Kennedys has entered into an exclusive partnership with India-headquartered IT developer Cognitive Computer Services (CCS) in order to help give it more bandwidth to pursue and develop innovative ideas.
Its team of IT specialists is headed by CEO Tony Joseph, who has more than 15 years’ experience in technology businesses and will be working most closely with Kennedys’ recently appointed head of research and development, Karim Derrick. Derrick, who has an education technology background, joined in November from DigitalAssess, where he was chief operating officer.
He told Legal IT Insider: “I’ve been brought in in part to help develop the innovation that’s already going on at Kennedys of which [virtual defence lawyer] KLAiM is probably the most important. We’re also looking to nurture and develop the next generation of products. The firm really has embraced change and recognises that technology will have an impact. The notion with this new partnership is that, without affecting business as usual or other developments, they can prototype new ideas as they develop.”
He adds: “This is the engine room. There is a lot of research out there showing what works well with businesses trying to innovate and it’s a mistake to rely on existing resources.”
Derrick has worked with CCS before, and he says: “I know their skill set and we’ve done similar things in the education space with great success: they’ve won awards with projects we did in the education space involving AI and machine learning and bots.”
It appears likely that much of the work that Kennedys does with CCS will fall into those categories. Derrick adds: “A lot of our clients are insurers who bring with them experience of blockchain and we’re looking forward to exploring that.”
Once ideas are conceived of they will go to the team in India but Derrick says: “They are there to validate the business case, not necessarily produce the final thing. It’s about being able to iterate quickly, fail fast, try ideas out, test them with clients, and if it works we’ll more than likely hand over to out internal develop team. The key is not to impact BAU but allow the business to innovate.”
Last week, the firm reported an eight per cent increase in turnover for the financial year 2016/17 of £149.9m, up from £138.8m, as well as a planned merger with Manchester-based commercial litigation specialists berg.