1. Can you explain exactly what your company does and what problem it solves?
Factor provides legal managed services to corporations across the F500 / FTSE100. We combine expert legal resourcing and market know-how with smarter technology, data, and process expertise to help law departments become value creators rather than cost centers.
Before firms like Factor came along, clients had to choose among high-end (high cost) advice from traditional law firms, promising technology providers (with little legal expertise), and pure cost plays with legal outsourcing activity (only simple and repetitive). The status quo for this type of legal work was a forced compromise. Factor solves for this by bringing together high-end legal expertise with the scalable, repeatable high-volume delivery. This is achievable through selective and smartly deployed legal technology and market know-how we have built over a decade of providing legal services.
Another way I look at this is that we do not offer clients raw ingredients, we create solutions & services that connect legal work directly to improved business outcomes. We are building a legal firm that will navigate the worlds of business and law for our clients.
2. What attracted you to Factor?
I am not a lawyer, but the engineer and entrepreneur in me couldn’t help but focus on what was broken about how Law works. This sounds cynical but I am naturally excited about breaking problems into solvable component parts. I dipped my toes in legal over a decade ago and it felt like legal was the last frontier for innovation, resisting change and modernization. I became part of a community within legal that realized there is an opportunity to achieve monumental change.
At Factor specifically, I saw a firm with huge promise. They had done so much the market was aware of, but it was within the larger machine of Axiom. They had held on to an incredibly prestigious client base with minimal recent investment in the business. The people I met at all levels conveyed passion and care for what they did. When the opportunity arose to take on a bigger role in that market and find problems to solve, the thought of doing that at Factor, with the backing of this Board, presented the perfect opportunity.
3. What is your experience in the legal services sector and how are you applying it, working with Factor?
I have been in the Legal industry for over a decade and one of my earliest experiences was co-founding an e-discovery business, which we transformed into a highly scalable technology enabled service provider. Since then, there has been even more hype and excitement around legal innovation and the role of new LegalTech.
Some of the hype has been justified, but most of it has fallen flat. It is increasingly obvious that sustainable innovation and growth does not happen without enabling an inspiring culture made up of talented people with belief in the change and improvements they can accomplish.
It’s a cliché, but new technology or hiring an army of great lawyers will not be a magic wand for building Factor. We will do some of that, but I’m just as anchored around making our culture a differentiator and a competitive advantage. I want anyone who works here, partners with us, or hires us to feel part of a high-trust, high-performance culture that values people and the community around us. When we attract, enable, and retain incredible people, we will unlock the path to real scale and innovation.
4. What are the benefits of working with a group like Carrick Capital Partners?
Lots of investors say they do more than invest capital, but Carrick has delivered on that promise beyond my expectations. They have provided resources and expertise, from the mundane and tactical to the strategic.
Carrick proactively jumped in with tactical support within our first six months. We benefited from their time, resources, and expertise. They helped shore up our financial processes and ramp up our team. Carrick’s portfolio and business network has also been available to my leadership team to explore market opportunities, share peer best-practices and more.
More strategically, Carrick helped us restructure our capital base in one of the most seamless transactions I have experienced. Core to this was Carrick’s understanding that a transaction and funding round should not distract us from building the business. I am glad that was the guiding principle for everyone involved.
One of the most integral types of support Carrick offers is that they fundamentally understand when it is best to give us room to operate. It has been an as-needed relationship based on trust and open dialogue.
5. What is your advice for other growing businesses considering private equity?
Often, fundraising is celebrated as a moment of success, but ultimately it is just a tool in driving your team and business to the next level. Before you more forward, define why you’re looking to raise money. Challenge yourself to think about how and where you are going to use the investment, what it could do for the business (and the investor) and what proof points are driving that hypothesis. Know how you will measure success 10 or 15 years later before you make the decision.
Partnership with a PE firm will be anywhere from 5-15 years of your (and your businesses) life. Don’t waste it with the wrong people. Pick PE partners and people who:
· Have a strong thesis in a part of your business and a strong conviction about what you’re doing.
· Offer an alternative view or additional context and insights to help you drive to the next level.
· You generally like and will call in the good and bad times!
6. What do you believe the near- and long-term market opportunity are for Factor?
Near-term, I feel that after a decade in this industry, we are reaching the next frontier. The path to growth and rapid customer acquisition is within our grasp. The market is coming to us demanding bigger solutions and there is greater acceptance of the need to change from the status quo. Market forces like regulations, cost pressures, and COVID-19 may have contributed to the winds of change, and I’m excited about building meaningful partnerships with our customers.
Longer-term, there is a promised land where Factor plays a role in changing the entire perception and user experience of legal. We think we can help legal switch from a cost center and primarily a risk function, to an enabler of how a business supports its customers. We are investing in and maturing our capabilities and alliances in such a way that there is no ‘forced compromise’ in how firms tackle complex legal work.