Thomson Reuters announces heavyweight in-house consultation board to help with ‘future direction’

Associate editor Caroline Hill reports…

Thomson Reuters has drawn together a heavyweight in-house legal consultation board to help inform the direction of the company’s products and services for the UK’s corporate legal sector. The 10-strong board includes Lloyds Banking Group’s deputy general counsel (GC) Kate Cheetham, Barclays’ deputy GC Michael Shaw, Carillion’s director of legal services and company secretary Richard Tapp and British Gas’ GC Justine Campbell.

Thomson Reuters said the board, which met for the first time on 21 January, has been put together to help meet the needs of its customers and gain a fresh perspective on the challenges currently being faced by the in-house sector. The announcement comes just three months after the publishing giant announced that it has stepped up its plans for the expansion of Serengeti Tracker, its system for legal matters management, e-billing and analytics across corporate legal departments.

One GC on the consultation board told the Legal IT Insider: “They do such a wide range of things, if they can join them up they have the potential to be really powerful tools for the in-house market.”

Lucinda Case, vice president of customer segments and strategy within Thomson Reuters’ legal division, said: “The formation of the consultation board comes at a time of unprecedented change in the way in which legal services are delivered. The rise of alternative delivery models and the availability of technology have led to greater choice in how today’s general counsel run their legal teams. The consultation board will discuss these and other market developments to determine how they might be used to best effect by in-house legal teams.”

Comment: The growing status of in-house legal teams and their importance to the business has meant they’re increasingly gaining sign off for investment in legal technology. We hear less and less the old cliché about in-house teams being a cost to the business – given the savings and efficiencies they make – although this clearly is still an issue for some. Watch this space for more news on in-house innovation in technology. 

The panel in full:

Justine Campbell: GC, British Gas

Kate Cheetham: Deputy GC, Lloyds Banking Group

Daragh Fagan: Group GC and company secretary, Rentokil Initial

Denise Nurse: CEO & co-founder, Halebury

Tim O’Gorman: GC and company secretary, VPS group

Michael Shaw: Deputy GC, Barclays

Raj Singh-Dehal: company secretary, Center Parcs

Kelvan Swinnerton: Head of legal, Canada Life

Richard Tapp: Director of legal services and company secretary, Carillion

Nick Vidovich: Group legal director litigation, Vodafone