Mark Britton, the 51-12 months-aged lawyer and entrepreneur who started the normally-controversial authorized market and lawyer-rating site Avvo in 2007 and served as its CEO ever given that, is leaving the company.
In January, Avvo was obtained by Internet Models, a world-wide-web behemoth that by now owned a portfolio of authorized websites this sort of as Nolo, Martindale-Hubbell, Ngage and Complete Attorneys, as nicely as websites in a number of other verticals. When the acquisition was announced, Britton informed me that he would continue to be with the company.
See also this update: Avvo Founder’s E mail to Team on His Leaving.
But in an e-mail very last 7 days advertising and marketing Avvo’s impending Lawyernomics conference, Britton uncovered he is leaving.
Lawyernomics is 53 times away, and I’m composing to encourage you to sign up for me at my very last Lawyernomics. Certainly, you examine that appropriately: Soon after twelve remarkable yrs at Avvo (and a person substantial acquisition by World-wide-web Models), I am turning the reins in excess of to new leadership. …
This is my very last Lawyernomics, but only the commencing of the following chapter for myself, and for Avvo. I look ahead to remaining carefully involved in the authorized business for lots of yrs to appear.
I arrived at out to Britton for comment in excess of the weekend, but he questioned to defer talking right until following 7 days, since he is traveling.
Britton had been senior vice president and general counsel of travel site Expedia just after it was spun off from Microsoft in 1999. In 2003, IAC Journey obtained Expedia and, nine months afterwards, Britton left, acquiring reportedly profited easily from the acquisition.
In 2005, he went to Italy to train a semester of finance for Gonzaga University. Although there, as he similar for the duration of a 2007 job interview on our Law firm2Law firm podcast, he began imagining about the trouble shoppers expert in discovering a lawyer. “When it arrives to picking out a lawyer, your ordinary purchaser has no strategy exactly where to start out,” he reported in that job interview. Those views led him to located Avvo, named for the Italian word for lawyer, avvocato.
Avvo formally introduced on June 5, 2007, with the then-audacious approach to level each individual lawyer in the region on a scale of 1 to 10. As I documented at the time, the start was controversial. Within just times, two Seattle attorneys filed a class action lawsuit making an attempt to shut it down. (We interviewed the lawyer who filed that lawsuit in yet another Law firm2Law firm episode.)
When Britton appeared on our podcast just a month just after Avvo’s start, I questioned him irrespective of whether he had anticipated the backlash from the authorized group. He did, he reported, but his theory target was on shoppers and acquiring them the info and steerage they needed. “Even while we understood some legal professionals would just take difficulty with what we were being undertaking, our target in this solution — was in serving the purchaser and on acquiring them the enable that they require.”
Unnecessary to say, the class action unsuccessful and Avvo thrived, even though not with out continuing controversy and a couple missteps — most notably its aborted 2010-2012 energy to broaden into health care provider rankings.
As for Britton, the ABA Journal named him in 2009 to its inaugural team of “legal rebels” and Fastcase named him in 2012 to its second-once-a-year Fastcase 50.
Will he, as he reported in his e-mail very last 7 days, remain involved in the authorized business? We’ll be viewing for his following act.