Global Law Firm BCLP Launches ‘Innovation Champions’ Project

Global law firm, BCLP, has celebrated its first anniversary since its transatlantic merger by launching an Innovation Champions programme that will encourage lawyers and support staff to help drive change at the firm.

Speaking to Artificial Lawyer, Keith Hardie, Director of Innovation Marketing and BD, and who will be heavily involved in the project, said: ‘The idea is that the new group will be able to pilot technology, identify tech that we as a firm need to look at, and explore new approaches to how we work.’

‘The group will also engage with clients to understand their needs and what problems they may want us to solve where technology is involved,’ he added.

Chief Innovation Officer, Katie DeBord, who is based in the US, will lead the project, but this will in many ways be a decentralised programme, with volunteers coming forward across the firm to work as champions in multiple offices, practice teams and business functions.

‘The idea is that anyone can join the group. They will then in addition receive training on approaches to innovation and there will be regular meetings and updates about what is happening in the market,’ Hardie added.

The project, which has only just started, is already now around a dozen people and will be expanding as more BCLP lawyers and staff from around the firm join in.

Artificial Lawyer asked how this will connect with fee earning, to which Hardie replied that the firm already has a system for allowing the lawyers to devote billable time to innovation and KM projects. However, for this programme, if certain people need extra time to focus on a certain innovation project the firm will look at how they can arrange this.

DeBord, added in a statement: ‘This new group will share ideas, monitor developments and help pilot new approaches. The goal will be for this group to become an integral part of the way in which we drive forward the firm’s innovation agenda.’