Zelle overhauls business acceptance process, moves to the cloud

When a longtime vendor announced it would stop supporting the firm’s conflicts management software, leadership took the opportunity to reinvent its entire business acceptance process and modernize with a move to the cloud.

An international boutique law firm, Zelle LLP represents a select group of clients in challenging insurance related disputes, antitrust cases, and other complex business litigation. The firm — recognized with three Metropolitan Tier 1 practice areas in U.S. News 2019 “Best Law Firms” rankings — maintains offices in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, London, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

A software sunset leads to bigger questions

Zelle LLP, an international litigation and dispute resolution law firm specializing in insurance, antitrust, and other complex litigation practices, sought to replace its aging business-acceptance software.

Firm leaders knew they needed a robust, longterm solution. “LegalKEY had a definite sunset ahead of it,” recalled Bryce Hustad, the firm’s director of information technology. “There was no way to keep it relevant.”

Zelle’s leadership saw this end-of-lifecycle milestone as an opportunity to leverage their industry-leading IT team to drive greater operational efficiency, particularly within the firm’s onboarding procedures. “Our previous onboarding process met our requirements, but we had identified a few key opportunities to deliver improvement and create value. For instance, we had some conflicts searches that yielded up to 40,000 hits gathered into a PDF, which our general counsel would have to scroll through,” said Hustad.

Firm leaders trusted the IT team to develop a solution that would provide the top-tier technology experience their lawyers had come to expect. In response, Zelle’s IT leadership began the process of implementing a cloud-first strategy, and quickly recognized the benefits and value of leveraging the Intapp Secure Cloud to accomplish their vision.

Integration builds process improvements

Working with Intapp yielded far greater benefits than merely replacing a legacy system. “Once we began evaluating Intapp Conflicts, we found additional ways to improve our onboarding process,” said Hustad. “We realized that the true power of working with Intapp was the integration between the products. Intapp Intake and Intapp Conflicts marry together so well.” Intapp Conflicts and Intapp Intake have streamlined the firm’s entire business acceptance process, according to Hustad: “The interactive conflict report is key. The analyst can do the lion’s share of the work, even in the largest searches.”

We realized that the true power of working with Intapp was the integration between the products.

Cloud migration lowers overhead,improves functionality

With the launch of the Intapp Secure Cloud, Zelle was among the first firms to move away from an on-premises configuration. As a result of this innovative migration, Zelle realized a number of technical efficiencies. Not only did a move to the cloud decrease costs, it provided augmented security along with automatic upgrades that required less IT management and time.

“Once we started digging in, we realized that moving to Intapp Secure Cloud would not only meet our rigorous security requirements, but prove less time-intensive than maintaining onpremises technology,” said Hustad.

Intapp Secure Cloud enables Zelle to support a complete array of best-practice security features, including robust penetration testing and vulnerability scans, advanced 256-bit encryption, single sign-on (SSO) capability, and a full suite of access controls that cover both physical and logical assets.

Stability and uptime were also important considerations — two key factors simplified by the migration. “If Zelle lawyers are unable to work because of IT issues — outages, performance, lack of mobility — that could really impact our business. Intapp Secure Cloud helps us continually overdeliver for our internal stakeholders,” said Hustad.

With automatic cloud updates, Zelle always remains up to date on current software releases offering the latest functionality, performance, and security features. “The Intapp Secure Cloud removes all of the administrative overhead,” said Hustad. “We don’t have do the upgrades, we don’t need to make sure it’s secure — it’s done automatically.”

Executive Summary

Zelle LLP — an international boutique law firm focused on insurance-related matters, antitrust disputes, and complex commercial litigation — used Intapp Conflicts and Intapp Intake running on the Intapp Secure Cloud to revamp its intake process and minimize the accompanying IT burden.


  • Existing LegalKEY software had reached the end of viability; the firm sought a long-term, reliable replacement
  • Lawyers needed stable, portable, always-on services
  • Firm leadership took the opportunity to continuously improve business processes

Results with Intapp

  • An updated business-acceptance model facilitates balanced workloads across geographically distant teams
  • Interactive conflict reports provide automated clearance, removing a critical bottleneck
  • Migration to the Intapp Secure Cloud meets uptime and security requirements, while freeing IT resources for other projects

“We realized that moving to Intapp Secure Cloud would not only meet our rigorous security requirements, but prove less time-intensive than maintaining on-premises technology.”


A virtually painless process

Zelle’s technical leaders are happy with their Intapp experience.

“The Intapp team’s knowledge and attention to detail really set us at ease, and the process was as painless as it’s possible to be,” said Hustad. “We really enjoyed working with them.”

Hustad also pointed out that Intapp’s reliability and usability lets Zelle’s professionals stay focused on billable work. “When we went live on the Intapp Secure Cloud, it was a nonevent — the hallmark of a very successful migration,” said Hustad. “Lawyers and firm management only knew we’d switched over because we sent an email.”

That level of seamless efficiency gives Zelle’s business leaders and IT professionals confidence in their Intapp partnership. “I know that we’re running on best-in-breed technology,” remarked Hustad. “We’re on the best platform for the solutions that we need.”