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UnitedLex Lures Former Big Four Executives for Digital Push

Feb. 9, 2021, 9:28 PM

UnitedLex has hired five former executives of PwC and Deloitte as the technology and services provider steps up efforts to digitize corporate legal departments.

The hires include David Clarke as the company’s executive vice president and chief experience and marketing officer; Mike Duggan as executive vice president of clients and markets; and Audra Nichols, senior vice president of digital solutions and methods.

The hires show UnitedLex expects more companies to embrace its technology for services such as contract formation and review over the next couple years.

“We see a massive market for digital transformation of legal departments,” said David Edelheit, the company’s chief digital and transformation officer.

Also joining the company are Bhavesh Patel, senior vice president, transformation, and Christian Schmitt, executive vice president of clients and markets leader for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

Duggan and Schmitt are working out of UnitedLex’s Zurich office, while the other three are based in the U.S., Edelheit said.

Duggan previously worked as a partner with Deloitte, and the other four either came directly from PwC or had worked there before.

While the Big Four have to navigate possible conflicts between their accounting, audit, and legal divisions, UnitedLex executives don’t have to worry about representing companies in an “end to end” capacity, said Edelheit, who recently joined the company after working as a partner with PwC from 2010 to 2019.

“By harnessing the knowledge of these digital transformation experts, UnitedLex can meet the tremendous demand to bring legal into the digital age,” UnitedLex CEO Dan Reed said in a statement about the hires.

Last September, UnitedLex announced that it soon will be launching a new version of its Vantage platform, which organizations use to manage contract portfolios worth about $250 billion.

Earlier in 2020, UnitedLex acquired a 20-person Paul Hastings data science, analysis, and investigations team led by lawyer Tom Barnett. The purchase was part of a new partnership between the law firm and the technology and legal services provider.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sam Skolnik in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at;
John Hughes at