Alternative legal services: Bakers hires chief services officer to spearhead innovation

With alternative legal services and pricing estimated to create an annual revenue impact of $50m at Baker McKenzie, the global law firm has hired Ilnort Rueda as chief services officer to help define and lead the implementation of new services, business models and revenue sources.
Rueda joins from US global management firm A.T. Kearney, where he was a partner in the financial institutions practice based in Zurich, Sao Paulo and New York. Prior to that he was an investment advisor at UBS.
In his new role, Rueda will oversee the continued development of Baker’s global practice group strategies and services. Along with EMEA chair Erik Scheer, he will co-lead on the firm’s overall innovation initiative and will work with the innovation committee to develop and implement a broad program of activities to ensure that Baker McKenzie “adapts faster and more successfully than other firms to changes in the legal industry and leads the market in providing world class solutions to client challenges,” according to a release out today (16 January).
Rueda said: “I decided to join because I see substantial investments and an authentic commitment especially at the most senior levels to move forward with an ambitious transformation agenda.”
Paul Rawlinson, global chair at Baker McKenzie added: “As a firm Baker McKenzie is a leader in the legal sector in innovation, project management, pricing, and our approach to new services which we estimate is already creating an annual revenue impact  of more than $50m.  This appointment reflects a desire  to build on these strengths in a strategic and combined way – to meet and exceed our clients’ changing demands and to capture the opportunities that disruption in the legal industry provides.”
This is a significant increase on the $20m figure that Rawlinson quoted in August 2017, as he announced the launch of the firm’s innovation programme.
This is the latest senior ‘innovation’ appointment by an international law firm, as they look for ways to become more joined up across practice areas and geographically. In December 2017, Dentons appointed John Fernandez as global chief innovation officer. Fernandez worked with the Dentons leadership to set up startup investment platform NextLaw Labs and in his new role will help to set up a global infrastructure to accelerate innovation.