Clyde & Co has appointed Austen King as its first global head of data and analytics. Austen joined in September from Barclays, where he was head of large holdings data operations.
In this newly formed role, Austen will oversee and facilitate the cross functional delivery of the firm’s global data strategy which seeks to transform the management and use of data within the organisation. The role will involve working with the firm’s legal staff and in-house Data Lab, which is led by partner Mark Wing and which applies machine learning skills to legal issues to develop new products and deliver innovative services to clients. Austen will report to the firm’s Chief Information Officer DiAnna Thimjon, and work in close collaboration with Global Head of Legal Technology Nadine Bairle.
Data heads are a growing phenomenon in the legal sector as law firms attempt to get on top of and capitalise on the vast troves of until now often useless information lazily referred to as the new gold. Other firms with a head of data are Clifford Chance (Mirko Bernardoni); BLM (Andrew Dunkley) and Mishcon de Reya (Alastair Moore). At Drinker Biddle in Washington, Bennett Borden is the firm’s chief data scientist and at Littler Mendelsohn its Aaron Crews
Clyde & Co launched its Data Lab in December 2017 in partnership with University College London.
The lab, which was launched off the back of work that Clyde & Co has been doing with UCL students. It is an initiative led by partner Mark Wing and staffed by Clyde’s legal, data science and strategy staff, and students from UCL’s computer science department.
At the time of the Lab’s launch Wing said: “A large part of the value that law firms provide to their clients is the knowledge and expertise of their lawyers. As a global firm we have heaps of knowledge but the question we always challenge ourselves with is how we harness it as quickly and efficiently as we can for our clients.
“Because much of our knowledge is stored as data, having a data analytics lab provides us with another mechanism for unlocking insight, value and solutions for our clients. We think there is great potential in this project and we are delighted to be able to work with the leaders in their field at UCL. As the lab develops it is our aim to also involve clients in the work.