Client Case Study: Prelert

Outside GC helps Prelert negotiate and close complex deals in fast-paced technology market


Outside GC serves as a key legal and business advisor to Prelert's senior management team, in lieu of an in-house lawyer, by providing both practical legal advice and the business acumen needed to close deals quickly in order to drive forward the company's revenue objectives.


Prelert is a venture-backed, early-stage technology company providing machine learning anomaly detection for IT security and operations teams. By using automation and machine intelligence to eliminate manual effort and human error, the company's software finds security breaches and service disruptions that legacy tools miss. The software works in real time, allowing organizations to mine huge volumes of IT data and to identify security threats and performance issues before they impact business.


Like most early-stage tech companies, Prelert's business model is based on accelerating revenue through sales. This approach demands having a legal advisor with strong business skills, technology licensing experience, and most essentially, the ability to turn around and close customer contracts on an expedited basis.

Similar to most of Outside GC's venture-backed clients, Prelert had an existing relationship with a traditional law firm, but the company understood that using them for a high volume of contract work would not be cost-effective or efficient. In 2011, Prelert CEO Mark Jaffe reached out to Jon Levitt, co-founder and managing partner of Outside GC, to discuss a solution. Based on the company's need for a practical, responsive and experienced technology and business lawyer to serve as their part-time in-house legal counsel, Prelert hired Outside GC; and today, the company's CFO, John O'Donnell, works with Outside GC attorney Dan Carroll on all of its customer, partnership and OEM agreements.


Outside GC is adept at working with growth-stage companies with no in-house lawyer, due to the practical business experience of its lawyers, which enables them to complete commercial transactions quickly and skillfully. Dan Carroll has over 20 years of experience as a senior legal and business executive, along with a background as an electrical and computer engineer prior to becoming a lawyer. This combined expertise allows Dan to focus on the core business issues of a deal, promoting fluid negotiations and strong customer relationships in support of Prelert's bottom line. Dan's business acumen also helps him navigate the inherently competing objectives of different stakeholders within the company, getting deals done quickly while protecting Prelert from unnecessary risk.

In addition to transactional support, Outside GC helps Prelert manage a range of legal issues arising in the ordinary course of business. Acting as de facto in-house counsel, Dan is able to leverage Outside GC's expertise in areas such as employment and intellectual property matters by bringing in his colleagues from Outside GC and its sister firm, Patent GC, as required to provide this specialized guidance to Prelert.


Prelert needed a part-time in-house lawyer who could manage the fast-paced demands of its growing company, leading the negotiation of new customer contracts while balancing the priorities of different constituencies within the company. Outside GC member Dan Carroll nimbly fills this role by providing technology licensing expertise, as well as strategic advice, in order to quickly turn around end-of-quarter deals. Outside GC also helps Prelert by handling a variety of other legal matters, including employment and intellectual property issues. Having access to Dan and, when needed, his 50+ colleagues with various specialties, all at affordable rates, makes Outside GC the perfect fit for this early-stage company.

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