It’s the last Legal IT Insider newsletter of 2017 – issue 308 out now!

Top Stories in the November/December issue include:
The New Guard: Nick West to head entire IT function at Mishcon
In what may come to be viewed as the start of a new generation of IT leader, Mishcon de Reya’s chief strategy officer Nick West is set to take over the role of chief technology officer, we can reveal, replacing outgoing CIO Simon Kosminsky, who is retiring at the end of the year.
West – an ex-Linklaters lawyer who before joining Mishcon was UK managing director at Axiom – will take over from Kosminsky in the new year. He will straddle a strategic and technology role: the four senior managers who report to Kosminsky will now report to West as well as a further senior manager on the strategy side.
Kosminsky tells us: “I have no doubt that within the next 10 years, all CTO’s / CIO’s in law firms will be someone like Nick. People like me, who came up through the IT ranks, were a good fit for a law firm over the past 25 years. The requirements have now changed, and it is probably time for some of the old guard to make way for the next generation.”
Date for Gleneagles!
Our Legal Leaders CIO Forum will once again be hosted at Gleneagles Hotel from the 25-27 February. In keeping with the previous two years’ format, the conference is free of charge for CIOs, IT directors and purchasers of legal services.
Having taken into account the detailed feedback from the last two years, the content for the 2018 conference will be a blend of keynote presentations and practical workshops, which will offer an opportunity for valuable discussion and note swapping on best practice.
Editor’s Comment: Let’s get a grip in 2018
Even for those of us who eschew hype and hyperbole, 2017 was a big year for legal technology, characterised at many firms by a lack of clear firmwide technology strategy and IT teams who are, ironically, being undermined from all quarters by the new wave of enthusiasm for shiny things. I look at some of the highlights of 2017 and the sustained criticism of vendors. In 2018 it’s time for everyone to raise their game.
Workshare accounts show loss of £1.6m as it nears end of perpetual cash to SaaS switch
Workshare has published its latest set of accounts for the year ended 31 December 2016, which show that the London-headquartered company made of a loss before tax of almost £1.6m and has significant debt as it comes towards the end of a move from a perpetual cash to SaaS model.
The loss is down from £4.1m at the end of December 2015 and Workshare’s chief financial officer Peter White, who joined from B2B mobile marketing technology and services group Lumata in August 2015, told us: “A lot of businesses have tried and failed to lose the perpetual cash drug – from a top line revenue basis those that can hold flat rather than go through the J Curve are doing well – but Workshare has got through that, we’re 95% through.”
Rob Cohen launches Futurae consultancy
Charles Russell Speechlys longstanding IT head Rob Cohen has exited the firm and set up his own consulting and IT services venture. Cohen joined what was then Speechly Bircham in November 2001 and, after Speechlys merger with Charles Russell in 2014, was successful in running against Lee Hanley for the Global IT Director role. He has since then been responsible for the global IT budget, strategy, operations and projects of the combined 170-partner firm. Futurae, will offer services to help firms evaluate their current environments and, if necessary, restructure to help them realise competitive advantage.
Thoughts from the Market
In this diverse collection of thought leadership and ‘how-to’ articles, we asked some of the best-known advisers in the legal technology industry to tackle a range of topics, including what are the barriers to cloud? What is the implementation and uptake like of some of the shiny news toys being bought by law firms? And what
should law firms be talking about instead of the ever non-descript term “innovation.”
We’re grateful to all our contributors for what should provide some real food for thought in December and beyond, as we prepare to meet the challenges of 2018.
The highlights of 2017
We’ve broken a huge amount of stories this year, but in an end-of-year trip down memory lane, we’ve picked the best from each month, judged by its impact at the time and how that has continued to be felt across the year.
PLUS all the usual favourites, including the latest wins and deals and people moves. Oh, and the story that we regard to be the funniest of the legal IT year.

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Our next issue (No #309 – January) will be out on Wednesday 24 January 2018
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