BCLP Launches New Post-Integration Global Innovation Group

International law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) has announced the creation of a new global structure for its innovation team, following the merger and successful integration between the legacy UK and US partnerships.

The new structure cements the innovation aspects of both sides of the merger, bringing together the two talent pools of the US and UK sides of the deal. Both firms have been very ‘tech-forward’ with BLP having pioneered the use of legal AI systems for doc review, while Bryan Cave has been a leading player in ediscovery in the US.

The new global group will be spearheaded by Katie DeBord in her role as Chief Innovation Officer, and will focus on developing innovative solutions to transform the way BCLP delivers legal services to clients.

Christian Zust and Nick Pryor will support developments in the US, and European, ME and Asia markets respectively, while Keith Hardie will support internal engagement, as well as marketing and business development, globally.

Speaking to Artificial Lawyer, Nick Pryor said: ‘Both legacy firms have a strong reputation for innovation, and we are really excited to bring those perspectives and capabilities together into a combined, global team. There are a number of developments that were in already in the pipeline, with lots to be announced in the coming weeks and months; and we are looking closely at how best to bring our respective initiatives and solutions across to new markets.’

‘Our aim is not only to launch a series of new solutions, but also to challenge the way we work as a firm, and continuously improve the way we deliver client services,’ he added.

It is understood that a key aspect of the new group will be to cross-fertilise good ideas and applications from one office or market to another, so that innovation and tech experience in the US offices is explored/deployed in the UK, as well as also in the other direction.

In addition, Chris Emerson will take up the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer for the combined firm’s enhanced legal operations consultancy group, working alongside DeBord, who will co-lead that group.

The new structure will continue to see the firm’s legal operations consultancy team help in-house legal teams improve their business processes and use technology effectively, building on the success of Bryan Cave’s BCXponent business and BLP’s Streamline service.

Bruce Braude will play a leading role for this group within the EMEA markets, identifying new technology to help in-house teams proposer as they deliver services to clients, while Carrie Marks will lead the firm’s existing process improvement and project management teams globally.

The two divisions will work seamlessly together and will share resources to ensure clients are able to access the firm’s expertise effectively.

DeBord, said of the new structure: ‘Before the merger, both firms were recognised as among the most innovative law firms in their markets.  The merger has given us an opportunity to build on that track record to ensure we remain at the forefront of rethinking the way in which legal services are delivered.’

While Emerson, concluded: ‘The success of our BCXponent and Streamline services demonstrates that in-house legal teams are not only looking for law firms to find new ways of delivering their services, but they are also struggling with how to apply to their own work the huge range of new technologies and approaches that now available. We work with companies of all sizes, from the Fortune 50 down to the newest start-ups. Given our experience globally and the fact that we have developed our own proprietary workflow system for in-house teams, we want to enable clients to access the support they need.’