Linklaters Rejigs Tech Roles – Creates ‘Head of Strategy, Innovation & Efficiency’

Linklaters has rejigged its key tech and innovation roles. Greg Jackson has been appointed to a new combined role as Global Head of Strategy, Innovation and Efficiency. He previously served as Head of Strategy and will now also lead Linklaters’ Innovation & Efficiency programme.

The move is in line with a growing trend for law firms to widen out their innovation roles to combine with other key support functions.

Meanwhile, Shilpa Bhandarkar (pictured above), will now formally become CEO of their internal tech group, Nakhoda. She had been overseeing the group following the departure of several key members of the Nakhoda team, including Partha Mudgil, the co-founder and COO of the group, (see Artificial Lawyer article – Feb 2020).

She had also been Head of Innovation at Linklaters. Bhandarkar will now focus solely on scaling Nakhoda in its next phase of growth.

Nakhoda’s flagship product is a digital document automation and negotiation platform that ‘unlocks the power of structured legal data contained in contracts’.

Bhandarkar commented: ‘The Nakhoda offering is a unique one in the legal market – no other firm has brought together lawyers, designers and developers to build bespoke technology solutions in quite the same way. Nakhoda is now at an exciting stage of its development, with a growing list of clients and increased demand for our products. I’m looking forward to working with our clients to explore new opportunities for our platform.’

Meanwhile Jackson’s role will widen to oversee advances in legal innovation, including LawTech, FinTech, blockchain, smart contracts and advanced matter delivery.

Leading a central team of specialists and growing an established network of innovation champions across the firm, the appointment ‘reinforces the importance of innovation as part the firm’s long-term strategy’ the firm said.

Greg Jackson, Global Head of Strategy, Innovation and Efficiency, said: ‘The Covid-19 crisis has reminded us to constantly question how we can deliver an even better service for our clients and how technology can be part of helping us do that. Bringing together the two functions will support our efforts in becoming one of the most forward-thinking and innovative law firms in the world.’

Stewart Chippindale, Director of Legal Operations, added: ‘Shilpa has played a critical role in developing our innovation offering, driving forward ideas with energy, passion and commitment. Under Shilpa’s guidance, Nakhoda has made great progress and she will now focus all of her time on growing it further as part of its latest chapter.

‘In his leadership of the strategy team, Greg has shown the value of challenging the status quo and looking at how we adjust and adapt as a firm to the changing landscape of our clients and our competitors. In this new role, Greg will be able to successfully combine the two functions together to ensure we are looking at new ideas, opportunities and approaches in every area of our business. I am very excited about the unique perspective he will bring to our innovation programme.’