You know what time it is… it’s time for our June Partner Profile! This month, we reached out across the Atlantic Ocean to the lads at Wicker Hamilton in London, England. We met Matthew Pecoraro and Emeka Jemade, legal and compliance professionals by trade, at the Legal Geek conference last year in London. (Fun fact: our team is virtually attending the LegalGeek conference today!) A water cooler conversation with our CRO Teruel Carrasco led to a discussion about their interest in representing emerging legal tech companies. After returning home, we reconnected and became official partners, and have been supporting one another ever since.
Despite the time difference, we Zoomed with the brilliant entrepreneurs to give us the lowdown on all things Wicker Hamilton.
In a few sentences, describe Wicker Hamilton’s services.
Wicker Hamilton is a boutique regulatory compliance and managed legal services company offering three core services. First, we provide legal support offering well qualified lawyers on-demand and on a contract basis. We administer managed reviews, investigations, and commercial contracts. Secondly, we provide legal translation services in over 40 languages. Our translation services include legal document translation, courtroom interpreters and audio and video translation. Additionally, we resource compliance and financial crime consultants. Our experienced, hand-picked consultants offer support in regulation, financial crime, AML and legal repapering.
What motivated you to start Wicker Hamilton?
In essence, we are both very entrepreneurial individuals. In our line of work, it is common for your career to take over your other interests. More money means more responsibility, leaving very little time for side projects. We have so much knowledge about the legal and finance industries, we took our corporate experience and turned it into business.
How did the two of you meet?
We were on the same legal & compliance team at Goldman Sachs. While I (Matthew) was working with Emeka, we discovered our shared passion for startups and innovation.
What was your most noteworthy accomplishment?
Above all, in business the most noteworthy accomplishment is simply having recurring clients that are happy with your service and trust you. It’s easy to have one client at a time, but it’s a true accomplishment having multiple coming back to you because you did a good job. It has also been rewarding to sign deals with big companies that we didn’t expect to so quickly. It has been incredible to see our company grow from scratch while building strong relationships with our clients.
What drew you to dealcloser?
Upon meeting Teruel at LegalGeek, our first thought was that he was extremely friendly. After chatting more about dealcloser, we immediately thought that dealcloser could be a game changer for M&A transactions. dealcloser is an easy-to-use software that could cut a lot of costs by solving transaction management inefficiencies, and there’s nothing like it yet in the UK and Europe.
What are your predictions for transaction management in the future?
We predict everything becoming more and more automated, i.e. we have seen AI being used for contracts. There are some fundamentals that you can’t always automate such as needing lawyers to check over key terms and check for errors – that could really make or break a deal. However we think transaction management will become more automated using tools such as dealcloser. The UK is more tied down to traditional methods compared to Canada, often witnessing and notarizing documents unnecessarily. Elite law firms are hard to be challenged. There is however a real interest in legal tech here and some apprehension about who will take the market first.
What are some lessons you’ve learned from operating during COVID-19?
When there is a panic or crisis, it presents an opportunity to take a step back and reassess other parts of your business that you haven’t tapped into yet. We looked into a number of new areas before COVID-19 and as things progressed we started to explore these new areas. For example, bolstering our DSAR capacity in reaction to the uptick in employment work as a consequence of turbulence in the job market. It’s important not to bury your head in the sand – there’s always something you can do to keep bringing clients in or prepare for the future.
If you’ve been to London recently, you may have noticed that the city is transforming with more offices and skyscrapers. However, professional service providers don’t really need a physical office for most operations. Business hasn’t really stopped with all of the instant connection we have access to. There has been a cultural shift where people are realizing that there is no need for everyone to rush into one place to get things done.
It was a treat catching up with the folks at Wicker Hamilton and learning a bit more about the legal tech scene in the UK. If you’d like to learn more about them, check out their website.