Eric M. Elfman, Onit’s CEO and Co-Founder, Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

We’re thrilled to announce that Onit’s CEO and co-founder, Eric M. Elfman, has won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the 2022 Legalweek Leaders in Tech Law Awards. The award recognizes career achievement in developing and adopting legal technologies and legal technology companies.

This award is especially significant, since Onit’s legal operations software subsidiary, SimpleLegal, is also being honored. Its SimpleReview, AI-powered invoice review technology, is a finalist under the category of Legal Ops.

A History of Entrepreneurialism

Eric is a serial entrepreneur passionate about building great software companies. With nearly 21 years of experience in the legal technology industry, he has deep domain experience in the legal electronic invoicing and spend management arenas and helped create industry standards including the Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard (LEDES) and the Uniform Task Based Management System (UTBMS).

As a teenager, he started his first business venture selling skateboard parts out of his car. After time spent in the Navy, he earned his college degree and an MBA at Rice University and returned to entrepreneurialism. He co-founded Datacert with Eric Smith (currently Onit’s COO and chief security officer), which grew into a leading provider of corporate, legal and IP spend and matter management solutions for Fortune 500 companies. Together, they steered the company to $28 million in revenue growth with more than 200 employees.

The idea for Datacert came from a simple revelation. As he explains:

“Twenty-five years ago, I consulted for a Fortune 10 law department that had no way to pinpoint how much money it spent on legal services. That conversation inspired me to co-found Datacert.”  

Now, the latest company he co-founded, Onit, has grown from a 2011 startup with two employees and $25,000 in revenue to a global organization with 600+ employees and 2,800 corporate legal customers worldwide. The company, co-founded by Eric Elfman, Eric Smith, John Gilman and Jill Black, has rapid revenue growth recognized by awards such as the Deloitte Technology Fast 500, the Inc. 5000 and the Growjo 10K. (You can hear the company’s co-founders discuss the company’s history and evolution here.)

The Lifetime Achievement Award joins others that recognize Eric’s accomplishments, including:

  • The 2002 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for emerging technology
  • The Rice Business Alumni Award in 2019, which recognizes alumni for outstanding achievements in their professional fields and exemplary leadership.
  • Being named by the Houston Business Journal as one of Houston’s Most Admired CEOs in 2021.

For many years, Eric has volunteered across a range of entrepreneurial and community initiatives. He has been a judge for the annual Rice Business Plan competition, spent hours assisting flood victims during and after Hurricane Harvey and volunteered with the Boy Scouts. He also serves on the board of 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.

The Awards Ceremony

The Legalweek Leaders in Tech Law Awards Ceremony will be held on March 10 at 6 pm ET in New York City. Those interested in attending can find more information here.

Connect with Onit at Legalweek

In addition to the awards ceremony, Legalweek attendees will have several opportunities to connect with Onit and its family of companies during the conference (March 8-11, New York City, Hilton Midtown).

Onit, SimpleLegalContractWorksBodhalaAXDRAFT and BusyLamp will exhibit on the third floor of the Hilton by the conference’s registration desks and provide demonstrations of their solutions. Visit here if you would like to reserve a demonstration time or join Onit for drinks or dinner.

You can also attend the Emerging Technology session sponsored by Onit, titled “Building Stronger Connections to the Enterprise.” Scheduled for Thursday, March 10, from 1:30 – 2:30 pm ET, panelists from Hearst, Corteva, and MassMutual will share their vision for why it’s imperative for legal to “connect” to the broader enterprise and how they are implementing processes and technology to make these connections. You do not need to register for this event if you have an all-access badge to the show.

See you at Legalweek!

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