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10 February 2021

UnitedLex hires five ex-Big Four execs as it ramps up digital transformation expertise

Quintet includes PwC's former digital strategy and innovation leader David Clarke

By Ben Edwards

Digital transformation disruption digitalisation innovation technology concept.

Funtap; Shutterstock

US alternative legal services provider UnitedLex has hired five former Big Four digital transformation experts as it seeks to meet increased demand from corporate legal departments to digitise their businesses.

The quintet includes David Clarke, Audra Nichols and Christian Schmitt, who join from PwC, while Bhavesh Patel – who also earlier worked at PwC – joins from West Monroe Partners and Mike Duggan joins from Deloitte.

The move comes as the Big Four accountancy firms step up their own efforts to target legal departments KPMG having launched a global legal operations consultancy service in October while a month earlier Deloitte Legal hired a trio of consultants from Elevate

Dan Reed, UnitedLex’s CEO, said: “UnitedLex is deeply committed to delivering operational excellence to our clients and the appointment of this group of exceptional professionals underscores our dedication to this mission. At UnitedLex, we are leading the way for digital transformation in legal, one of the last industries to fully embrace digital solutions. By harnessing the knowledge of these digital transformation experts, UnitedLex can meet the tremendous demand to bring legal into the digital age.”

Clarke joins as executive vice president and chief experience and marketing officer. He spent just over seven years at PwC, most recently as digital strategy and innovation leader. He was previously co-founder and CEO of independent digital agency BGT, which PwC acquired in 2013.

Duggan joins as executive vice president for clients and markets, bringing with him 25-years of experience in professional services and tech-enabled transformation, previously serving as a partner at Deloitte. 

Nicols joins as senior vice president for digital solutions and methods. She also brings with her more than 25 years of experience having held a number of senior roles at PwC, most recently as a senior managing director and advisory acceleration centre operations leader.

Patel joins as senior vice president for transformation, bringing with him two decades of experience as a management and technology consultant. He spent just over a year at West Monroe – where he was a partner in its New York healthcare and life sciences practice – having joined after an almost nine-year spell at PwC where his roles included director of digital technology and innovation.

All four are based in the US, while Christian Schmitt joins as executive vice president and clients and markets leader for EMEA. He arrives after almost 13 years at PwC in Zurich, where he was global relationship partner and global wealth management lead.

Digital transformation disruption digitalisation innovation technology concept.

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