Q&A with Chris Bell, Senior Manager, Product Partnerships and Alliances at Factor

Written by: Kira Systems

August 4, 2021

5 minute read

Factor is the leader in solutions for complex legal work at scale, ranging from deadline-driven regulatory projects to long-term managed services. Factor combines expert legal resourcing and market know-how of Traditional Law, with the process efficiency, smart legal technology, and data-driven project management of New Law to bridge a huge gap in the market.

Consistent with its commitment to help define the alternative legal services sector, Factor launched its inaugural partnership program, Factor Connect. In another step toward broader collaboration with the global legal ecosystem, this program brings together world-class legal technology providers and specialists to help accelerate innovation in the delivery of legal services and address an unprecedented range of challenges in the legal world.

Kira Systems is a partner company in this initiative. To learn more about Factor Connect and how Kira is being used in creative new ways to provide optimal benefits to clients, we spoke with Chris Bell, Senior Manager, Product Partnerships and Alliances at Factor.

Use Case

  • M&A, third party risk, privacy, regulatory, and more



  • Founded in 2011 within Axiom, became Factor in 2020
  • Headquartered in New York, with offices in Belfast, Chicago, London, Raleigh and Wroclaw

What is your role at Factor?

I work in Factor’s product team, specifically on our technology partnerships and alliances. Our product team obsesses about client problems and how best to solve them, and my role recognizes that we can do that better by collaborating with our partners.

Day to day, that looks like meeting with prospective partners and assessing how we could work together on different challenges, testing these ideas with clients and our internal teams, and partnering with the wider product team to ensure that we successfully integrate our partners into our processes.

Can you speak on Factor Connect and what drove Factor to launch this client service initiative?

Factor Connect is our inaugural partnership program, designed to bring Factor together with the best in legal technology to collaborate to solve a wider range of client challenges. We’re launching our first cohort with partners including, of course, Kira Systems.

The program is a continuation of what we have been doing day in and day out for our clients for over 10 years. We’ve constantly been on the lookout for the best in legal technology that is going to provide more efficiency and risk control. Factor Connect represents our intention to go deeper on this, partnering more closely with the best in technology to present more comprehensive and creative offerings to our clients.

Factor Connect was created out of a need to better address a broad swath of client challenges. Can you tell our readers why the need for meaningful innovation and advanced technology has grown in significance over the years?

The task for general counsel is getting more complex both in terms of the growing regulatory context and the demands from their businesses. Without innovation, there’s certainly no sustainable way to keep up with this pace of change and that’s why they’re looking to the marketplace to get creative in helping them solve these challenges.

For Factor, advanced technology is a key component in the tapestry of capabilities that make meaningful change possible, providing greater efficiency, control, and data to innovation efforts.

How did you identify the need for Kira Systems’ contract review software for the Factor Connect program?

Our clients need access to insights from their contracts at scale in the face of new regulations or business needs. Over the last few years, because of players like Kira Systems and Factor, it has gone from orthodoxy to lunacy to think about doing this manually.

However, we think there’s still more that can be done to make these large scale contract review exercises more efficient by more closely marrying Kira’s technology and Factor’s content and process expertise.

Factor has formed strategic partnerships with a handful of partners. Can you speak on the criteria for being accepted into the Factor Connect program?

It’s all about fit for us and we mean that from two perspectives: capability and organisational fit. From a capability perspective, we’ve selected companies that we can deliver mutually complementary services with by bringing together our intense specializations. For most of the partners in the program, that’s something we’ve tested extensively either over years of live use or via rounded proofs of concept. From an organisational perspective, we chose those companies with that focus on specialisation but who share our vision for a truly collaborative market for legal services that will ultimately deliver more value to our end clients.

How will Kira support your company’s long-term goals?

Kira is going to support Factor in extending its position as a provider of choice for complex contract review and analysis, and allow us to unlock more of our expertise via automation using Kira. At the end of the day, this is about Factor unlocking more insight from contracts for clients in a quicker and more readily digestible way. Kira is going to be an essential component of that for us.

Of course, as much as clients look to us to understand how to address their own problems, they also want to better understand how the market more generally is approaching them. For us, this is about two things: insight and collaboration. On the insight front, we’ve recently expanded our research capabilities within the product team to monitor new developments. In terms of collaboration, we like to bring our clients together to benefit from our research and share their own insights. Since COVID-19 began, we’ve hosted various roundtables for our clients to do this.

What’s your top advice for colleagues?

Look outside the legal market. Factor benefits sitting in both the legal and the business worlds, affording us the opportunity to look at problems and solutions from multiple angles. My favorite thing is to discuss challenges with people outside our industry because they bring totally different approaches that we can bring back into our world.

Would you like to share anything else?

Factor Connect represents an open invitation to anyone who thinks they can more effectively help us solve client problems. If you’re reading this and think that’s you or your organization, then reach out to us.

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