Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Name and title: Kent M. Zimmermann, vice president and general counsel Age: 32 The company: Hubbard One dispenses software, technology services and solutions to the United States’ largest law firms and corporate legal departments. It builds custom-developed, Web-based workflow applications, extranets, intranets and law firm alumni sites to help its clients “connect with their clients efficiently and effectively by using progressive technology.” The company purports to be the first technology company to apply traditional supply-chain theory to law firms and the businesses they serve. Based in Chicago (originally on Hubbard Street), with offices in New York, the privately held company was established in 1997. It has just under 100 employees and, Zimmermann said, “keeps its revenues quiet.” It is ranked No. 9 on a 2004 list of the fastest-growing companies in urban America put together by Inc. magazine. “I am the legal team”: As the sole in-house member of Hubbard One’s legal staff, Zimmermann is “responsible for everything that comes up on my plate.” He also serves on the executive committee, is the company’s chief compliance officer and manages its strategic partnerships and business development initiatives. Hubbard One has never come close to being involved in litigation, he said, and there is nothing looming on the radar screen. Zimmermann’s philosophy is to avoid disputes before they erupt, and he tries to tailor the firm’s contractual agreements accordingly. He seeks to be a “facilitator rather than an inhibitor,” and prides himself on his “hyper-responsiveness” to both internal and external clients. He collaborates with outside counsel on 30% of his workload and “since the focus of our company is large law firms, I know them incredibly well.” With clients including 60 out of the 250 firms listed on The National Law Journal‘s most recent survey of the nation’s largest law firms, and a prospective client base of all 250 law firms, Zimmermann is immersed among top-level lawyers and is part of the legal landscape, making him a “very qualified buyer of legal services.” He hires attorneys, not firms, he pointed out. Frederick B. Thomas, a partner at Chicago’s Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, is used for corporate and transactional work, and Sandra P. Zemm of Seyfarth Shaw’s Chicago office provides counsel on employment matters. Zimmermann also seeks patent protection assistance from attorneys in the San Jose, Calif., office of Los Angeles’ Blakely Sokoloff Taylor & Zafman and has appeared with them before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He reports to John Fish, Hubbard One’s co-founder and CEO. Valuable software: Hubbard One has a robust trademark portfolio and its intellectual property is one of its most valuable assets. It has several patents pending on a suite of software called FirmConnect. Its Law Value Chain technology connects clients with co-counsel, courts, legal research services, expert witnesses, government agencies, consulting services and law schools. It also keeps traveling attorneys connected with data in their home offices. Hubbard One has developed continuity software to help it and its clients cope with disaster situations and uses state-of-the-art backup systems, with remote media backups stored in separate locations, to protect its data and operations. In addition to guarding company assets and anticipating and preventing future problems, Zimmermann visualizes his legal department not merely as a cost center, but as a profit center. He is intent on protecting the company’s intellectual property, but also strives to “release as much value from it” as possible through licensing and selling. He drafts the terms and negotiates all licensing and service agreements. “Since our clients are large law firms,” Zimmermann quipped, “you couldn’t have better sparring partners in the license negotiations.” Additional duties: Zimmermann is familiarizing himself with foreign laws, since he has begun to work with clients in the United Kingdom (Deutsche Bank’s London in-house legal team) and various European Union law firms. Privacy provisions particularly interest him, as he claims that electronic privacy is taken much more seriously overseas than in the United States. Hubbard One’s GC also ensures that the company complies with anti-spam legislation and collaborates with clients to give them advance notice on any new requirements. He does not do a significant amount of lobbying, although he did testify before a field hearing on online privacy issues chaired by Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill. In what he calls a big, no-cost benefit to his firm, Zimmermann regularly attends the conferences conducted by top-tier law firms to help stay current on relevant case law and legal issues. Zimmermann thrives on the day-to-day diversity and stimulation of his job, which he likens to a “mental marathon.” Within the past month, he negotiated license agreements, took prospective clients to a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game and went to American Lawyer‘s 25th Anniversary Dinner, where he rubbed elbows with former Secretary of State Warren Christopher. He said that he literally whistles on his way to work. Route to the top: Zimmermann earned a 1994 bachelor’s degree in political science from Washington University in St. Louis and a J.D. degree, in 1998, from Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology. After college, he worked at KPLR in St. Louis as a television producer-he produced half-hour nightly summaries of the O.J. Simpson trial-but he ultimately rejected a career as a television producer to enter law school. He had considered coming to Hubbard One right out of law school, but instead opted for the variety promised by private practice, so he began his legal career as an associate at Bullwinkel Partners, a Chicago-based intellectual property boutique. As a litigator there, he argued before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, an early career highlight. He was subsequently reapproached by Hubbard One, signed on as general counsel in October 1999, and “has been thrilled ever since.” Personal: Zimmermann, a native of New Haven, Conn., is unmarried. His TV background helped him land a bit part in the upcoming movie, The Weatherman, in which he “auditions” Nicolas Cage. His interests include politics and the media. Last book and movie: Big Russ & Me, by Tim Russert, and In America.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.