P3 Conference Committee

Conference Co-Chairs

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Jared Applegate
Chief Legal Operations Officer
Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Jared Applegate is the Chief Legal Operations Officer for Barnes & Thornburg and is responsible for managing the law firm’s portfolio of alternative fees, creating innovative and practical pricing solutions and improving firm economics. His role includes guiding, advising and educating attorneys and clients on the pricing of the firm’s legal services and developing and supporting training programs on legal project management and matter management, templates to assess profitability, and other related tools.

Mr. Applegate serves as co-creator of the firms BT ValueWorks program, a suite of pricing, process and technology solutions that bring greater value, efficiency and predictability to the delivery of legal services. He continually provides market insight, competitive intelligence and innovative thinking to attorneys and clients on pricing strategies and related matter management solutions.

Prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg, Jared held various officer positions in the financial services sector.


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Sheri Palomaki 
Director of Operations - Business Immigration Group
Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Sheri Palomaki is the Director of Operations for Seyfarth’s 160+ person Business Immigration Group.  Applying business design in a real world scenario, Ms. Palomaki is responsible for all aspects of the business infrastructure for the Group, and ensuring our legal team has the people, processes and technology in place to exceed our clients’ expectations.  On a day-to-day basis, this includes oversight and management of our team’s client service delivery, people management, project management, process improvement and efficiency initiatives, group communication, knowledge management and financial performance. 

Ms. Palomaki draws on her 20 years of experience in the legal industry, including 10 years in law firm management, 5 years conducting client feedback interviews, and 4 years training teams of inside and outside counsel in legal service design, to assemble a comprehensive approach to client service solutions and efficiency models.

Program Committee

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Brad Antici
Director of Strategic Pricing & Analysis
Butler Snow LLP

Brad Antici serves as the Director of Strategic Pricing and Analysis at Butler Snow LLP, ­­­­­­a law firm with 350+ attorneys and offices in the US, UK, Hong Kong, and Singapore. In his role, Brad helps establish policies and procedures related to the firm’s overall pricing strategy; directs the firm’s financial analysis function; educates and trains attorneys on pricing, profitability, and other financial theories and practices; assists attorneys with the negotiation, development, and execution of complex fee arrangements; approves pricing proposals for significant fee arrangements; reviews, monitors, evaluates and reports on all significant fee arrangements; directs the annual review of firm billing rates; works directly with CFO and CTO on financial and technology initiatives related to pricing and profitability; and assists the COO with assessment of strategic opportunities as they present themselves to the firm. Prior to joining Butler Snow, Brad was the Vice President of Investments at Parkway Properties, Inc. (NYSE: PKY), a publicly traded commercial office REIT. Brad has spent the majority of his career in roles that are centered on financial analysis.


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Toby Brown
Chief Practice Management Officer
Perkins Coie LLP

Toby Brown is the Chief Practice Management Officer for Perkins Coie. In this role, Toby works with firm partners and clients in developing pricing arrangements and service delivery models that drive successful relationships.  This includes practice management, pricing, legal project management, lateral partner recruiting, practice innovation and alternative staffing approaches. Prior to this, Toby served as the Chief Practice Officer for Akin Gump and served in pricing roles for both Vinson & Elkins and Fulbright & Jaworski. Before joining Fulbright, Toby served as a Director for the Utah State Bar.

Toby presents nationally on legal pricing, practice management, knowledge management, marketing, technology and law firm management for associations, law firms, legal departments, law schools and paralegal programs. He is the founder of the P3 Conference and chairs the Client Value group that owns the conference. He has published numerous articles, along with the book, Law Firm Pricing: Strategies, Roles, and Responsibilities. Toby has served on a number of legal services boards, bar association task forces and legal market organizations. He was named to The National Law Journal ‘s 2013 list of Legal Business Trailblazers & Pioneers and received the Peer Excellence Award, the President’s Award and the Anne Charles Award from the National Association of Bar Executives (NABE). Toby received his BS and MS in Economics from the University of Utah.


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Hushmand Jonathan Cott
Chief Strategic Pricing Officer
Covington & Burling

Hush joined Covington in January 2015. He leads an innovative team focused on achieving clients’ legal business objectives by developing fee arrangements that increase cost predictability and incentivize efficiency. Before leading the pricing and legal project management functions at two other Am Law 100 firms, Hush worked for Accenture as a business consultant and later in public service as a Chief Fiscal Accounting Officer.


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Bart Gabler
Director of Pricing and Legal Project Management
K&L Gates LLP

Bart Gabler is the Director of Pricing and Legal Project Management for K&L Gates. In this role, Bart collaborates with K&L Gates lawyers as well as senior firm management on developing, negotiating and implementing strategic pricing arrangements and client budgets. He also works directly with client service teams on pricing related issues, including helping to identify client business objectives, cost pressures, and pricing preferences.


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Keith Maziarek
Director of Pricing and Legal Project Management
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

Keith Maziarek is the Director of Pricing and Legal Project Management for Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP. In this role, Keith is responsible for leading the development, implementation and management of the firm’s formal strategic pricing, profitability, legal project management, process improvement and client value capabilities. This role oversees both the internal infrastructure of the pricing and LPM functions, and also incorporates client-facing collaboration responsibilities, with which he has a great deal of experience.

Keith joined Katten after serving as Senior Director of Client Value for Perkins Coie.  In this role, Keith worked closely with the legal operations executives at the firm’s top clients to establish strategic pricing arrangements, implement customized communication/collaboration tools and efficiency solutions, improve performance monitoring and reporting, optimize service delivery models and establish metrics that will enable client legal departments to qualify and quantify the value they are capturing through their work with the firm.  

Prior to joining Perkins Coie, Keith served as Head of Strategic Pricing for DLA Piper LLP.  There he developed, implemented and managed the firm’s strategic pricing, profitability and legal project management functions.  Complementing this role, he previously worked in strategic business development and marketing, which afforded him the opportunity to develop a deep understanding of clients’ needs, and how law firms can best articulate their value proposition in helping clients to achieve their strategic and financial goals.

Keith has authored several published articles on the topic of alternative fee arrangements in connection with his work in this area, and also speaks regularly at industry conferences.  He is the immediate past co-chair of the LMA’s annual P3 Conference, the industry’s largest annual event addressing transformation in the legal industry related to pricing, project management and process improvement.

Keith holds an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, with majors in Management and Strategy, Managerial Economics, and Analytical Consulting, and a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Illinois-Chicago.


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Melissa Prince
Chief Client Value Officer
Ballard Spahr LLP

Melissa Prince is Ballard Spahr's Chief Client Value Officer and a key member of the firm's strategic account management team. She oversees a firm-wide team of professionals focused on understanding the business needs of firm clients and creating practical and innovative pricing and legal project management strategies designed to meet those needs. Her objective is to provide firm clients with exceptional service centered on client value, cost-effectiveness, predictability and efficiency. She reports to the firm’s Managing Partner, Finance and Operations, and its Executive Director.

Melissa endeavors to understand how each client's business operates and to identify its specific goals, business objectives, and areas of potential exposure. She then uses a proprietary set of analytical tools and strategies aimed at more effectively budgeting, pricing, staffing, and managing client matters in a way that aligns with their businesses. When matters are concluded, she reviews client feedback and uses data analytics to devise strategies to improve matter performance and further strengthen client relationships.

Before joining Ballard Spahr, Melissa held pricing and legal project management roles at two Am Law 100 firms, where she served both large and small clients. She is an attorney who, before leaving private practice, handled complex commercial litigation matters in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.


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R. Amani Smathers
Sr. Legal Solutions Architect
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, De Novo

Since joining the legal profession, Amani’s focus has been on using technology and process improvement to streamline and scale legal service delivery.  As a Senior Legal Solutions Architect on Davis Wright Tremaine’s De Novo team (previously at Seyfarth Shaw/SeyfarthLean Consulting), Amani works directly with clients and law firm teams to design solutions to legal business challenges. Amani’s favorite projects are those where she sees her team’s work make a real, positive impact on a client’s workloads and outcomes.

Amani’s appreciation for law, technology, data, design, and process improvement makes her an adept problem solver who collaborates well with multidisciplinary teams. She understands that not every challenge faced by legal teams is a “legal” problem, and enjoys helping clients tackle their legal operations challenges. A believer in continuous improvement, Amani loves working with colleagues and clients who push beyond the status quo.


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Cassie Vertovec
Director of Practice Management
Venable

Cassie Vertovec has dedicated over fifteen years to working on the management side of two AmLaw 100 law firms, primarily in legal practice management roles. She has worked to deliver strategic business advice to improve internal operations and drive external client value.

As the firm-wide Director of Venable’s Practice Management Department, Cassie co-architected the development of the Department and is responsible for guiding the operations, administration, and strategy of the firm’s legal divisions. She advises members of firm management on business and industry trends, focusing on how to lead innovation and process improvement initiatives in the firm. Venable’s Practice Management team is one of the largest in the industry, and has been strategically grown to optimize firm practices to align with client value expectations.

In her role, Cassie has brought the concepts of legal project management, process improvement, and legal pricing to Venable. She has also led the effort to develop reporting and analytics packages that help the firm’s Division Chairs to manage the performance of their divisions.

Cassie has also devoted a significant amount of time to the growth and professional development of her team. She has developed an ongoing internal workshop series to provide relevant continuous education and helps her team stay on top of industry information. She believes that all teams should share core values and have a core mission and that is how she leads her Department.

Before joining Venable, Cassie was the National Department and Practice Group Manager for Seyfarth Shaw’s top-tier Labor & Employment Department. In this role, she was a recognized thought leader and subject matter expert on the substance and the business of labor and employment law. She was a member of the Department’s Leadership Team and served as the business advisor to the Chair of the Department. She focused on crafting and executing the strategic plan, which focused on innovative solutions, process improvement, and driving client value.

In her personal time, Cassie loves spending time with her family, especially her very rambunctious and lively 2-year daughter and her kind and athletic 15-year old step-son. She has a passion for travel, languages, and eating her way around the world. She can also be found talking about legal practice management to anyone who will listen. Cassie enjoys running and playing competitive indoor and outdoor volleyball.