Headquartered in Chicago’s Loop, Relativity stands out in the vastness of downtown Chicago thanks to the unique software it develops. It was always the intent of Relativity founder and CEO, Andrew Sieja, to make his e-discovery software firm, founded in 2001, a top place to work amongst Chicago’s vibrant tech community. Until August 2017 the company was called kCura. The name was known to many in the local tech scene, who noticed its strong growth, recruiting presence, and charitable initiatives. Relativity was the name of the product the company made, the premier e-discovery platform.
In an effort to dispel market confusion among customers, Andrew decided to rebrand the firm and call it Relativity, with the company’s product becoming its namesake. With a new nameplate in front of 231 S. LaSalle and demand for e-discovery services on the rise, Sieja and Relativity accelerated their growth. Today, Relativity’s 850+ team members have ambitious plans for helping customers across the globe discover the truth in their legal data – faster.
The need for e-discovery in the legal industry has grown significantly over the past decade, mirroring Relativity’s growth as the industry-leading e-discovery platform. If you read a newspaper or Twitter, or check trending topics on Google, you’ll likely see several ongoing criminal investigations and lawsuits involving high-profile people and companies. As people produce more data and investigations get more complex, e-discovery software like Relativity becomes even more crucial as lawyers and litigators look to discover the relevant electronic evidence needed to win a case.
Electronic evidence comes in many shapes and sizes, from things like emails and word documents, to PDFs and even emojis. Having a comprehensive e-discovery platform that can collect all of this data – sometimes in the hundreds of millions of files – and make it easily discoverable and identifiable for legal teams is essential. That’s why Relativity continues to be the leader in the industry.
Relativity has more than 175,000 users in 40+ countries. It is used by the Department of Justice, more than 70 of the Fortune 100 companies, and 198 of the AmLaw 200. Organizations big and small rely on Relativity to help find the truth in data faster.
Into the Cloud
Sieja and his team made their first splash in 2007. Their introduction of an on-premises version of Relativity upended the traditional, slow-churning document review process that relied primarily on late nights and banker’s boxes. More recently, Sieja discovered the legal market was in need of faster evolution. To meet the need, Relativity developed a Software-as-a-Service subscription model that eliminated the need for data centers and tedious do-it-yourself software updates. Sieja envisioned and created a new workflow where lawyers and review teams could examine electronic evidence seamlessly in the cloud. The SaaS product RelativityOne was born.
Hosted in the secure Microsoft Azure cloud, RelativityOne offers all of the comprehensive functionality of Relativity on-premises, but with added flexibility, extensibility and security. Introduced to the market in early 2017, Sieja’s vision of moving the legal field to the cloud quickly became a reality in the legal community. In 2018, the SaaS product has experienced dynamic year-over-year customer growth of more than 200% and it continues to earn positive feedback from users who are able to transform their businesses by moving to the comprehensive SaaS product.
As people produce more data and investigations get more complex, e-discovery software like Relativity becomes even more crucial as lawyers and litigators look to discover the relevant electronic evidence needed to win a case.
On September 30 through October 3, more than 2,000 Relativity customers and other members of the larger legal tech community will join Relativity for a four-day user conference called Relativity Fest. The event, hosted at the Hilton Chicago, is now in its 9th year. In addition to serving tech experts, the conference provides legal professionals with a myriad of learning and career advancement opportunities, networking events, judicial panels, workshops, and a lineup of sessions offering Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits for attorneys.
Relativity Fest is also a great way to gain exposure to Relativity’s passionate user community and developer ecosystem. The Relativity App Hub aims to make Relativity the Salesforce of legal tech by providing customers with more than 85 custom applications built on top of the
Relativity platform. This includes apps from local Chicago startups like Heretik, Esquify, and Milyli.
The four-day Relativity Fest is also a great platform for Relativity to highlight the ways it is giving back to the local tech and legal communities. Relativity Gives, a charitable program that Sieja is especially passionate about, has given more than $2 million to local Chicago schools to help prepare the next generation of tech-focused workers in Chicago. The Relativity Academic Program provides free Relativity software and training for more than 80 law schools across the nation, so that the next generation of lawyers is trained on Relativity. These community components, coupled with the event’s unique learning opportunities and one-of-a-kind speaker lineup, allow attendees to experience a comprehensive, end-to-end user conference unlike anything else in the market.
Perhaps the highlight of Relativity Fest is the keynote, during which Andrew Sieja presents his vision of the future. Every year, the vision grows grander and the crowd grows larger. Bolstered by RelativityOne and its growing group of customers, Sieja has well-positioned Relativity to deliver the next progression of the platform, which will aim to solve complex unstructured data problems in industries beyond law.
While Andrew’s vision for Relativity’s role in the Chicago tech community and larger global marketplace continues to take on new meaning and impetus, Relativity’s mission remains the same: Organize Data, Discover the Truth, and Act on It.