UnitedLex’s deal to acquire Paul Hastings’ data analytics team, which closed Tuesday, took nine months to get from the first meeting between the parties to the finish line. But the seeds of the transaction go back much further.

According to Paul Hastings co-managing partner Greg Nitzkowski, from the day the firm decided to invest in data science and artificial intelligence, it foresaw a point in the future when it would make sense to unload the unit.

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