Paul Hastings's data science group moves to UnitedLex

This marks the alternative legal services provider’s first acquisition of a law firm’s asset.

Posted Thursday, June 11th 2020
Paul Hastings's data science group moves to UnitedLex

Pictured: Tom Barnett

In another example of an alternative legal service provider (ALSP) partnering with a law firm, the Kansas-headquartered UnitedLex has acquired a 20-person data science team from Paul Hastings.

Led by Paul Hastings special counsel Thomas Barnett, who is now senior vice-president and divisional general counsel at UnitedLex, the team will work on developing legal technology that will be used by Paul Hastings itself. Particularly well versed in analysis and investigations, the data science team will also be bringing its IP, including its AI programming, to UnitedLex.

According to Greg Nitzkowski, managing partner at Paul Hastings, the firm had been looking for an “exit strategy” for the data science team since its inception. “Paul Hastings will now be using UnitedLex tools and staff to help us in the service of our clients,” he said.

“What we were focused on was how do we develop a generation of partners and associates who really understand how to use data and other tools to represent clients,” Nitzkowski added. “Our goals had to do with us becoming better lawyers, not with us becoming a data science firm.”

For its part, UnitedLex was interested in Paul Hastings’s team because it comprises lawyers rather than computer scientists. “It would have been very very difficult for UnitedLex to have developed what Paul Hastings developed without Paul Hastings,” said UnitedLex president Dave Deppe. “Now we can take this and kind of put it on steroids.”

June also saw UnitedLex expand on its existing partnership with Polsinelli to provide patent management and development services to clients. In November, the ALSP teamed up with Ashurst in Germany to provide clients with an enhanced investigations offering covering “process design and productivity, technology enablement, resource optimisation and document review”.