What We Learned at Intapp Connect20 - OnePlace for Legal Track

From October 27 to 29, Intapp hosted Intapp Connect20, helping attendees gain insights from the industry’s top experts on leveraging legal technology to boost growth and profitability across all areas of the connected firm.

For the OnePlace for Legal track, we assembled leaders from legal industry to talk about the accelerated technological transformation we’re witnessing as a result of the global pandemic, and to offer thoughts on the future.

Here are a few highlights of what we learned during the three-day event.

Day One

We Must Predict the Future to Create It

To kick off the event, John Hall, Intapp Chief Executive Officer, and Thad Jampol, Intapp Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, spoke about technology forming the centerpiece of what they termed The Era of Intelligence as well as the ways data fuels that intelligence. “This is unlike any other time,” said Jampol, “We’ve entered into an age where we need data and AI insights to be competitive.”

“We’ve entered into an age where we need data and AI insights to be competitive.”Thad Jampol, Intapp Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer

Hall and Jampol both addressed the need for firms to develop a connected firm strategy, one that connects people, processes, and data in order to achieve maximum agility. “The single greatest obstacle to becoming a connected firm is siloed data,” said Jampol. “The first step to converting your data into knowledge is to bring it together.”

Jampol spoke about how Intapp OnePlace products allow you to build an incredible repository of data in one place, enhanced with third-party data and AI-driven insights.

We’re Accomplishing Things We Never Thought We Could

Stephanie Mehta, Editor-in Chief of Fast Company presented the Day One keynote. “We are seeing that companies can do extraordinary things,” she said.

“How do you make this exceptional behavior become the new normal?”Stephanie Mehta, Editor-in Chief of Fast Company

Mehta noted that a recent Twilio Survey of 2,500 global leaders concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace of technological transformation by 6 years.

The question she posed to the audience: “How do you make this exceptional behavior become the new normal?”

Mehta also discussed generational shifts in the market, and how the desire for transparency in all things — including pay and management decisions — would only increase. “Rather than feel defensive, make a virtue of this,” she said. “Technology creates the transparency.”

This Moment is a Gateway to Innovation

“We’ve all done more innovation in the last several months than we have in the past 40 years,” said Dan Tacone, Intapp President and Chief Client Officer, “You are discovering new ways to optimize your operations, differentiate from your competitors, and better serve your clients.”

Tacone then handed the floor over to Ralph Baxter, Member of the Intapp Board of Directors and Former Chairman and CEO at Orrick, who moderated a panel entitled “The Era of the Connected Firm”. Baxter opened by asserting that a firm’s most valuable assets are integrated data and the technology that supports it.

“Integrated data is one of the key elements that help us make informed decisions, both in terms of how we are delivering our work internally and how we’re working with clients.”Ann-Michele Bowlin, Global Chief Information Officer at Norton Rose Fulbright

“Integrated data is one of the key elements that help us make informed decisions, both in terms of how we are delivering our work internally and how we’re working with clients,” said Ann-Michele Bowlin, Global Chief Information Officer at Norton Rose Fulbright.

“Some of the hurdles we used to encounter no longer exist,” added Terra Liddell, CMO at Finnegan, “Now that we can provide connected data, we’re approaching it with a fresher mind.”

“We have brought an enterprise data strategy into our law firm,” said Nick Bagiatis, COO at Reed Smith. “Having that strategy is really critical.”

Liddell and Bagiatis both said they are able to invent new offerings, as well as improve the way they deliver legal services using their data strategies.

Focus on Business Challenges and Outcomes to Drive Innovation

Jose Lazares, Intapp Vice President of Product and Innovation, kicked off his session with a bold statement: “We co-create innovation with our clients.”

In order to address clients’ needs during this unprecedented time, Intapp has released innovative products, solutions, and featured to help law firms be more connected. This includes creating actionable insights by gathering and synthesizing the right knowledge, increasing firm efficiency by getting work done with minimal friction, and creating collaboration to drive value.

Intapp is also developing new technology — code named Project Gemstone — that brings the innovations of nudge theory to professional services.

“Our vision for Project Gemstone is to provide something that allows users to shed mental load,” said Dan Harsell, Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Technology. “It helps them knit together disparate information and form connections they might not otherwise form, and present digests periodically that summarize the status quo — for example, the three clients you need to set up meetings with, where you stand in a specific matter, what’s on next week.”

Intapp software employs AI to help firms increase efficiency and profitability. AI in Intapp Pricing offers means for creating data-driven budgets based on historical engagements, and AI in Intapp Time autogenerates time entries and narratives. Intapp Conflicts also uses AI is to streamline the clearance process.

“Move to the cloud,” encouraged Lazares. “Identify a champion. Take a fail-fast iterative approach, and get excited about being on the leading edge.”


Day Two

Getting pricing right is what Chris Kraft, General Manager of Operations and Finance Solutions at Intapp, discussed with panelists during his “Mastering the Art of the Win-Win-Win Engagement” session.

“Firms need to think about what they are trying to capture and how they capture it.”Christopher Ende, Chief Value Officer at Goulston & Storrs

“You work so hard to become a partner. And then you’re in your first year as a partner and you ask ‘How the heck do you set the price’?” said Eddie Hartman, Partner at Simon-Kucher & Partners. “It is extremely stressful. One young lawyer said to me, ‘My entire career depends on getting the price right’.”

To bring technology and data into pricing, Steve Chambers, Pricing Manager at Fredrikson & Byron, offered three tactics: You need reliably clean data, you need to identify and enlist champions, and you need make it simple for lawyers to participate without distracting them from practicing law.

“Firms need to think about what they are trying to capture and how they capture it,” said Christopher Ende, Chief Value Officer at Goulston & Storrs.

“Clients value a lot beyond the legal work itself.”Eddie Hartman, Partner at Simon-Kucher & Partners

Firms also need to think about new ways of pricing. “Clients value a lot beyond the legal work itself. Things like access to partners, and an ability to pick senior partners,” said Hartman. “These things cannot be valued in individual yield, but they could be. We don’t need to be going as far as a sea change to find lessons from outside life. There are lessons to be learned from other industries that can be increasingly applied to law firms.”

The Imperative to Transform is Enormous

Lavinia Calvert, GM of Marketing and BD Solutions at Intapp, hosted a panel discussion entitled “Connected Client Experiences” that focused transformations that will allow law firms thrive in the new normal.

“We need to know a customer’s business so deeply and so well … we can make a client’s business more efficient.”Iris Jones, Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer at McNees

“Let’s pay attention to the warning signs,” said Iris Jones, Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer at McNees. She cited cost pressures from clients, and alternative legal services that are already nipping at the heels of law firms. “We need to know a customer’s business so deeply and so well … we can make a client’s business more efficient.”

“We need to understand how we use data to create a more personal connection,” said Nora Shearer, Chief Marketing Officer, Shearman & Sterling. “We need to find out what our clients are doing, and we need to become the trusted advisor.”

“Data is how we get to what is really important and forefront for our clients. Data is king,” Sadie Baron, Chief Marketing Officer at Reed Smith. “Law firms need to understand that they are data companies.”

Jones suggested law firms really start thinking of things in new ways instead of practicing traditional methodologies. Her firm reaches out to clients with video podcasts that discuss relevant issues, such as rulings from the Supreme Court of the United States. “We get to our clients what they need as soon as possible. We are very proactive, very authentic, and we are adding value.”

For marketing professionals at law firms, Baron advised, “You have to get in front of clients. You have to push your way in there.”

Day 3

Everyone Must Take Responsibility for Managing Risk

Nigel Riley, Intapp General Manager of Risk and Compliance kicked off day three with a panel entitled “Client Commitments: Obligation or Opportunity?”

“Breaking down barriers to facilitate collaboration is key to engaging people in managing risk across the entire firm.”Silke Burzle-Brayley, Manager of Client Commitments at Ashurst

Breaking down barriers to facilitate collaboration is key to engaging people in managing risk across the entire firm explained Silke Burzle-Brayley, Manager of Client Commitments at Ashurst.

Scott Goodwin, Business Analyst at Aurora North, noted that with effective processes in place, everyone can take on the role of a risk manager.

“It’s not just conflicts of interest clauses and indemnities,” added Burzle-Brayley, “Data and cybersecurity are also at the forefront of everybody’s minds.”

Good Technology Can Boost Broad Lawyer End-user Adoption

Sanjeev Gandhi, Head of Intapp Strategic Consulting, moderated a panel entitled “Key Strategies for Putting Your Technology Investments to Work” to address the importance of effective change management in helping lawyers adopt technology.

“Law firms need to be nimble and dynamic in the way they respond and adapt to evolving client needs.”Mark Brennan, Lead Innovation and Technology Sector Partner at Hogan Lovells

“Successful technology adoption is at the forefront of the client experience, and so law firms need to be nimble and dynamic in the way they respond and adapt to evolving client needs,” said Mark Brennan, Lead Innovation and Technology Sector Partner at Hogan Lovells.

“A BCG study revealed that 25% of all technology deployments fail [because] firms don’t articulate the benefits to the end users,” added Matt Marchingo, Partner and Associate Director at BCG. “Never has interoperability across firm applications been more important than now. And that’s critical for the adoption because that’s what partners need … they want to have one platform and a frictionless use. They want to be move between different parts of the legal value chain and workflow processes in a seamless way.”

“Smarter technology can help address change management issues,” said Brandon Ransley, former UK Managing Partner at Dentons, “The tools we arm our lawyers and professional with need to be intuitive to keep them engaged and drive adoption.”


We hope you enjoyed your time at Intapp Connect20, and found great value in the insights offered by our roster of speakers and guests. Be sure to watch the on-demand videos of the OnePlace for Legal track to learn more. Please contact us to learn more about how Intapp OnePlace can help you harness the power of the connected firm.