Tech Startup New Era ADR Aims to Disrupt Traditional Litigation and Dispute Resolution With New Technology Platform
Investors, execs back first technology company building digital platform for multi-billion dollar litigation and dispute resolution industry
CHICAGO – April 20, 2021 – New Era ADR, a new Chicago-based technology company, today introduced the first fully virtual mediation and arbitration platform that resolves business disputes in under 100 days and saves businesses of all sizes up to 90% in time and expenses. New Era brings long-needed efficiencies to a litigation market that currently drains over $225B from organizations ranging from small businesses to the Fortune 50.
Founded by a team of experienced technology industry operators, three of whom are also experienced attorneys with decades of collective legal experience, the company raised a round of pre-seed investment of over $1.6mm and built an enviable advisory board, both enabling the firm to build and scale quickly.
Collin Williams, New Era ADR Founder and Chairman, said “The process of dispute resolution is broken; in the 21st century we should not be spending years to resolve disputes. We need technology that assists litigants and their attorneys in actually getting to a resolution, not milling about in the system for years. New Era ADR was created to help companies and individuals tell their story, get a decision, and get back to growth.”
“In over 15 years, I’ve not met a single business that actually wanted to fight tooth and nail in a dispute. Without fail, the one question asked every time a potential dispute arose was ‘how fast we can get this thing resolved,’” added Rich Lee, New Era’s CEO and Co-Founder. “We’re tackling a massive, wide-scale issue that impacts countless businesses stuck in the over 19 million civil disputes filed each year in the United States. No forum has ever been built with the sole mission of getting disputes to an efficient and equitable resolution until now.”
New Era ADR’s SaaS platform will significantly cut the average dispute resolution times from hundreds of days for small claims or multiple years for multi-million dollar litigation to less than 100 days. All of this is done through a significantly streamlined set of dispute resolution procedures and a wizardized platform that leads parties to a resolution while still allowing them and their lawyers to advocate for their claims. The company’s flat-fee pricing model is built to reduce the painful variability of dispute-related fees and give businesses the cost and time-certainty that they have long craved.
“I’ve dealt with litigation as an attorney in both private practice and in-house. It is indisputable that the current litigation framework necessitates long, arduous legal fights that don’t serve client interests,” said Lisa Young, an investor and advisory board member in New Era and General Counsel of LendingTree, a publicly traded online lending marketplace. “New Era ADR’s virtual platform gives clients the long-desired forum that enables much faster and more efficient dispute resolution, allowing attorneys to deliver a vastly improved client experience.”
The platform’s initial product offerings include virtual mediation, virtual arbitration, and a hybrid product that combines mediation with a binding resolution and provides the most efficiency. In addition to facilitating efficient resolutions of disputes, the platform also unifies and digitizes the currently disjointed process of the dispute itself, involving everything from the management of multiple cases, messages between all parties, document management, video-conferencing, multi-party calendaring, payments, and reports, all from one simple and easy to use interface.
Disputes on New Era ADR will be mediated or arbitrated by some of the most experienced neutrals in the legal industry, including arbitrators and mediators from the Judicial Arbiter Group, a standing bench of 30 former judges, and the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, which includes the top mediators and arbitrators in the United States.
The company’s co-founders also include Shane Mulrooney, former General Counsel, Home Chef; and Michelle Tyler, former Director of Compliance and Legal Operations at Civis Analytics. New Era ADR’s leadership is backed by an impressive board of advisors which includes serial entrepreneurs David Kalt, Founder and CEO of both OptionsXpress (SCHW:NYSE) and Reverb (ETSY:NASDAQ); Pete Kadens, Founder and Chairman of Azenity Labs, Chairman of the Kadens Family Foundation, and Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute; Kevin Price, Co-Founder and CFO of Trunk Club (JWN:NYSE); Anthony Casey, Deputy Dean of the University of Chicago Law School; and more. Its early investors include Motivate Venture Capital, Alumni Venture Group, Kadens, Kalt and Price.
Kalt said, “The best businesses are often the ones that re-invent an entrenched and unworkable process and make it profoundly better. New Era is the first of its kind; it has innovated a technology platform that will categorically make litigation and dispute resolution more efficient and less expensive for everyone.”
About New Era ADR
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, New Era ADR is the first fully virtual mediation and arbitration platform that resolves business disputes in under 100 days and saves businesses up to 90% in time and expenses. New Era ADR’s dispute resolution is more efficient, accessible, and cost-effective than any other dispute resolution forum that exists today. Its platform is flat fee with significantly streamlined dispute procedures and an intuitive user experience, all built with the sole mission of helping parties reach a resolution quickly and amicably. For more information, visit www.neweraadr.com.
Rich is the CEO and Co-Founder of New Era ADR. Prior to starting New Era, Rich was the General Counsel at Civis Analytics, a fast-growing, venture-backed data science technology company born out of President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. He served on the executive team, led legal, cybersecurity, and compliance, and helped lead and evolve the company through rapid growth (600%+ in his tenure) and over $50M in funding.
Prior to Civis, Rich was SVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Livevol, a financial technology company that he helped to build, grow, and sell to CBOE Holdings (BATS: CBOE). Rich also serves as an advisor, board member, and investor in technology startups and venture funds and in a leadership role in the Economic Club of Chicago.
Passionate about solving the access to justice gap in the United States, Rich also serves on the national Leader’s Council of the Legal Services Corporation (a U.S. Senate-funded 501c3) and on the board of Illinois Legal Aid Online. He holds a J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and a B.S. in Bioengineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.