In a fairly predictable announcement following the unexpected departure of Connie Brenton, the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) board of directors has unanimously elected longserving CLOC board member Mary Shen O’Carroll to step into the role of CLOC president, and has appointed European institute head Aine Lyons to the board of directors. O’Carroll and Lyons will assume their positions immediately.

O’Carroll is director of legal operations, technology and strategy at Google and one of the original leaders of CLOC. Based in Silicon Valley, O’Carroll has long been the face of CLOC alongside Brenton, but her appointment will not help to disperse the gripe among some vendors that CLOC’s leadership all emanates from the tech sector and needs to be more inclusive of other industries.

CLOC will also at its London institute that begins tomorrow (21 January) have to convince the market that it is able to overcome its internal politics and will not become victim to the instability that has dogged the International Legal Technology Association. Brenton left CLOC at the start of the year alongside fellow board member Jeff Franke and has publicly cited the fact that CLOC is pulling in different directions.

CLOC has been a galvanising force in the growth of the legal operations role and in an announcement today (20 January) O’Carroll says: “The opportunities are immense for legal operations professionals and we are dedicated to the task of taking CLOC and the legal operations profession to the next level in reforming and shaping our industry.”

Lyons, who is vice president & deputy general counsel, WW legal operations at VMware, said: “Now, more than ever, the legal operations role is a vital component of the modern legal department and is a critical partner to the general counsel. We all have an opportunity, and an obligation, to demonstrate the value that in-house legal teams bring to the bottom line and to transform and grow the businesses that we serve. I believe that CLOC has a strategic role to play in driving increased diversity and innovation across the legal industry, and that its members are integral to that cultural shift.”