by Associate Editor Caroline Hill
Taylor Wessing UK IT director Stuart Walters (pictured) will next month (October) leave the Anglo-German firm for Olswang, where he takes on a larger role as international IT director. Walters replaces Clive Knott, who left Olswang in January and in April took on a role as IT Director for HowardKennedyFsi, which in May completed its merger with boutique law firm CKFT.
Since joining Taylor Wessing in 2011 from Eversheds, where he was head of business application, Walters has been responsible for introducing a series of high profile business process change measures. These include an IT consultancy service that advises clients on issues including document management, email archiving, security and BYOD/bring your own device. Playing a more strategic role has resulted in Taylor Wessing’s IT team receiving accolades from the mainstream legal press, winning the Legal Business Technology Team of the Year 2014 and last year coming second in The Lawyer Management Awards most innovative technology team of the year, behind winner Allen & Overy.
More recent innovations include rolling out BigHand’s mobile iPad application and working with Mimecast to search the firm’s email repository for client names when working on a pitch. Walters said: ‘You can search for anyone who has emailed a client and speak to them about whether they have a relationship.’ Mimecast is also assisting with searching Taylor Wessing’s archives to work out how the 1017-lawyer firm’s referral network is functioning, for example in referrals to China and back.
While Olswang has typically been viewed as taking a conservative approach to IT, Walters’ appointment is the latest of a series of step changes for the top 35 UK firm. Olswang, which has offices across Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, the UK and Singapore, this month appointed two non-executive directors as part of it new corporate governance structure. David Chance was formerly deputy managing director of BSkyB and chairman of start-up Top Up TV, while Dr Andreas Raffel has been executive vice-chairman of Rothschild since 2008, following a six-year appointment as CEO of Rothschild in Germany.