Updated: Linklaters sets up global innovation committee to act as focal point for new tech

linklaters-silk-streetLinklaters has set up a global innovation committee comprised of partners and business service leaders from across the firm, designed to act as a focal point and platform for new technologies and innovative ideas.
The committee, which is led by London capital markets partner Paul Lewis, Singapore M&A partner Sophie Mathur, and Frankfurt debt capital markets partner Christian Storck, was set up in April by managing partner Gideon Moore to promote and develop technology internally but also to act as a landing page for ideas coming into the firm, including fostering the magic circle giant’s relationships with startups and third party providers.
Speaking to Legal IT Insider Lewis said: “As a firm we do quite a lot of innovative stuff so it’s not as if we’re starting with a blank sheet of paper, but one of our guiding principles is getting on top of what we’re doing globally and not reinventing the wheel each time. It’s about leveraging our learning.”
One early initiative arising from the committee, which includes global head of strategy Katharine Davidson; global head of knowledge and learning Rachel Manser; and head of strategy and business transformation Laurence Muscat, is that Linklaters lawyers will be given an opportunity to learn to code. An initial tranche of 34 Linklaters staff from across the firm will be trained to code as part of a pilot that is already up and running.
Lewis said: “The coding came about from a session with our trainees and talking about things that they would like to see in the firm. I’ve been working with coders and thought ‘we can make that happen’ and now we have a pilot up and running.” He added: “It’s about making sure you can go from having an idea, to asking has it got legs, to getting it off the ground.”
Linklaters is currently working with a number of different technologies and has signed a master service agreement with RAVN Systems, as it explores machine learning technology from providers such as IBM, Kira Systems and German-based SaaS document information extraction provider Leverton.
Speaking earlier this year to Legal IT Insider, director of information systems and strategy Matt Peers said: “We are looking at AI and where it will apply and where it won’t and we are testing AI,” adding, “We need to work out how traditional methods of work fit with new technology.”