Getting to know The Pitch finalists: Digitory Legal

By Yves Faguy April 24, 201824 April 2018


As part of a weekly series leading up to The Pitch 2018, the legal innovation startup competition put on by the Canadian Bar Association and Law Made in partnership with LexisNexis, we’re publishing interviews with the five selected finalists to get to know them better.  This week’s Q&A is with Catherine Krow (featured in the above video), CEO and founder of Digitory Legal, a cost analytics and management platform for law firms and corporate legal departments.

CBA National: What are the origins of Digitory Legal?

Catherine Krow : Practising as a litigation lawyer, I realized that this profession — this industry — is evolving. And to succeed in this market I really believed that law firms would need to start examining how they do things, and adopt new technology and really make some changes to better meet the business needs of their clients. I found this exciting and saw a chance to do something new and different and focus less on the practice of law and more on the business of law.

N: Explain what Digitory Legal does.

CK: It’s a cost analytics and management platform. We sell to both firms and legal departments. We help them analyze their billing data, set really well scoped, accurate budgets and alternative fee arrangements. Then on the law firm side we have collaboration and project management features that help them manage files to meet those numbers. Our mission really is to give firms and legal departments the tools and the data they need to evolve past the traditional billable hour model and be successful in what I view as an evolved legal market.

N: Why do firms have such a hard time getting a grip on analytics?

CK: One of the biggest problems with data in the industry is that it has historically been collected at too high a level. And there hasn’t been a lot of rigour around data hygiene. Data in the legal industry is not very clean and it is not at the task level. And that's something that we address in our data analytics capabilities.

N: What’s your target market?

CK: Our target market is the global 2000 and the law firms that work with them. It doesn't have to be a large firm or a small firm. But we are litigation-focused – complex litigation – though we do plan to move into other areas. For now getting it right in complex litigation matters is really our specialty.

N: What gives you optimism about the future of the legal industry?

CK: Talking to clients and firms about how to evolve forward. There are a lot more people on the cutting edge thinking about how to better communicate than I ever really expected there would be. And that number is just increasing. There is a lot of thought leadership that is propelling the industry forward and that really gives me a lot of hope that the old way is no longer going to be the status quo.

N: What is it about communication that we need to improve?

CK: Communication and lack of communication has been a problem. Cost transparency and discussions about costs, in advance, is something that has historically been lacking. And I don't think that there's fault on one side or the other. It's hard to have these uncomfortable conversations about risk and costs and scope, which is what is needed in order to really be successful in an alternative fee situation. And not everybody knows what are the right questions to ask. When I was practicing law it just seemed to me that a lot of the challenges around cost discussion could be solved with more collaborative tools. If that framework is already done for you the communication gets a lot easier.



Founded in: 2015

Based in: San Francisco Bay Area, California

The team: Founder and CEO Catherine Krow; Shawn Cunningham, CTO; Stan Mazhara, VP of Engineering; Evan Krow, Chief Strategy Officer.



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