Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has created a 14-strong Global Associate Innovation Group (AIG) to help generate, champion and test new technology, working with the Legal Services Innovation team led by director Isabel Parker.
The cross practice, cross geography group was launched at the beginning of the year after gaining sponsorship from Freshfields’ senior leadership team, including London managing partner Julian Long and a number of global partners. AIG members will be seconded to the Legal Services Innovation team on a rolling basis. Currently two associates are seconded full-time and two for one day a week.
The AIG will help the magic circle firm to generate ideas in areas such as more innovative pricing, alternative delivery models or simple process improvement. Participating associates are expected to form a network and encourage engagement from their peers. The idea is that rather than creating ideas that risk not being close enough to the business – a common issue for innovation teams – the AIG will help drive and champion change from within their various practice areas. They will pitch their ideas at a senior level and any ideas that have legs will be given financial backing.
Parker told Legal IT Insider: “The Global AIG has been established to help us innovate to serve our clients better. Successful innovative companies design products and services for (and with) their customers. One of the objectives of the group is to apply this methodology in a legal services context.
“I’m sure lots of ideas will surface in the next few weeks and not all ideas will come to fruition as we have a robust filtering process. But if an idea has legs we will invest in it. If the technology needs to be built, we will build a prototype and test it.”
Freshfields is in the process of hiring developers for its Manchester legal services centre, which provides transactional support to the firm and forms a hub for much of its development and testing of new software.
This story first appeared in the March Legal IT Insider. To sign up for your free monthly copy click: http://www.legaltechnology.com//latest-newsletter/