David Wood has been appointed as global IT director at Watson Farley & Williams, in a new role that has been created as the firm for the first time appoints directors to run each of its core business functions. Wood, who joins from Berwin Leighton Paisner, where he was head of business projects, started at Watson Farley in mid-November.
A former solicitor who has an MBA from Cass Business School, Wood (pictured) told Legal IT Insider: “The first thing for our business is to make sure the base technology platform is reliable and robust. This is key in the short term. With this in place we can focus on delivering intelligent support to our partners and lawyers to meet their flexible working needs and also promote client service which is critical in our competitive legal market.
“The key thing is that we don’t deliver tech for tech’s sake. Technology in its widest sense underpins the business of law. The business administration piece complements my law and technology background and helps spot opportunities when it comes to the strategic use of technology. In turn this will help drive the firm forward.”
The creation of the IT director role follows the UK top 40 firm’s decision to appoint directors for core areas such as compliance, HR and IT, which previously all fell within the remit of COO, the position held by Dave Greening. In August, Greening was appointed as director of finance.
Global IT manager Sam Luxford-Watts will now report to Wood, who will be looking at how to best deploy the existing circa 35-strong IT team.
Speaking to Legal IT Insider about the new IT director role, Watson Farley’s joint managing partner Chris Lowe said: “As the business has grown and the number of offices and IT was probably the biggest piece of that puzzle to get right. Although we’ve moved forward with the right network infrastructure, technology and software, what we were lacking was joined up and functioning policies and procedures.
“David has to make sure everything works internally but more importantly, this is a big opportunity for us to use the knowledge we have and deliver innovation to our clients, particularly with regard to clever IT solutions for those in the transport and energy sectors.”
This story first appeared in the Legal IT Insider December newsletter – sign up for your free copy to be delivered into your inbox by clicking the following link http://www.legaltechnology.com//latest-newsletter/