Updated: Cripps appoints Jo Owen to newly-created CIO role

Our congratulations goes out to Jo Owen who has been promoted from operations director to the newly created role of CIO at Cripps, as the Kent* practice elevates its IT function to board level.
Owen, who has become a divisional head with a seat on the partnership board, takes over responsibility for innovation and transformation from Cripps’ former chief operating officer and director of innovation Christina Blacklaws, who this year took over as vice president of the Law Society. Within Owen’s team of 65 is a centralised Legal Professional Team, which includes project paralegals and document production.
Cripps has two boards: the partnership board and the operations board, with the former responsible for the strategy for the firm.
Former IT director Mike Burton has been promoted to chief technology officer and will report to Owen instead of chief financial officer Adrian Jennings.
Owen said: “Mike lives and breathes the technology, makes sure everything works and I am focusing on furthering the business strategy. Our skills complement and work well together.” She told Legal IT Insider: “Our focus is on driving efficiency and achieving quick wins from business process reengineering, using technology to do that.”
Cripps, which has yet to go live on Peppermint Technology, will be looking at software including BigHand to help further streamline its workflow. Owen was CIO at Vertex before it merged with Cripps in 2013, when she became deputy head of IT, moving to Clyde & Co as head of IT service delivery in 2014.
Founder of NextUp Events for future IT leaders, which is delivered in conjunction with Legal IT Insider, Owen told us: “It’s been my ambition to get back to a CIO role. As CIO at Vertex I was invited to networking and support events but when I didn’t hold that title any more I was effectively uninvited – I was ops director and it still wasn’t enough.”
This story first appeared in our monthly Orange Rag newsletter containing the industry’s latest breaking news. To sign up for your free copy click here: http://legaltechnology.com//latest-newsletter/
*In the Orange Rag we accused Cripps of being a Sussex practice, when in fact they are based in Kent and London. We’re sure that wars have begun over that kind of thing and while neither Owen or Cripps have (yet) asked us to set the record straight we are happy to do so and apologise for the error. We also said that Owen took over IT from Christina Blacklaws when that should have read ‘innovation and transformation’. So clearly we were having a (fortunately very unusually) bad day and apologise for any confusion.