Are you familiar with what paralegals do? Or what legal entity management is? Before I introduce you to Athennian, it is best to give a quick background on both as that is the key to understanding the difference this Alberta-based company is making.
Legal entity management is managing the corporate records of a company. This covers the set up and management of directors, officers, and ownership and can extend to legal, compliance, finance, and even tax and human resource data. And the people putting all this documentation together and making sure it gets filed on time are? That’s right, paralegals. Paralegals are the ones preparing, organizing, and submitting this documentation on behalf of your legal team.
The issue? There is more work than there are paralegals. What’s more, when it comes to preparing documentation for legal entity management, much of it is routine, and if paralegals have to be honest, rather boring and prone to human error.
Adrian Camara, CEO and Co-Founder of Athennian, is also a lawyer. Adrian looked at the systems law practices were using and saw multiple issues. First off, managing all this data related to corporate entities is time intensive but routine, and he wondered how it could be made more efficient. Secondly, alongside managing the paperwork, was there a way to track the tasks associated including signatures and submission requirements?
Athennian came into being to address these pain points by automating routine tasks and paperwork for paralegals. Its legal entity management platform allows law firms and organizations to bring in the standard legal templates that their office uses and automate the paperwork and then keep track of the associated tasks.
The difference it can make for a paralegal? Replacing a director for your board and corporation on average can take three to four hours due to the different documents required (not including signatures and submission). With Athennian’s automation, that task is now five minutes.
As Adrian and I talked, one of the issues that I could see coming into play was jurisdiction. When their team approached their design, they made sure that templates in use were based on the user allowing them to adjust as required for jurisdiction, language, and preference. This approach allowed them to be a global company with customers throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
His team is on a mission to give paralegals superpowers; they believe this profession is going to be the driver of change and digital transformation in legal processes.
So how did Adrian and his co-founders get started in Calgary? According to Adrian, Alberta found them. Alberta can be tough for entrepreneurs as it lacks the capital investment and talent pools available in more mature tech hubs. It is also a province that lacks density of early stage start-ups. Businesses in Alberta tend to be more conservative in terms of trying new software, so it’s often necessary to go outside of the province to attract your first customers.
That scarcity has an interesting impact that both Adrian and I have noticed. When you look at tech hubs (Toronto, San Francisco and others), there is a high volume of nice-to-have products that are being created, whereas the companies that are being built here in Alberta are building need-to-have solutions. The focus is on solutions for pain points, for B2B, and the technology is durable and resilient.
For Adrian and his team, being located in Alberta forced them to be very capital efficient. Should they ever have to run on cash flow rather than on investments, they can do it.
Want to learn more? Tune into my full interview with Adrian Camara:
And check out Athennian’s site: www.athennian.com/
Athennian is hiring developers, QA and more - so check out their careers page.