Palmersheim & Mathew LLP was founded in 2018 by award-winning attorneys with proven expertise in handling complex business disputes. I recently sat down to speak with founding partner, Anand Mathew in their Chicago office.
We discussed what it means to practice in the boutique environment, the high-touch client service that the firm prides itself on, and how technology helps them deliver that service at a lower cost. Following are some highlights of our conversation.
Why did you and your partner (Robert Palmersheim) decide to start your own boutique litigation firm, and what are your thoughts on how it differs from big-law?
In our business, client-service is everything. I’ve had the experience of working at both the litigation boutique and at a larger law firm. To me, a boutique litigation environment is really where you can deliver the highest level of client service and far outpace larger law firms in that regard.
Does Palmersheim & Mathew focus on a specific industry or practice area?
Our firm focuses on commercial litigation. We have found with a defined focus, we could really streamline our approach. We could deliver valuable service to our clients more effectively than we could if we were a full-service firm — one that does everything, but not necessarily all things well.
Palmersheim & Mathew has clients in all kinds of industries, all over the world. We handle everything from breach of contract, to large complex antitrust cases, to trade secret cases, and breach of fiduciary duty cases.
When our clients call, they know that they’ll be able to reach me. They know that I’m on top of their case. They know that I’m always up to speed on whatever is going on and I can tell them about the developments. There’s no lag-time. That personal touch is really one of the areas where boutique litigation shines for clients.
What is the firm’s view on modern legal technology, such as Nextpoint? Does it play a role at all?
One of the founding principles of our firm is to leverage good technology to help us deliver effective client service at a better value.
Our firm handles very large, sophisticated, multi-party matters and some of these matters involve millions and millions of documents. We need a technology solution that is able to meet the challenge of handling that number of documents efficiently and cost-effectively.
Our team needs to manage those documents, and quickly parse through them to find the key documents we need for a particular deposition or hearing. Nextpoint has been a great solution for our firm. No matter if you’re on your computer or your iPhone or your iPad, we can always access the documents in Nextpoint remotely. We don’t need any special software installed. That’s a big time saver for us.
It sounds like team collaboration—being able to collaborate on those different aspects of a matter—is a really big part of that as well.
Because we’re a boutique litigation firm, it’s really a team effort on all our cases. There’s no one person working by themselves in a silo. Everybody’s working as a team. So, it’s really important to collaborate, and we use technology, such as Nextpoint, to facilitate that team collaboration.
When we started our firm we looked for technology providers that had similar values. Ones whose mission is to deliver effective client service at a great value. We knew we needed an eDiscovery solution, and evaluated a number of different vendors.
And Nextpoint was really out there—totally separate from these other discovery providers— offering a fixed fee pricing structure. And we thought, “Wow,” this is a really great solution for us.
Nextpoint recently rolled out a new pricing structure which eliminates that per gigabyte cost that you’re so used to seeing when it comes to discovery. What does pricing structure mean to you and your clients?
The biggest advantage is the predictable pricing, because for so many years litigation—and ediscovery in particular—has been such a difficult thing for us to explain to our clients. We tell them you know there’s gonna be a cost for hosting and loading and processing your documents and they always want to know, “Well, what’s the cost going to be?”
And the reality was you could never give them a good answer. It depended on the size of their files, the number of pages in their files, how complicated the OCR (optical character recognition) is, etc. It’s always been a frustration point for both us and our clients, because we are ultimately the ones who have to explain the incurred costs over the course of a case that might last two or three years.
Nextpoint has allowed us to give our clients predictable pricing, because we know upfront that it doesn’t matter how many gigabytes of data the client has. The price will be the same.
Nextpoint pricing—which is per-user—has allowed us to not worry about data. The pricing is based on the users in that database, which is a variable that we can control and explain to clients simply. So Nextpoint pricing has really helped us both from a litigation perspective and has helped our clients from a cost perspective.
“When we started our firm we looked for technology providers that had similar values. Ones whose mission is to deliver effective client service at a great value.”
Palmersheim & Mathew has worked with Nextpoint for a while now. Would you recommend Nextpoint to a colleague or other law firm looking for ediscovery software?
One of the things I enjoy about working with the Nextpoint team is that they have a similar culture to our firm. It’s a very team oriented company. When you call Nextpoint you actually know the individual people you are dealing with and you have interacted with them on a repeated basis.
That’s something that I value, and something that our firm values, and it’s one of the reasons we like to partner with Nextpoint.
I would recommend Nextpoint to my colleagues…in fact, I did recently recommend Nextpoint to opposing counsel. (laughter) They were having difficulty gathering and producing documents during discovery, and I suggested Nextpoint to them. Now they use Nextpoint software as well.
Nextpoint would like to thank Anand for spending some time with us for this interview. Helping driven, tech-savvy law firms like Palmersheim & Mathew become more efficient in the mechanics of ediscovery is the reason we began building software in 2005. Viva la cloud!