this group to our prospects.

Q: Functionality wise, what are your working on, what is next on your roadmap? Are there any particular functionality that you are working on that your customers will see in the near future?

We are continually on the hunt for feedback and work hard to improve the platform every day. As well as minor feature enhancements, we are currently focusing on the following:

  1. Alacrity Recommends - this is the recommendation engine described above. We have just launched our beta version and are really excited to get as many businesses as possible using it.

  2. Bringing our analytics on law firm value closer to the crux of selection decisions made by in-house lawyers on a daily basis.

  3. Improvements to the way we report on diversity and inclusion progress within law firms.

  4. Law firm analytics - we are building a platform that will allow law firms to proactively serve their clients in a better way.

Q: Based on your experience and knowledge what do you see are the upcoming trends within your field?

This is a huge question! The pace of change in the legal industry, having been all but stagnant for centuries, has started to pick up in recent years, driven by deregulation; the success of new entrants (including technology as well as "New Law"); and events such as the pandemic which have forced businesses to reconsider old ways of working.

Specifically when it comes to law firm relationships, businesses tend to be focused on the following right now:

  • Achieving cost certainty as well as savings: having beaten law firms up on their hourly rates for years, GCs still suffer from bill shock and CFOs are no longer prepared to be tolerate ambiguity when it comes to understanding the likely price of legal work. This is leading to more fixed fee work, but where that's not possible, new approaches to managing matters are coming to the fore.

  • Achieving value as well as the right price: GCs are increasingly looking to their firms to live up to their promises when it comes to partnering with the business on what matters to them, which is often qualitative rather than quantitative. That means a closer evaluation of things like value-added services, ability to flex to changing demands, and the diversity of talent staffing their matters.

  • Achieving positive outcomes from technology: Most businesses expect their law firms to help them understand latent opportunities from tech but are wary of the hyperbole that surrounds much of this. Law firms that can deliver practical results - time and cost savings - through intelligent use of tech are retaining clients more effectively.

Q: Anything you would like to add in order for us to get a better understanding of Alacrity and your solution?

Prospects tend to respond positively to our enthusiasm for a better way of delivering legal services. We are here to improve things for sure, but we don't necessarily advocate tearing up existing, embedded relationships. Very often we help shine a light on law firms who are delivering outstanding value but perhaps punch above their weight when it comes to brand or prestige. We think that everyone in the legal industry can benefit from that sort of transparency and alignment of expectations.

Thank you so much for you time and introduction to your company and solution. Really looking forward to support and follow you way forward.

If you would like to know more and get a personal demo of their solution please contact Johan Danielsson at johan.danielsson@johoc.com or call +46 73 336 95 66