Am Law 100 law firm Baker Donelson has named William Painter as its first-ever chief innovation officer.

Painter, who previously served as the 650+ lawyer U.S. firm’s chief strategic planning officer, will oversee key drivers of innovation for the firm such as legal project management, knowledge management, IT, pricing, eDiscovery/practice support, research and non-traditional services including the firm’s consulting subsidiary LegalShift.

Baker Donelson each year sets aside over $1.5m to invest in legal ideas generated by its lawyers, encouraging teams of lawyers to compete to come up with the best ideas, which will be invested in and turned into a live product or solution.

The Memphis-headquartered firm has set up a further subsidiary as a vehicle to work on and invest in new ideas, partnering with technology companies such as Neota Logic on larger ventures.

“Innovation in client service has long been a priority at Baker Donelson, and as our chief strategic planning officer, Bill has been instrumental in leading that drive for innovation,” said Jennifer Keller, Baker Donelson’s president and chief operating officer. “Bringing his experience and vision to this new role furthers the firm’s commitment to innovation and differentiation through a continued focus on developing cutting-edge solutions that streamline processes, deliver value and maximize resources for the benefit of our clients.”

See also: ILTA: Innovation and the generation of legal services