Recognising the law firms and chief information officers (CIOs) that have pushed through innovation and secured competitive advantage for their firms. This award will focus on the CIOs that have engaged with their firm’s strategy and business model to make a central contribution.
2015 WINNER: Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co
In an average year, most firms implement one or two major IT projects. In 2014 the scale of change at Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, due to the merger of the two legacy firms, necessitated no less than 12 major projects. These included a range of big-ticket infrastructure items such as integrating the two systems and rolling out IT changes across all the international offices.
Following the merger, the firm has focused much of its efforts on maximising its return on investment in knowledge management, both in terms of meeting fee-earners’ real needs and ensuring professional support lawyers are trained to manage their own time. Other recent initiatives include working on the firm’s data strategy, with the firm now using HP Autonomy’s next-generation business analytics platform, HP IDOL, to search and analyse information across audio, video, social media, e-mail and web platforms.
In its own words, the firm believes it has the most modern and efficient IT infrastructure of any law firm: ‘We don’t deliver technology projects. Our focus is business projects empowered by the best and most efficient technology’.
Ashurst - Bruna Pellicci
Global IT director Pellicci has been instrumental in pushing the IT function to deliver on some significant and business-critical global projects on a level that is unprecedented for the firm, particularly in the wake of full integration with Ashurst Australia. Initiatives include establishing a new global information security team, rolling out a KPI dashboard and facilitating mobile working – deploying Microsoft Lync 2013 across the firm, which enables staff to use the same communication platform, regardless of device or location.
Axiom - Nick West
2014 saw Axiom handle a key tech-driven initiative for its client BT. It designed a multi-shore, technology-enabled managed service to take ownership of the end-to-end negotiation, execution and management of BT’s commercial contracts. Using proprietary technology architecture, IRIS, Axiom is able to handle the entire lifecycle of the contracting process.
Keoghs - John Salt
Keoghs has transformed its IT capabilities in just two years: in that time a new CIO and team developed software that has added 20 minutes per day to fee-earners’ productivity and substantially improved client wins through innovation. In what was described by one consultant as ‘a glimpse of the future of law firm technology’, this insurance-driven firm is making non-profitable, loss leader claims work for big clients profitable by use of process automation technology.
King & Wood Mallesons - Brian Smith
This Sino-Anglo-Australian combination spent much of 2014 implementing Microsoft’s groundbreaking Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, which was piloted via the firm’s New York and Riyadh offices. This gave these offices optimal productivity and full access to all of the benefits of a centralised network, while also significantly reducing downtime; providing a highly secure, reliable and efficient platform; meeting regulatory compliance; addressing cost-control requirements; and centralising the management of implementing office-wide desktop, system and infrastructure updates.