We transform the way Fortune 500 companies and billion-dollar legal departments work.
Yes, Onit’s approach to streamlining business processes—better workflows, not better databases—is unique, and it does set us apart. But what’s often forgotten are the minds behind that approach. The team at Onit is made up of some of the best minds in the legal technology industry, including the people who actually created it more than 20 years ago.
And that’s why when the question of “Why Onit?” is asked, our answer is that we love our product and our team.
When Eric M. Elfman and Eric Smith founded Onit in 2011, the company focused on legal project management software. Since then, the team at Onit has grown, adding more and more of the smartest minds in the industry, and the software has evolved—bridging the gap between systems of record and systems of engagement.
Today, our team continues to grow, and it continues to innovate. Now, our solutions are transforming the way Fortune 500 companies and billion dollar legal departments drive operational and process improvements. We help customers find gains in efficiency, reduce costs, and complete transactions quicker.
Eric is passionate about building great software companies. He’s a serial entrepreneur founding four companies in the last 25 years, two of which have been software startups.
At Onit, Eric oversees the company’s overall strategic direction, planning and execution. Previously, he served as an entrepreneur in residence for the Houston Technology Center (HTC), a business accelerator for Houston-based emerging technology companies.
Eric’s first software start-up, Datacert, Inc., is an industry-leading provider of corporate, legal and IP spend and matter management solutions for Fortune 500 companies. During his more than ten years as the CEO, president and chairman of the board, he grew the company to $28 million in revenue and secured more than 100 Fortune 500 customers. Under his leadership, Datacert became one of the fastest-growing technology companies in North America with three consecutive listings on the Inc. 500.
Prior to Datacert, Eric co-founded PeerPoint Technologies, where his work helped identify new technology for e-invoice data management. Eric is a pioneer in the creation of the Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard (LEDES) and is an authority on the Uniform Task Based Management System (UTBMS).
In 2002, he was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for emerging technology. Eric has a bachelor’s degree in English literature and earned an MBA from Rice University. He is a member of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship and serves as a board member for the Make-a-Wish Foundation of the Texas Gulf Coast and Louisiana, a non-profit organization that grants wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses.
Eric Smith brings extensive experience in software development and technical leadership to Onit. With nearly twenty years of experience in the legal technology industry, he has broad domain experience in the legal electronic invoicing and spend management arena. As Onit’s co-founder, COO and Chief Security Officer, he is responsible for the technical and strategic direction of the company’s products.
Prior to Onit, he co-founded Datacert, a leading provider of corporate, legal and IP spend and matter management solutions, serving as the CTO for nearly 10 years. During his tenure at Datacert, he was a key member of the executive team that assisted with growing the company to more than 200 employees and was responsible for managing the overall technical architecture of the company’s products and services.
He was also instrumental in providing cross-functional direction and leadership for research and development initiatives, product development and managing a complex and globally distributed workforce.
Eric holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University.
York Richards brings more than 15 years of finance and operations experience to Onit, including CFO positions at several privately held companies in the Internet and technology industries. He has built large, multi-national finance organizations, completed many strategic acquisitions and divestitures, raised capital in debt and equity markets and managed multiple shareholder exits.
A seasoned executive with extensive experience managing finance organizations for high-growth companies, he most recently served as CFO at Riversand Technologies, Inc. where he was responsible for overall financial operations and reporting. As CFO at Onit, York is responsible for ensuring the finance organization can help the company drive growth while capitalizing on the accelerating demand for software solutions that drive efficiency and process automation.
York holds a master’s degree in science and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Texas A&M University.
Chris Fields joined Onit with more than 25 years of technology research and software development experience, including several key management and executive positions at various high-growth companies, including Datacert, Digicontract and Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions.
Chris most recently served as CTO for Innovative Interfaces where he led the engineering and product management team and was responsible for converting client/server-based technologies into a multi-tenant system leveraging cloud-based microservices for global library systems. He is well-versed in leading technology strategy and all aspects of product engineering and was one of the key inventors named on a patent of a high-profile technology platform.
As CTO at Onit, Chris will be responsible for overseeing the technical vision of the company and leading product research, engineering and development efforts. He will also be responsible for evaluating and implementing new systems and infrastructure and ensuring technologies are used efficiently and securely. Additionally, he will build quality assurance and data protection processes and communicate the company’s technology strategy to our consulting and business partners and customers.
Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Baylor University.
Matt DenOuden has nearly 30 years of legal industry experience, including a dozen years practicing law as a partner in a boutique defense firm in Hartford, Connecticut. While there, he started and grew an early e-discovery technology practice. In 2002, he left private practice to join a young e-billing company, TyMetrix. As vice president of sales for TyMetrix for 14 years, he helped take the company from four clients and $2 million in revenue to 250 clients and $60 million in revenue.
Matt has spent his career working with clients and industry leaders and has a passion for developing solutions to manage the business of law. Most recently, he was a managing director at Huron Consulting (now Consilio) where he worked closely with legal operations leaders around the country as they devised operational strategies and technology roadmaps for their law departments.
Matt has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Hartford and a J.D. from The University of Connecticut School of Law.
In its 23rd annual CEO survey, PwC found 83% of U.S. CEOs prioritize operational efficiencies to drive growth over the next 12 months. The pandemic has forced many businesses to reassess and pivot quickly – meaning that corporate legal departments have had to do the same to stay aligned with strategic initiatives. At the same […]
The next time you’re tapping your iPhone or reviewing a contract on your MacBook Pro, you might want to thank hackathons. In 1975, the Homebrew Computer Club met for the first time in Menlo Park, California. The group of technology enthusiasts – a group credited as the originator of hackathons – united to talk shop […]
General counsel want diversity from their law firms – and they’ll prioritize business based on that. More than 170 general counsel and corporate legal executives from companies such as Google Fiber, Lyft and Heineken USA signed an open letter stating this in 2019. An excerpt reads: “We expect the outside law firms we retain to […]
Once more, Onit is excited to announce that it has been recognized for its rapid revenue growth – this time (or rather, these two times) by the Houston Business Journal. Onit grew its revenue by 271.51% from 2017-2019, earning a spot on the Houston Business Journal’s Fast 100 and Middle Market 50. This wouldn’t be […]
Are you interested in networking with some of the most intriguing legal operations leaders? Next week, you’ll have a chance to at the High Performance Counsel Global Summit. The virtual event, scheduled for October 6-8, serves as one of the leading forums for general counsel and chief legal officers in the modern legal industry. This […]
"We really focused on a system that provided more of the back-end and the analytics that we needed. … We sacrificed some of the UI, the ease-of-use, and some of our law firms liking the old system better to get to the data that we needed."
"In its essence, it’s really important for corporate law departments to be involved in business processes and continuously optimize those processes to improve the performance of the business as a whole. That’s what keeps law departments innovative, creative and providing continuous value to the company.”
"The team has automated workflows and reporting supported by Onit’s business process management platform and uses DocuSign to support its contracting needs with law firm panel members. By employing competitive, market-driven tools, the LOC was able to realize reductions in hourly panel rates ranging from 2 to 32 percent. In all, the creation of the LOC and its innovative work has saved AIG more than $200 million in legal costs in 2014 alone."