It is a great pleasure to welcome kCura as the latest sponsor of the eDisclosure Information Project. The connection goes back a bit, and the arrival of their logo on my sites is part of a continuing if intermittent strand of connection-points.
It is years ago – 2004, I guess, in my prior life before the eDisclosure Information Project. Mark Dingle, then at Simmons & Simmons, points me to a small software company which, he predicts, will do very well with its document review platform Relativity. Mark’s recommendations are usually worth following up and I drop kCura a line, getting a reply at once. I knew nothing of US eDiscovery in those days, and no one in the US had heard of me, so the quick response gives a good impression. Other things intervene and I am not in a position to pursue the connection.
Four years have passed and it is the summer of 2008. kCura and Relativity are becoming well known on the strength of some high-profile sales and an unmatched reputation for the quality of the support given to customers. Its CEO, Andrew Sieja, visits me in Oxford. Andrew proves to be about 20 years younger than most CEOs and bursting with enthusiasm for the market and for his software’s place in it. Having never met before, we describe our respective ambitions to each other as we walk up the river. His aim is to make kCura a world-class player within two years; mine is to be seen as authoritative in every jurisdiction requiring discovery over the same period. Our respective ambitions probably seem rather fanciful to each other as we wander along English country paths with the dog. I use our conversation as the springboard for an article Meeting People is Right, my fullest articulation to date of the fairly simple proposition that lawyers need to know who the providers are and what they offer. I wanted, I said, “to make suppliers allies in the collective fight to help lawyers see what is possible”. Apart from references to named people who have moved jobs since then, I would write the same article today.
Some months pass. I am in New York’s 7th Avenue with one of my sons late at night. Someone is shouting my name, and I look round to see a youth in a baseball cap running towards me. “We’re going to be mugged” I say. William observes that muggers do not generally run along calling their victims by name. It is Andrew Sieja again. By this time, kCura is well on the way to dominating its part of the market, and I am speaking at LegalTech.
If I emphasise Andrew Sieja’s youth, it is because youth brings certain advantages including tireless enthusiasm and the conviction that you can succeed. That in itself is not rare; what is difficult is to retain that enthusiasm whilst growing a company into a serious player in its market, keeping the ideas flowing whilst HR, accountants, marketing budgets and board meetings claim more and more time and energy. kCura now has 155 employees, a wide range of high-end clients and partnerships with many other companies. This article headed Embracing the Underdog gives a good picture of the man. This one, kCura Plans E-Discovery App Market reports on a neat idea for an applications marketplace called Ecosystem, a kind of exchange for apps developed either by kCura or by its users. The list of potential partners includes Digital Reef, Nuix, Equivio and Guidance Software amongst other well-known players in the market. No one has done anything like that before.
You will have gathered from what I have written so far that I have a personal affinity with kCura dating back to my long walk with its boss when we were both starting out, and that it remains ambitious and innovative while it and its CEO have added some years. Mark Dingle proved his own prediction correct and is now a Relativity-certified Independent Consultant at LitSavant.
It gives me more than the usual pleasure to welcome kCura to the eDisclosure Information Project, and I am excited at the prospect of working with them in pursuit of our respective ambitions.