Speaker Spotlight: Akshay Verma

Akshay Verma, COO of Spotdraft, boasts an impressive track record, having led Legal Operations at tech giants like Meta and Coinbase We posed three questions to Akshay about his career, vision, and insights into his Lexpo'24 session.

Could you share the journey that led you to your role in legal innovation, including some key milestones?

"I decided in 2012 that I had to leave the law firm life and stumbled upon a company called Axiom, where I ended up spending 7 years. My time there was transformational. I learned the ins/outs of running legal departments - everything from spend management, resourcing, legal tech, process improvement, strategy, etc. In 2018, Facebook pulled me in-house and I ended up heading their Legal Ops team, which I later left to do the same at Coinbase. At each role, innovation wasn't just a buzz word, it was a necessity to achieve impact...and I loved every minute of it."

How do you envision the future of the legal industry with the ongoing advancements in technology and innovation?

I personally believe that legal technology (and especially AI) is going to fundamentally change what it means to be a lawyer and certainly how we carry out legal work. I envision a future where technology in the legal industry is driving outcomes we never thought possible. Where access to data and information is at your fingertips and lawyers are just as much technologists as they are advocates. Outside of the corporate world, I see access to justice and an ability for us to drive equitable outcomes in a way our current systems do not allow. I"m excited to see what's next.

Can you give us a sneak peek into you’re the topics you’ll be addressing at Lexpo’24 and indicate what attendees can expect to learn?

For better or worse, law firm and law department relationships are here to stay. But the nature of that relationship is evolving faster than ever, mainly because of client necessity and growing sophistication. Optimizing that relationship for success is not something I've seen legal departments or law firms do particularly well. While I don't have a formula for success per se, I've seen quite a lot of what works and what doesn't during my career. It should come as no surprise, as with any other relationship, that both sides have quite a bit of work to do in order to drive better outcomes with each other. I'll walk us through a few of the strategies I've seen work incredibly well.