Richard Punt, the former CEO of Allen & Overy’s Peerpoint group, and most recently Managing Director, Legal Strategy & Market Development at Thomson Reuters, has left the giant company. He is the fourth well-known figure to leave in recent months.
Other recent departures include: Carlos Gamez, Andy Wishart, and Stuart Barr. It is understood that at least one more senior figure on the legal/legal tech side of Thomson Reuters (TR) is also soon to depart.
However, each of the leavers has noted that their moves were unconnected – and Artificial Lawyer has to say they all did indeed have quite independent reasons for going. That said, TR is seeing the departure of several of its most well-known figures of the last couple of years and that is something of a loss even if everyone had their own reasons for leaving.
Punt joined TR in June 2019 as Chief Strategy Officer, then last summer his title evolved to Managing Director, Legal Strategy & Market Development. Overall he spent 21 months at TR, a relatively short time for such a senior role in a large company.
One reason he joined TR was that before Allen & Overy and his role at its legal resourcing group, Peerpoint, he had been a consultant at Deloitte and TR had been one of his key clients.
Punt told Artificial Lawyer: ‘I joined [TR] to have the best opportunity to consult on legal tech. [Also] I am always looking for different options and I had never worked inside a corporate before.’
This site asked why he had left, to which he replied: ‘The last two years have confirmed that I am a services guy.’
He added that he is focused on where tech and services intersect, rather than just having a focus on the tech. And, TR doesn’t supply legal services – not unless you count Practical Law as a legal service, (but that’s a discussion for another time….)
So, what next?
Punt already has an advisory board role at FLEX, the UK-based flexible resourcing group, but that will not occupy all of his time.
‘I will be working on consulting and running a portfolio [career],’ he said. ‘My plan is to be in the middle of professional services market change.’
As to his legacy at TR, what was he able to tell us? He explained that he could not outline any of the major projects he had worked on for business reasons.
But, he would comment on the launch of the TR Marketplace, and said: ‘[TR wants] to be the open legal platform and Marketplace has been a success.’
Overall then, that is four execs now at TR that have gone, and as said, each have left for their own reasons. But the fact remains: even a company as large as TR, which has thousands of staff, only has so many senior figures that are well-known to the market.
No doubt other people will come to the fore, but this is a notable period of change at the giant company.