Blog | November 30, 2021
Cimplifi Conversations | Featuring Matt Durney
We know the importance of building a company and culture that empowers people to thrive. We offer an environment where you can make an impact and grow and be recognized for the value you deliver.
Welcome to our series, Cimplifi Conversations, where we recognize a team member honoring our company values – courageous, reliable, inventive, and adaptable. At Cimplifi, we believe in empowering our people and providing opportunities for professional and personal growth.
Recently, Amy Hinzmann, president of Cimplifi, sat down to chat with Matt Durney, senior project manager, eDiscovery & contract analytics. Since 2015, Matt has found success at Cimplifi as an eDiscovery review project manager specializing in projects for a Big Four accounting client, managing litigation projects, working with Am Law 100 firms, corporate counsel, and an array of legal service providers. In 2021, Matt transitioned to the CALMTM practice, contract analytics and lifecycle management team, where he is learning new skills and thriving in this challenging role. We hope you enjoy learning more about Matt and seeing what makes Cimplifi special to him.
A: Hi Matt! So nice to speak with you. I’m interested in knowing more about your background and how you ended up working at Cimplifi.
M: I grew up in NJ, a few miles west of NYC, and attended college and law school in Massachusetts. I worked in custody finance for State Street Bank in Boston and that financial services background has been leveraged throughout my eDiscovery career. Prior to and during law school, I had never heard of eDiscovery, so my career path and trajectory were largely unplanned. Returning from Boston to NYC in 2011, I picked up eDiscovery work – working as a project manager on a document review project. At this firm, I worked on litigation for a well-known technology conglomerate and had the opportunity to work on-site at their headquarters with the case teams. I spent a year at the client’s office before returning to NYC, where I linked up with Cimplifi as a contract attorney working on reviews and had a quick transition from team lead to project manager. I’m grateful for the opportunities that Cimplifi has given me and being part of a small team (that’s grown substantially since 2015) has been great! The ability to add value to my position, and to be in direct communication with executive management, are both great benefits of the organic growth Cimplifi has achieved.
A: What a great story. I am always grateful when our efforts come to fruition in terms of empowering Cimplifi employees to grow in their professional lives. In the interest of getting to know you personally as well as professionally- how would you describe yourself in one sentence?
M: Fly-fishing cyclist with eDiscovery and contract analytics specialization. Only kidding… Hardworking team player focused on a unified approach to common goals in both eDiscovery and contract analytics disciplines.
A: Ha! I was going to say, you’ve obviously thought about that a lot. I love hearing the “unified” part as well. What was the defining factor that made you want to work at Cimplifi?
M: The ability to be a key contributor in the organization was the initial draw and was quickly followed by the opportunity to build some great relationships with my new colleagues. I also see Cimplifi as one of the best-in-the-industry and am glad to be a part of our team. The proof is in our track record of success, and our current organic growth trajectory.
A: I agree! We have something special here! You’ve spoken about your appreciation for the opportunities Cimplifi has given you. Can you describe that a little more?
M: Cimplifi has always afforded me the ability to pursue additional training, expand my knowledge and experience areas, and has also given me the flexibility to add my own input, style, and approach within the structure of our business. I’m grateful for the growth personally and professionally. Our processes are constantly being refined and improved, and our clients benefit from a culture of innovation and improvement.
A: Absolutely. That innovation and tenacity toward solving the complex are what make us the best in the industry. Do you think it takes a certain kind of personality to excel in your type of position, and if so, what would that be?
M: Leadership, integrity, gratitude, and old-fashioned hard work have been essential. Treating everyone with respect in our business is step one, and the foundation for successful outcomes. I have built great relationships with our contractors, our clients and their outside counsel, and my colleagues. Cimplifi has always understood the importance of that two-way street, where all stakeholders are highly valued individuals.
A: I wholeheartedly believe that too. When I spoke recently with Alison and Megan (as part of this series) both spoke about respect and work ethic too. It’s no surprise that these are common values in our employees. What motivates you to go above and beyond?
M: The challenge is oftentimes the reward. To do things better, or faster, seeking improvement, that’s what I find rewarding. Whether it involves improving my cycling times or distances, fly-fishing techniques, or eDiscovery and contract analytics projects.
A: One day we need to sit down again, and you can tell me more about you as a fly-fishing cyclist! But for now, tell me about your proudest professional accomplishment.
M: For approximately seven years, I worked closely with our team, supporting a particular client, developing and maintaining an exceptional track record of eDiscovery success on their projects. The team effort extends from Cimplifi to include their outside general counsel team, their advisory team, and an array of top-tier outside counsel. The unified approach, the pursuit of the common goal, and the one-team-mentality are the hallmarks of that success.
A: The common goal and working as a team are essential in this business. None of us can be successful alone and I’m so glad to hear you are experiencing that at Cimplifi. You recently transitioned from the eDiscovery team to the contract analytics and lifecycle management team. Given that, what do you foresee being the next major milestone(s) in your career?
M: Our expansion into the contract analytics and lifecycle management (CALM) practice area has been the most exciting development. There is a natural adjacency with eDiscovery, where skillsets and processes intertwine and there’s a great convergence happening with these business lines. Each can benefit from the other, and we’re seeing that every day in practice. Our CALM expansion has accelerated, under the leadership of Charles Post, bolstered by a team of talented eDiscovery project managers, and a diverse group of industry experts. The growth we’re witnessing is impressive and a testament to the vision of our leadership team, that foresaw this convergence ahead of the market and to the benefit of our clients, both current and future.
A: We’ve gone through a lot of changes recently at Cimplifi. Tell me about that and how you adjusted?
M: This will surely be a common answer in recent times, but the Covid-19 pandemic changed the world and very much changed the eDiscovery and legal services business. Cimplifi demonstrated an amazing ability to be agile, adaptive, and find solutions to challenges. Our workforce went fully remote, nationally, and now with international capabilities for contract analytics. There was significant work to make the transition, but that hard work and innovative mentality enabled a largely seamless shift. We’re better than ever, despite the external challenges that the world has faced. On a personal note, I was one of the first to pursue the remote-work shift and was fully supported by Cimplifi. That early success helped to green-light the approach as a proof of concept.
A: You’ve seen a lot of growth as well in the past couple of years. What is one area you would like to grow in that you currently find challenging?
M: I’m pursuing the CALM space, full gas. I’ve personally learned a huge volume in a relatively short time in that practice area. We have the best and brightest on our leadership team and their mentorship has accelerated the learning curve for me. That said, there is much more work to be done!
A: It seems like you live full speed ahead most of the time, especially within this industry. Tell me about some long-term professional goals you have, and why?
M: I’ll say it again…Growing the CALM practice is goal number one. We have tremendous opportunities and have seen great success already. Cimplifi is well-positioned to leverage its talent, tools, and philosophies, to be the best in the industry. Goal number two is developing my own personal expertise in the CALM space, for both academic and professional purposes. Goal number three is to continue to keep work-life balance in mind and maintain all relationships with the same vigor and attention!
A: I have no doubt with your background and values you’ll be able to achieve all of that. So, let’s wrap up with a little future forecasting…what do you think the future holds for Cimplifi?
M: Cimplifi is in a great place right now, and our talented team makes for a strong foundation. I believe in Cimplifi because I believe that we have the right team in the trenches. Add our suite of curated best-in-class technology and a history of innovation, what else do you need? Cimplifi is on the cutting edge of eDiscovery and contract analytics convergence and each year the growth witnessed is undeniable. #keepCALMandcontractonTM
We are always looking for knowledgeable and passionate people to join our team. Explore our job board to learn more. Attorneys, data experts, project managers, sales pros, and IT whizzes: this is your opportunity to thrive!
Until then, we look forward to introducing you to more of our talented team members that shine and bring dedication and creativity to their role at Cimplifi.