From the Ukrainian 'Wild East' to a middle-aged legal disrupter: The innovation lawyers making a difference
Innovation in the law has been highlighted in a Financial Times article identifying 10 key innovations from law firms for the list prepared by both the FT and RSG Consulting.
The recent list included a Ukrainian lawyer in the “wild east” and a British lawyer disrupting the mature UK legal market, a young Spanish legal leader and others demonstrating the variety of initiatives taken by lawyers and law firms to provide both efficiently-delivered legal services and higher profits to the firms.
1. The Ukrainean Disrupter – Anna Babych
Anna Babych co-authored and advocated legislation that modernised the country’s 600,000 companies.
The joint-winner, along with Alastair Morrison *Below), Ms Babych was the first Ukrainian lawyer to qualify as a non-practising lawyer in England and Wales and the only female head of an M&A corporate law practice in Ukraine.
2. The Middle-Aged Disrupter – Alastair Morrison – “Slaughtering two sacred cows”
“Alastair Morrison was one of the first lawyers to take a stab at slaughtering two sacred cows of western law firms: the billable hour and an exclusive focus on the provision of legal services. The personable Scot helped to make Pinsent Masons into a multidisciplinary firm spanning legal tech and professional services. His revolution was behind the scenes but no less influential in an industry that is still struggling to adopt such changes more widely. Profiles compiled by RSG Consulting researchers and FT editors
3. Sharon Daly – Digital Transformer
The head of Mathesons’ London office, Sharon Daly is a disputes and litigation expert who introduced an ediscovery platform for a major discovery case and helped guide the firm’s move towards its paperless future.
She believes that with a combination of technology, legal business analysts, software developers and other professionals the firm will transform the way it delivers legal services.l
4. Paul Davies – Environmental Transformation
A key player in Latham & Watkins’ enviornmental law practice, Paul Davies worked with sustainability consultancy Anthesis to develop a digital artificial intelligence and risk analysis platform that helps investors model environmental, social and governance risks for investors undertaking due diligence assessments.
5. Nicholas Kirby – Property Tech Specialist
A managing associate at Mishcon de Reya, Nicholas Kirby combines fee-earning work with leading the firm’s technology strategy.
He also runs the property arm of MDR Lab, the firm’s legal tech start-up incubator, and has developed technology products to automate tasks involved in property transactions, including a Land Registry data-feed application called Solaris.
6. Matt Meyer – Taking Flight Deck Procedures to the Boardroom
Corporate lawyer and Matt Meyer is Chief Executive ofTaylor Vinters who has increased revenues and driven corporate change by focusing on innovation and entrepreneurial strategies.
A qualified pilot he lectures in MBA courses on bringing flight-deck safety procedures to the boardroom.
7. Maeve O’Rourke – Mother-and-child crusader
A barrister at 33 Bedford Row, Maeve O’Rourke campaigns for justice for those affected over decades by Ireland’s mother-and-baby homes, including the indefinite detention of girls and women in institutions such as the Magdalene Laundries, and the forced adoption system.
8. Alejandro Touriño – Spanish Mission
The youngest managing parter of Ecija, Alejandro Tourino has driven tech advances and diversity as well as expanding the firm with 20 offices in 12 countries.
But his technological role is something that has brought particular recognition. He helped develop a data privacy prediction tool in legal proceedings, and Anticitera, a document automation tool.
He has also worked with communications consultancy Prodigioso Volcán to produce plain-language contracts for the financial sector.
9. Tara Waters = Securities Lawyer Turned Venture Capital Tech Expert
The former securities lawyer-turned-web developer has become Ashurst’s expert on distributed ledger expert.
She is now co-chief o the firm’s digital ventures group and developoing products for Ashurst Advance, the firm’s digital development and legal services group.
10. Richard West – Mr “Use Lawyers Less”
Kennedy’s innovation chief, Richard West has helped build a virtual lawyer for the firm’s clients. KLAiM is a ‘claims tool’ that follows his desire to make the firm’s services a ‘de-lawyering’ experience.
A lawyer with wide experience in major injury claims, ranging from brain injury to psychiatric injury, his initiatives have managed to lift the firm’s profits by 30 per cent over the past five years.
Source: The Financial Times
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