Well-known legal tech guru, Catherine Bamford, is joining Deloitte Legal as a director to lead on legal engineering for the business, effective from early November. Bamford has been running her own very successful document automation consultancy, BamLegal.
The move seems to suggest a trend of not just legal tech consolidation, but perhaps now a consolidation of legal engineers and innovation consultants with bigger players. The move follows the recent decision of Wavelength, the UK-based law firm and legal tech consultancy, to join City firm Simmons & Simmons. Interestingly, Bamford also sat on Wavelength’s advisory board.
An expert in legal knowledge engineering and document automation, Bamford will lead on identifying and developing solutions in this space to help Deloitte Legal’s clients experience the future of law, today. In addition, Bamford will advise and assist on improving document and knowledge engineering internally to equip Deloitte Legal’s own lawyers with the tools they need to deliver a best-in-class service.
Bamford’s appointment follows the recent hires of Bruce Braude, CTO, and Laura Bygrave, innovation lead. Together, they will look to add to Deloitte Legal’s existing proprietary legal technology such as dTrax, an AI-enabled contract management tool, and MyInsight, a secure client portal that enables clients to track and monitor their legal compliance services.
Bamford qualified as a solicitor in the real estate department of Pinsent Masons in 2007 before managing the firm’s legal knowledge engineering team. In 2014, Catherine went on to become the founder and CEO of BamLegal, a consultancy providing automation services to a number of high profile in-house legal teams and top 20 law firms.
Commenting on the appointment, Michael Castle, UK managing partner for Deloitte Legal said: ‘Our clients – typically in-house legal teams and General Counsels – are constantly looking for ways to make everyday tasks more efficient. Deloitte Legal is providing new solutions to tackle today’s legal problems head on. Catherine’s knowledge of legal engineering will be an excellent fit to the Deloitte Legal offering, combining our legal and consulting expertise, as well as our deep understanding of the latest technology in the legal sector.’
And, Bamford added: ‘I have spent the last ten years helping the legal sector implement and scale their use of legal technology. In today’s legal market, those that don’t capitalise on process optimisation and technology are at risk of losing out to more switched-on competitors.’
Since being awarded its ABS licence last summer, Deloitte Legal has grown to more than 230 people in the UK, delivering technology-enabled legal solutions in areas such as employment, litigation, corporate and commercial and immigration, including more than 85 client-facing practising lawyers.