Innovative Legal Leadership Podcast: A chat with CFO Alec Guettel

CFO Alec Guettel chats with Persuit CEO Jim Delkousis on the Innovative Legal Leadership podcast about his 20-year journey of bringing innovation to the legal world, starting with co-founding Axiom. Listen to episode 24 to hear Alec and Jim chat about:

  • How Axiom laid the critical groundwork for the launch of Knowable
  • How Knowable helps legal teams extract value from their contracts using data
  • Alec’s founder story, how he met co-founder Mark Harris and how he ended up in the legal world

Here are two snippets from the full interview now available on Apple,  Spotify or Sounder FM.

Solve the Right Problem with Contracts

Transcript of Excerpt

A lot of the industry has solved the wrong problem first when it comes to contracts. There’s been a lot of investment in the CLM systems, which has a very good purpose — to shorten the time to deal closure and to run a process that’s better organized, more disciplined, and gets to a faster conclusion. Our argument is 90% of your revenues are in your existing contracts, 90% of your costs are in existing contracts and so is 90% of your risk. In fact, your new contracts, two out of three times, refer to your existing contracts. Understanding what’s in your existing contracts is a much easier problem to solve, and this is something you can do in a quarter instead of 18 months [with Knowable], and so our message to the market is that we really encourage people to do this first.

How Knowable Adds Value to Businesses

Transcript of Excerpt

The questions come to the law department often, such as “Hey, do we have the right to do this under our contract? And this begins this crazy odyssey.

[General Counsel]: I found the MSA, but there were three copies, and I don’t know which one is the real one. None of them are signed. I think they’re at least four amendments that I could find, but they’re probably three other amendments. One of the amendments is in Portuguese. I don’t know what’s active and what’s inactive. I tried to email the person who negotiated this, and she left the company two years ago.

Weeks pass as they try to figure out these basic things. And that’s the threshold problem. But the really exciting thing is the problem of solving a problem that’s a few years from now, as opposed to today’s problem which is: Can I just answer a basic question and perform my obligations? Some of the clients that are farther down the road now are able to say with a push of a button:

[CFO]: We have a revenue shortfall in Q4.

[General counsel]: Hey, sales! Of our 2,000 biggest customers, these are the 200 where you could raise prices today under our contract.

Listen to the full episode on Apple or Spotify.