Growing up in Canada, Chris McKee wanted to be a hockey player. Yet, around the time he realized that a career in the NHL was unlikely, Chris also discovered he had a passion for history, current affairs and English—the perfect training to become a journalist and later an industry analyst.
Chris now leads a stellar team of analysts from ShiftCentral, the premier market and competitive intelligence company based in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada that is now part of LAC Group.
Let’s just say that the Toronto Maple Leafs’ loss is LAC’s gain!
An exceptional team of analysts
From its founding in the year 2000, ShiftCentral specialized in delivering customized, analyst-driven insights and briefings for clients across industries, including professional services, healthcare, financial services, technology and public sectors in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. Some 30,000 lawyers, managers and executives working in law firms, banks and other companies rely on his team for actionable market intelligence insights.
“The group of people I work with is one of the most intelligent, well-rounded and analytical groups of people I have ever met. It encompasses former journalists, lawyers, paralegals, PhDs, business majors, English majors and academic researchers.”
Chris himself is a veteran analyst, with a distinguished history of covering the market and competitive intelligence industry for ten years. Among his areas of expertise are information, technology and management trends in the legal industry. Yet, no matter what industry they cover, the Moncton analysts bring crucial value:
“The wealth of experience and background among ShiftCentral’s people is vastly impressive and, dare I say, unique. They not only know how to look at information from a neutral standpoint and play it back to clients through that lens, but their natural curiosity means they are always asking questions: ‘What next? So what? What does this mean for a client? Why is this important?’”
Combined strengths of ShiftCentral and LAC Group
I’m excited about the additional depth and breadth we’ve just added to our virtual research and intelligence service offerings for law firms and other growing sectors like financial services and healthcare.
As for the view from Moncton, Chris says:
“Everyone is excited to merge with LAC Group and the opportunities that it will provide for our sustained growth. Our firms have been friends for several years now, often discussing ways we can partner on different business opportunities and producing work product for each other.”
While Chris doesn’t think the merger caught anyone completely off-guard, he thinks it was a pleasant surprise. Chris sees the merger as an opportunity for his team to bring sophisticated competitive and market intelligence research capabilities to the table that will benefit LAC’s roster of clients.
“I truly believe we have the best people in the industry. We will work closely together over the coming months to merge our best practices to unite cultures and strengths. The LAC leadership team is terrific and our two firms share very similar cultures. We are all very excited to see where this new partnership takes us!”
Legal Innovation Center—what it is, how it developed, who it serves
One offering that Chris is responsible for is Legal Innovation Central, which was created as a low-cost, syndicated briefing and curation platform to inform law firms and in-house legal counsel about recent developments and players in legal innovation, such as the emergence of alternative legal service providers (ALSPs).
A key part of Legal Innovation Central is a weekly podcast, which packs a wealth of information into a succinct five-minute format. Chris hosts this podcast, bringing listeners a round up of the latest developments in the legal industry.
“Given my broadcasting background, the idea hatched to create a podcast using the ‘best of’ content from the week. The format is much like a radio newscast. Adam, our analyst who writes the Legal Innovation Center briefing, selects the top stories every week.”
Chris writes the podcast script in a broadcast-friendly format. His team records and edits the production on-site at the Moncton office, rotating two different analysts—Kelly MacDonald and Rachelle Albert—for variety.
Listener feedback has been very positive, with many commenting they hope the podcasts will become longer and undertake more of an interview format. And LAC’s plan is indeed to create longer and more diverse podcasts, including interviews with legal innovators and thought leaders.
A new option for legal and business market intelligence
I spent a week in Moncton earlier this summer, meeting with Chris, Merrell Moorhead, Paul Kavanaugh and other leaders in our new Canadian office. The excitement in the air over our synergies and the opportunities they will unlock was palpable to say the least! I left feeling very excited about the caliber and integrity of the people who are now part of my research and intelligence organization.
Staying well-informed and apprised of market and competitive developments is essential to the success of our clients. High quality, meaningful intelligence to support that goal is what our clients and prospects expect from us, and now we’re even better equipped to deliver exactly what they need.