Insurance-focused law firm, Kennedys, has hired Antonio Acuña – a former adviser to the UK Government’s Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) – to become its new head of data strategy.
Acuña (pictured above) has spent more than a decade advising central government and in 2018 was awarded the MBE for services to transparency and open data, the firm noted.
He led the launch of data.gov.uk, the first website dedicated to helping people find and use open government data, which was widely recognised as the benchmark for data portals worldwide, Kennedys added.
Acuña also designed and delivered Defra’s award-winning ‘Noise Mapping England’ project, which used interactive maps to show the impact from road and rail networks in a bid to tackle noise pollution. He left the UK Government role in 2019, and then most recently worked at Parity, a tech consultancy.
In the new role as head of data strategy he will ‘reimagine the way the firm manages and uses data, enabling lawyers to quickly access meaningful insight to help them and their clients, build on a culture of innovation and to maximise global connectivity’.
The specially created job will build on and ‘harmonise reporting analytics and insight, skills and literacy, governance, curation and asset management, engineering, innovation, and product development’, the firm said.
Global Managing Partner, Suzanne Liversidge, said: ‘We have a clear vision and strategy for Kennedys and continue to develop our business with an ambitious global transformation programme that will ensure we continue to set the standard for legal services in our market. We are committed to ensuring that data continues to support our strategic actions and keeps us at the forefront of innovation.’
Martin Stockdale, the partner responsible for overseeing Kennedys’ data transformation, added: ‘Our goal is to have augmented intelligent lawyers with data-driven solutions to free up our experts to deliver their service seamlessly, whilst at the same time ensuring our expanding global business remains connected and communicating effectively.
For his part, Acuña said: ‘I am passionate about change, particularly when it’s driven by data, and I believe Kennedys has a unique opportunity to transform the way legal services are delivered. It’s a competitive industry and it’s not enough to simply modify or adapt anymore. Businesses must be bold, to reimagine and embrace new ways of working, and Kennedys is doing just that.’
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