Following its acquisition by Apollo Global Management several years ago, McGraw Hill determined it needed external expertise to assist with third-party, non-revenue contracts.
The education publishing company ultimately turned to the alternative legal services provider now known as Factor, which helps clients with transactional legal work at scale.
“We needed a level of expertise in the legal field to be able to negotiate with third parties and educate business owners on the provisions that are needed for each of their third-party contracts,” said Bob Fair, McGraw Hill’s senior vice president of global finance operations.
At first, Factor assisted with the drafting and processing of only US-based non-revenue contracts, but it now helps handle global contracts of that type for McGraw Hill as well.
In the last two to three years, McGraw Hill has not engaged any other outside parties to assist with non-revenue contracts.
“Between the support of our internal legal staff and the heavy lifting of Factor, we haven't needed outside counsel,” Fair told Legal Dive.
McGraw Hill, which is currently owned by Platinum Equity, started working with the entity that is now Factor in 2014. At that time, the alternative legal services provider was part of Axiom Law and known as Axiom Managed Solutions.
After Axiom decided to divest lines of its business in recent years to focus on providing in-house talent to legal departments, Factor formally announced a relaunch with its new name in January 2020.
The Factor team serving McGraw Hill has more than 20 members and is based in Northern Ireland.
Fair said the team’s expertise regarding McGraw Hill’s approach to contracting has been particularly helpful.
“Their support with the business on the contracts requires them to have institutional knowledge, as well as develop strong relationships and trust with my team,” he said. “The leaders we have on that team have been with McGraw Hill for several years, and they have earned the trust of the executives within my company, my team and our business partners.”
The Factor team also helps handle permission granting and copyright registrations for McGraw Hill.
Additionally, the Factor team provides assistance with royalty contracts and is helping McGraw Hill implement a new contract management system.
Overall, Fair said the caliber of work from the Factor team has been impressive.
“We wouldn't have been with Factor this long if we didn't feel like the quality was terrific,” Fair said.
Factor refers to the services it provides clients such as McGraw Hill as “Integrated Law” because it combines the expertise of traditional law with the efficiency of so-called New Law. It also brings business understanding to its work with in-house legal teams.
This combination allows Factor to assist customers with complex legal work at scale, which Factor CEO Varun Mehta has said “represents such a significant body of work for our clients.”
“Our integrated approach allows clients to entrust us with this higher-value work, enabling them to focus on the vitally important, recurring advisory work only in-house teams can provide,” Mehta said in a prepared statement.
The Financial Times recently named Factor the “Leading Integrated Solution Provider” as part of its Accelerating Business special report.
In the recognition, FT highlighted Factor’s long-standing relationship with BT Group, one of the UK’s leading telecommunications and network providers.
The relationship began in 2013, and earlier this year Factor announced it had renewed and expanded the partnership.
Factor is now leading commercial contracting for procurement and sales across all four of BT's customer facing units: Consumer, Enterprise, Global, and its wholly owned subsidiary, Openreach.
“Clients need a partner to be truly enmeshed in their world, with a deep understanding of their markets, systems, strategies, and stakeholders,” Mehta said.