Atrium LLP isn’t exactly dead — rather it’s undergoing a sort of ambitious metamorphosis.
After having persisted in their aim to innovate within the legal industry and raising over $75 million in funding; Atrium has lopped off its legal arm. Atrium LLP is no more as of 2020. But where do we go from here? Atrium LTS, the company’s software services provider that handles all business processes for the firm, and builds software to improve the firm’s operations, still stands well and alive. More importantly, Atrium LLP isn’t exactly dead — rather it’s undergoing a sort of ambitious metamorphosis. Here at LawFlex, we like to make predictions in scenarios like these; so here’s what I see in store for Atrium:
Atrium never severed ties with the legal industry; they simply just didn’t want to be so legal-focused.
Founder Justin Kan, and Founder of the streaming platform Twitch, –- proclaimed to the world that Atrium would “revolutionize legal services”. Atrium LLP was marketed as a novel tech-enabled law firm. Now, a mere 3 years from the company’s inception, it is pivoting away from the legal model it touted to be the solution to all the issues of inefficiency plaguing the legal industry. But is it really severing all its ties with law? The answer is: no. It seems as though they’re restructuring to resemble a professional services network and compete with entities like EY or PWC. According to recent reports, Atrium is endeavouring to create a “marketplace” so to speak that isn’t purely focused on legal services, but perhaps also IFRS reporting, advisory services for every level of business, tax services, tech implementation, etc. I don’t suspect that they want to completely cut out their legal service solution, which is backed by the fact that their website features a number of attorneys who are likely supporting startups in their legal work. The reality of the matter is that Atrium never severed ties with the legal industry; they simply just didn’t want to be so legal-focused. And who can blame them? Being a jack-of-all-trades is tempting, but the realities of competing with other titans of industry who also endeavour to be one-stop-shops is a little grim. There’s no saying if this restructuring will prove to be successful, but it certainly is an interesting move, especially when one realized they have the advantage of leveraging their tech-arm (Atrium LTS) to enhance such professional services.
It may be that as soon as Atrium releases its complete list of solutions included in its new professional services network that it will simply merge with Atrium LTS to offer a comprehensive tech enabled professional services network. It’s rumoured that Atrium’s transition will seek to aim its services at seed-stage and Series A-stage technology startups, with the services provided by third parties. It comes as no surprise then that Atrium has seemingly already married Atrium LTS with its professional services network. On the company’s website, under ‘platform’, a virtual ‘collaboration hub’ service is introduced. Users can use the service for document management, project tracking and more. This type of platform looks like the handiwork of Atrium LTS which sought to streamline the processes of legal teams by developing softwares that would increase overall efficiencies. It seems as though Atrium has shifted its sights from enabling only legal teams, to enabling startups. As time goes on, I believe Atrium will roll out a more expansive list of services and expand its target demographic to include companies in all stages of growth; and eventually it may resemble giants like Cooley, KPMG, Deloitte, EY, etc. For now, Atrium is sticking to uplifting and enabling the smaller players, and while being a fully-fledged ALSP has perhaps moved to the company’s periphery — it certainly isn’t done with the legal industry just yet.