Blog Post

Q&A: Vished Kumar Explains How Developers Are Transforming Legal Operations


Welcome to FTI Technology, Vished. First off, will you share the highlights of your career to date?

Thank you. In my most recent role, I served as the founder and president of Kranium Consulting, where our primary focus was to help clients deploy and leverage enterprise legal management solutions. I’m a computer scientist and engineer, and have worked in software development for more than 25 years. More than half of that time was spent at a leading enterprise legal management software provider , where I served as the Chief Architect and also held positions of Director of Product Development and Senior Director of Product Management. My work has centered largely on developing workflows, integrations and data migrations between software systems. I’ve overseen the development and implementation of projects that span multiple corporate functions, including legal, accounts payable and human resources.

Coming from your own consulting firm, what intrigued you about joining FTI Technology?

I led my firm for more than eight years, during which I fostered partnerships with various technology providers, clients and consultants. I had worked with Wafik Guirgis previously and we recognized that there were a lot of synergies between my work and the suite of offerings that FTI Technology was growing for corporate legal clients.

As I met with the team here, it quickly became evident that the company's work culture prioritized collaboration and entrepreneurial spirit, which aligned perfectly with my own values and those of my team who were joining the firm with me. The opportunity to continue working in an entrepreneurial environment, with the reach and resources of a large global firm, opens boundless possibilities for what we can develop and deliver to our clients. This prospect is incredibly exciting to me.

I know our legal operations leaders were keen to continue collaborating with you and to build upon your shared expertise. Can you elaborate on how that will translate to the solutions you provide to FTI Technology’s clients?

Given my background in development, my primary emphasis will be on growing a team of developers who excel as subject matter experts in enterprise legal management and contract lifecycle management. We have plans to establish best practice guidelines and craft innovative solutions to address our clients' challenges effectively. With the existing momentum within the team, we are well-placed to provide clients with a strong combination of cost-effective development, high-quality deliverables and swift project launches.

Can you share any examples of especially interesting projects you’ve worked on? 

Every project presents its own unique set of challenges and opportunities for growth. As a technologist, I find immense satisfaction in tackling these challenges head-on, designing and developing tools that not only address specific client needs but also streamline processes and enhance overall efficiency.

A prime example of this approach is when my team was faced with the need to conduct rigorous testing of customizations. We developed an automated testing tool that saved us hundreds of hours across multiple projects, resulting in functional solutions that met the highest quality standards.

In another instance, we encountered a client system plagued by hundreds of duplicate contacts. Rather than manually address the issue, we developed a specialized tool that efficiently identified, merged and deleted duplicate entries, saving the client several months of valuable time and resources.

What issues do you think clients are grappling with the most right now?

Uncertainty in the economy continues to be a challenge. Organizations are unsure of whether to tighten their belts in preparation for a recession or to continue to invest in technology in anticipation of growth. Navigating hype vs. reality of the recent generative artificial intelligence buzz is another challenge. Many clients are trying to figure out if and how they can differentiate from competition through innovative uses of AI and machine learning. 

Do you have any predictions for 2024?

I anticipate that the use of AI in many aspects of the legal business will increase exponentially. Not to the extent of replacing humans or eliminating jobs, but as an additional tool in the arsenal to enhance productivity.

On the software development front, the adoption of low code/no code applications will continue to rise, lowering the barrier for businesses to develop applications and tools quickly and efficiently. I am particularly enthusiastic about the prospect of applying AI to the problem of automatic code generation. In the enterprise legal management space, there’s an opportunity on the horizon for generative AI to be trained on the requirements and auto-generate code customizations. Developers could take the generated code as a starting point and refine it into its final form. It’s a great example for how AI could be used in concert with human expertise to save time and cost, without sacrificing quality. 

Is there anything you’d like to share about your approach with your clients and teams?

I have a coaching style of leadership, so my teams have autonomy and guidance when needed. Since I am from a technical background, when the situation demands it, I enjoy rolling up my sleeves to solve problems for our clients and collectively accomplish a project’s goals. 

The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals.