Rest in peace Charles Christian, the godfather of legal technology

It is with the heaviest heart that I have to announce the passing of Charles Christian, the founder of the Orange Rag and legal tech visionary, who long before the world woke up to the importance of technology in delivering legal services, was writing about new innovations and keeping the industry on its toes with his acerbic wit.

Charles founded the Orange Rag in 1995, well before most lawyers had their own computer. One of the stories in the first-ever Orange Rag newsletters – then in print only – was about a new service aimed at law firms that wanted to establish a presence on the internet.

The Rag under Charles was described by The Times as “the definitive online resource for the latest news about legal technology” and Charles was known globally as the leading expert on the subject. In 2017, he was named by Sage UK as one of the UK’s Top 100 Business Influencers in his capacity as an individual “whose commentary and social influence help to drive ideas and change within the small business sector.” There will be many who can attest to his influence far beyond that.

Charles will be remembered for many things including creating a community around legal technology, long before that was cool. I spoke to someone at a conference a few years ago who used to wake up and look with glee at the comments on, which regularly used to turn into online slanging matches, with Charles delightedly chipping in and stirring things up.

But Charles was incredibly kind and supportive, and very giving of his time and advice. I have spoken to many people who feel that Charles was instrumental in helping them in their early careers.

For me personally, Charles was a mentor and a huge support. Quietly spoken, no-one messed with Charles, and I have loved having him as an ally and friend. Charles could also always find the humour in any situation, and since he retired from Legal IT, I have laughed many times at his stories about runaway trailers, getting his welly boots tied together and getting trampled by a horse, and other countryside disasters as he enjoyed a life away from his desk. He loved his outdoor life, keeping the property, the horses – all rescues – and fields under control with the same laid back but productive approach he had in his professional and creative life.

Despite retiring from Legal IT, Charles continued to write and create prolifically on his favourite subjects – weird tales, folklore and legends. He broadcast online via his Weird Tales Radio Show, which was and still is carried by hundreds of online networks around the world. He also published several books on English folklore and is about to have his latest book published in the US. His book on how to write – Creating Imaginary Worlds: The 12 Rules – spent over 200 weeks on’s writing reference books bestsellers Top 20 chart.

Charles leaves behind his wife Jane, who many of you will know. Jane asks that if you want to express your condolences, that you share your memories, photos and comments here, in this online book of condolences.

There will be a private family funeral but we will be hosting a memorial service for those wishing to say goodbye in person.

Rest in peace Charles, and thank you for your vision, wisdom, and kindness, and thank you for all the laughs over the years.


12 thoughts on “Rest in peace Charles Christian, the godfather of legal technology”

  1. The condolence book doesn’t accept my email address, so here are my words.

    What a shock, and my huge condolences to Jane and all of Charles’ family. I recall many conversations about technologies with which I have been involved over the years, and his fun and games trying to get access to the Internet from his home.

    IT in the legal profession is all the better because of Charles’ insights and ability to deliver news and opinions in easily understood language.

    May Charles rest in peace.

  2. My heart sagged when I read this. I first met Charles around 2002 at the legal tech conferences in Gleneagles Scotland. During those years we talked often. Most recently I have enjoyed his humor.

  3. Charles brought his British humor to Legaltech. He was witty and insightful. We will miss him. my thoughts are with Jane and Legalit Insider family!

  4. I’m very sorry to hear this, Caroline. And it’s a surprise. Charles was a great guy. Always up for banter (and some snark) on Twitter. He will be missed.

  5. I knew Charles since “in 1985, Christian was appointed editor of Practice Today, the world’s first (albeit short-lived) magazine devoted to law office technology. Fax machines and CP/M were hot topics back then” (writing about himself in 2008 in LTI 213). He had already been writing about legal technology since 1978!
    He was indeed a legend! Sadly, I did not have much contact with him in recent years but I followed him in his other worlds.
    Thanks for the wonderful resume, Caroline.

  6. Pingback: Charles Christian, legal tech legend - Internet for Lawyers Newsletter

  7. A beautiful eulogy Caroline. Thank you. A sad day as we all shuffle a little further along the gangplank.

  8. Nigel Blackwood

    Sad news indeed. My condolences to his family and friends. I will confirm that the Orange Rag in the 1990’s was the key reading to find out what was going on in Legal IT. In fact it was the only source available! Charles was key in helping to create a Legal IT Community with his writing and conferences. A significant legacy to remember him by.

  9. A visionary with a sharp intellect and an even sharper wit, Charles and I had many exchanges over the years. We may have differed in our opinions but there was always mutual respect.

    The world is a poorer place without him.

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