Rimon Celebrates 10th Anniversary as Premier Distributed Law Firm
In 2008, two AmLaw 100 lawyers looked at the pyramid structure that supported their big law firms and found it outmoded. Both looked back at their previous careers in the tech world and saw opportunities for entrepreneurial attorneys who wanted to create a better way to service clients. Together they founded an innovative law firm called Rimon. Ten years later, Rimon has grown to 80 attorneys across 17 offices and three continents.
Rimon’s founders, CEO Michael Moradzadeh and COO Yaacov Silberman, have since attracted an “A”-list group of entrepreneurial-minded partners, most of whom came directly from partnership and management positions at AmLaw firms including Arent Fox, Blank Rome, Crowell & Moring, DLA Piper, Foley & Lardner, Goodwin, Greenberg Traurig, Holland & Knight, Katten, King & Spalding, Kramer Levin, McDermott, Milbank, Morgan Lewis, Nixon Peabody, Orrick, Squire Patton Boggs, Pillsbury, Reed Smith, Sheppard Mullin, and Winston & Strawn.
The firm’s decentralized and distributed model has established at the vanguard of legal innovation and excellence. Rimon has been repeatedly recognized by the Financial Times as one of North America’s most innovative law firms. The firm’s managing partners were both named ‘Legal Rebels’ by the American Bar Association’s ABA Journal and have spoken on innovations in the practice of law at Harvard and Stanford Law Schools. Rimon and its lawyers have also received numerous awards for excellence, including from Best Lawyers and Chambers.
Adopting its founders’ goal, Rimon has demolished the basic pyramid structure. “Whether fair or not, clients do not want to pay for on-the-job training of new or even mid-level associates. Corporations have shed mid-level bureaucracy, and they demand the same from their service providers, and that includes law firms,” said Mr. Moradzadeh. “Rimon has developed its structure directly along that model. We recruit top level partners who want more flexibility in their practice and embrace technology and low overhead. Our partners work closely together on litigations and transactions, ensuring they – and our clients – are getting high-level advice from prominent authorities in the field.”
Rimon has structured itself as a multinational hybrid law firm that leverages the benefits of a cloud-based, distributed and decentralized platform while giving attorneys full access to office space and resources on an as-needed basis. Rimon mixes the best parts of the traditional firm model with the insurgent virtual firms to break down artificial walls that prevent firms from maximizing the value of their intellectual assets, both for increased business opportunities and for the benefit of clients. They have also embraced use of video conferencing, artificial intelligence, software robots, and tailored billing solutions.
These innovations have allowed Rimon’s Partners to dismantle the hierarchy that stiffens most large firms and form instead a true partnership.
Rimon has created a technology system which has instilled a firmwide focus on collaboration for business generation. Rimon has maximized a secure and innovative enterprise social network – a firmwide “virtual water cooler” – which attorneys use frequently throughout the day. This social network promotes the practice of sharing insights, memos, new matters, and comments, and its built-in instant messaging capabilities enable high levels of engagement and banter.
Rimon has also developed artificial intelligence to handle back office work such as conflicts checks, billing and collections, and the like. Just as copy machines, computers, editable forms, and the internet disrupted the practice of law, Rimon has gotten ahead of the curve, purchasing a software robot, and used AI as a disruptor in a positive way. The firm allows attorneys to focus on the interesting work while pushing the more tedious work to software robots.
“Our goal was to develop a system that breaks down the traditional walls that have divided practice groups into their own silos, allowing partners to explore new business opportunities,” said Mr. Silberman. “This focus on innovation allows Rimon to free up attorney time from administrative and management functions, and remove the traditional, and frequently poisonous, back-channel gossip that flows through most firms.”
Rimon has also won praise for its compensation model, which removes firm politics and uncertainty from the distribution. Attorneys don’t have minimum hourly billing requirements or any other target metric that would serve to artificially inflate billing. The firm has been an early adopter of alternative billing arrangements, including flat fees, equity shares, subscription-based or contingency-based billing.
Rimon’s success shows with an impressive roster of Fortune 100 clients and a growth rate of 30-40% year over year. “The firm is just hitting its stride. After ten years we are seeing far more clients and lateral partners come to us directly, excited about our disruptive approach. At the same time, we understand that we need to continue to every day – constant innovation is the backbone of our culture.”