Innovating for competitive advantage in the legal profession

A deep-dive into the key areas that drive innovation forward in the legal profession

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  • Publication date: July, 2018
  • Pages: 100
  • ISBN: 978-1-78358-342-3


Innovation. How to go about it, what it can do for your business – what even is it? Can innovation be applied in the legal environment?

Such is the interest and appetite for legal innovation that, in the last 18 months, ARK has published over a dozen titles with innovation in their remit, covering everything from knowledge management to pricing, from marketing to recruitment, and everything in between.

This compilation deep-dives into the key areas that drive innovation forward in the legal profession, combining the views and experiences of 14 leaders in their fields.


Chapter 1: The nature of innovation

Chapter 2: Disruptive innovation

Chapter 3: Why creativity and innovation are the key to value

Chapter 4: Building a culture of innovation in legal services

Chapter 5: Beliefs, attitude, and values which encourage “innovation thinking”

Chapter 6: Innovative pricing – The gap between clients’ expectations and law firms’ delivery

Chapter 7: Developing knowledge capability to support innovation

Chapter 8: Technology and the client relationship: moving to a new

Chapter 9: Evolve and innovate – how law firms need to learn how to

Case studies

Chapter 10: Innovation as a business development strategy

Chapter 11: Are you your vendor’s captive? How to optimize your research dollars

Chapter 12: Marque Lawyers – The development of law firm innovation

Chapter 13: The missing “E” in legal innovation

Chapter 14: The innovation committee’s brief


Full Overview


Duncan Hart
Duncan Hart practiced as a barrister and solicitor for over 20 years before becoming the regional managing director of one of Australasia’s largest firms with over 2,000 employees. He became a full-time consultant in 2002. His various consultancies have taken him from Silicon Valley to Shanghai, and his clients include not only law firms, but a wide cross-section of industry groups, including manufacturing, health, education, and IT. Duncan’s first book, The Strategic Law Firm (Ark Group, 2010), argued the case for a more strategic approach to law firm management, and in particular the adoption of the types of strategic planning tools and methodologies that he had seen in operation in many of his clients’ industry sectors. More recently, his background in intellectual property has led him to explore more closely the role of disruptive technologies and business models in various sectors, including law, patent attorney, and other professions. Many of his recent assignments involve the so-called “start-up” sector, and larger more mature industries where clients are seeking to develop innovation-based strategies in fields as diverse as bio-tech and logistics. In all his assignments, Duncan draws from a rich palette of industry and professional experience, and he is committed to the belief that law firms, like any other business, have much to learn from other sectors, particularly in the area of innovation-based strategy. In short, they should be encouraged to experiment to find new, and hopefully better, solutions for both the firm and their clients. Duncan can be contacted via email at
Markus Hartung
Markus Hartung is a lawyer and mediator. He is director of the Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession (CLP) at Bucerius Law School, Hamburg. His expertise in the framework of the CLP lies in market development and trends, management and strategic leadership, as well as corporate governance of law firms and business models of law firms with regard to digitalisation of the legal market. He is chair of the committee on professional regulation of the German Bar Association (DAV). As a lawyer he focuses on conflict management, regulatory matters and professional indemnity issues. In addition, he advises law firms in strategy and management questions and coaches partners in management xvi About the authors functions. He is a regular lecturer and conference-speaker on leadership, management topics, and professional ethics and has written numerous articles and book chapters on these topics. He is co-editor and author of Wegerich/Hartung: Der Rechtsmarkt in Deutschland (The Legal Market in Germany) which came to the market in early 2014 and has developed into a standard reference for the German legal market. He is also co-author of How Legal Technology Will Change the Business of Law, a joint study of The Boston Consulting Group and the Bucerius Law School. His recently published book Legal Tech. Die Digitalisierung des Rechtsmarkts is the first comprehensive analysis of the impact of legal technology on the legal profession in German speaking countries. 
Arne Gärtner
Dr Arne Gärtner is a senior legal project manager at Linklaters. As manager of the firm’s German Business Improvement team, he is also generally responsible for Legal Project Management (LPM) and Legal Technology (LT) in Germany. In his role as a senior LPM he supports the practice in the management of large and complex matters and advises on the use of technology for handling such transactions. Furthermore, Arne is a member of the global Innovation and Efficiency working group of Linklaters and responsible for Innovation and Efficiency in Germany. Arne studied Business Administration at the University of Potsdam and Mediation at the European University of Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder). He also holds a PhD in Business Administration from the University of Potsdam. In addition, he is an IPMA (International Project Management Association) certified Project Management Associate and Fellow of the Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession where he worked as a Research Assistant from 2012 till 2015.
Deepa Tharmaraj
Deepa Tharmaraj is a legal director for Dell for Middle East and Turkey, a leading consumer and enterprise technology solutions provider. In this role, with senior level experience, she leads legal support for the business, ensuring cost effective and practical legal solutions across different functions and business units. She also serves as the global lead of the “Mosaic” Employee Resource Group at Dell, an organization that is dedicated to increasing awareness and development of culturally intelligent talent, with a focus on community involvement to grow initiatives focused on marginalized communities. Prior to this role, Deepa was a senior legal counsel at British Telecoms in London and was involved in roles connected to intellectual property, technology transfer and IP product development and procurement. She also supports the Association of Corporate Counsel (GCC chapter) and sits on various judging panels for innovation awards. Deepa speaks and writes about innovation, including mentoring and encouraging the next generation lawyers, to improve their ability to optimize their innovative attributes. In her free time, she is engaged in various initiatives to mentor and coach the under-privileged.
Adam Billing
Adam Billing is the founder of Treehouse Innovation ( He works with leading corporate and professional service organisations, helping them to develop new products, services, and strategy, and to build their own internal innovative capacity.
Abigail Hunt
Abigail Hunt is the founder of Abigail Hunt Consulting ( She works with leading corporate and professional service organisations, helping them to develop new products, services, and strategy, and to build their own internal innovative capacity.
Chris Howe
Chris Howe is a director of Raedbora Consulting. In his consulting role he advises legal clients on pricing and practice management (including restructuring and day-to-day performance improvement). He also advises buyers of legal services on legal procurement reviews. Chris’s clients include top 20 international law firms as well as FTSE 100 businesses. For ten years he was a director of a UK top 20 law firm where he was head of pricing and conducted innovative research into pricing with Cranfield School of Management. He also has 10 years’ consulting experience with PwC, Ernst & Young, and Deloitte. Chris is an international speaker and author on pricing and professional services
Mark Gould
Mark Gould is the founder of Mark Gould Consulting, a business focused on helping law firms use their knowledge more productively. He works with firms of all sizes, helping them to stand out in their markets by acting as a catalyst for improvement, combining his understanding of xv Innovating for competitive advantage in the legal profession the legal sector with the firm’s deep knowledge. He was head of knowledge management at Addleshaw Goddard LLP between 2006 and 2014, and a PSL at the same firm from 2001. Prior to that, he spent 13 years teaching law at the University of Bristol.
Stephen Poor
J Stephen Poor is chair emeritus of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. He served as chair of the firm from 2001-16, leading the transformation of Seyfarth into an international law firm at the forefront of innovation. In recognition of his work to redefine legal service delivery, Stephen was named the 2011 Legal Innovator of the Year by the Financial Times, as well as one of Law360’s Most Innovative Managing Partners in 2012. Seyfarth was named “2017 Firm of the Year” by ILTA for its work in robotics.
Simon Nash
Simon Nash read Law at Bristol University in the UK, and holds the Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and also membership of the British Psychological Society. Until 2017, Simon was the global HR director for Carey Olsen, a prestigious offshore law firm. While at Carey Olsen, he doubled the headcount while the firm tripled financial turnover and achieved Tier One rankings across all practices. Over this time, Simon’s people and performance strategy won four major awards and was widely written about in the HR and legal press. Now Simon runs, a human factors advisory firm, and ValueMetrix, a business ethics consultancy. He also has interests in two tech start-ups in the HR data analytics space.
Scott Rechtschaffen
Scott Rechtschaffen is chief knowledge officer at Littler Mendelson and leads Littler’s effort to provide innovative client services by integrating new technologies and work processes and enabling attorneys and clients to access the collective knowledge and experience of the firm’s more than 1,000 attorneys. He combines over 25 years of experience representing companies in every area of labor and employment law with a broad understanding of technology to help the firm’s attorneys and their clients in tailoring unique solutions that enhance the firm’s ability to deliver legal information and legal services to its clients. Scott heads Littler’s knowledge management department comprising dedicated KM attorneys, research specialists, and technologists. He was a member of the multi-disciplinary team that developed the award-winning Littler CaseSmart® approach to legal case management. He oversees the firm’s electronic and print publications, internal KMnsystems, and online client subscription services. Scott is the co-founder of ComplianceHR, an innovative joint venture launched by Littler and Neota Logic, a legal software company. ComplianceHR leverages Littler’s experience and knowledge of employment law with the power of Neota Logic’s expert systems to provide a transformative suite of online compliance solutions for HR and legal professionals. In 2015, the Financial Times presented ComplianceHR with an award for Innovation in The Business of Law: Compliance & Technology. For his achievements, Scott has been awarded the Distinguished Peer Award as KM Champion of the Year by the International Legal Technology Association, named to the Fastcase 50, an annual compilation “honoring the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators”, and was named among the 10 most innovative lawyers in North America by the Financial Times in 2014.
Oz Benamram
Oz Benamram is chief knowledge officer at White & Case, providing the firm with strategic direction on the use of KM and technology. He leads the knowledge department in developing and implementing the systems and processes that enable the firm to use its collective knowledge to benefit clients worldwide. Oz is a globally recognized thought leader and a frequent speaker on legal IT and KM subjects. He has won numerous awards for leading innovation in legal KM, including the creation of an enterprise search system.  
Kathy Skinner
Kathy Skinner is director of research and information services at White & Case. Kathy’s global research and information services team helps lawyers get to the right answers faster. Kathy’s responsibilities include delivering an optimal portfolio of research services and products across the firm’s 43 offices efficiently and cost-effectively. Kathy’s team is part of the broader White & Case knowledge function, led by Oz Benamram.
Michael Bradley
Michael Bradley is the managing partner of Marque Lawyers, a boutique commercial law firm in Sydney which he and some fellow refugees from Big Law founded in 2008 with the stated intention of completely revolutionizing the way law is practiced. Anyone who has had anything to do with Marque will attest that it really does do law differently. Apart from continuing to explore how much fun a lawyer can have while pretending to work, Michael writes regularly on public interest issues, the legal industry, and whatever else he gets excited about. He also wrote a book called Kill all the Lawyers, which pretty much sums it all up.
John Alber
John Alber serves as Futurist for the International Legal Technology Association and for the Institute for the Future of Law Practice. He writes, speaks and consults on the need to reshape the delivery of legal services to suit a future demanding excellence far beyond substantive legal skills.  John has served as a transportation industry CEO, as a practicing attorney and as a law firm leader. During his 16 year tenure as Bryan Cave’s Strategic Innovation Partner, that firm came to be recognized as one of the most innovative law firms in the world. While at Bryan Cave, he also served for 7 years on the firm's Operating Group (its management committee). At Bryan Cave, John created one of the first practice economics consulting groups, one of the first client facing software development groups, and one of the first in-firm legal process outsourcing (LPO) organizations. The groups he created developed innovative web-based, client-centric applications that delivered legal advice to clients, managed complex workflows and even created pleadings automatically. They also developed client-facing knowledge management, project management, project estimation and business intelligence systems and highly technology- leveraged alternative staffing solutions for engagements of all types.  John is an Emeritus fellow of the College of Law Practice Management. He has received a number of awards, both in the legal field and in information technology generally. Among other awards, he received ILTA's first ever Premiership Award, was named American Lawyer Media’s first ever ‘Champion of Technology', was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by Law Technology News and recognized as one of the ‘Top 25 CTOs’ in the world by Infoworld. In addition, while under his leadership, Bryan Cave received recognition as a CIO Magazine ‘Top 100 Company' and was twice recognized as ILTA’s Most Innovative Firm

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