One aspect of the initiative is the opening of the firm’s first ‘Innovation Hubs’, spaces dedicated to innovation and creativity, in its London and New York offices.
Believed to be among the first investments of their kind by a law firm, the Innovation Hubs are designed with input from businesses in other sectors which have benefited from similar spaces. Measuring 538 ft. sq. in London and 320 ft. sq. in New York, these rooms sit in the centre of the firm’s client meeting areas and were planned with the principles of co-working at their heart to ensure a versatile environment to support collaboration. It is intended that the spaces will act as catalysts for clients to meet with the firm’s lawyers and contacts, providing them with access to both expertise and connections that will unlock new commercial opportunities and solutions.
Technology will be a core part of the focus for the Innovation Hubs. They will offer an environment to test new technologies which enhance client service or assist clients with their own technical development.
To support these efforts, the firm has appointed Alex Smith, who joins the firm from LexisNexis, as a dedicated innovation manager. Alex will be based in London, and will work internationally with the firm’s clients, lawyers and business services teams to develop ideas ranging from those which drive internal efficiencies to ideas for new products which enhance service delivery. He has a long history of bringing innovation to the legal market, having led LexisNexis’ new product development team, delivering practical solutions to law firms using emerging technologies to improve the legal process.
Commenting on the launch, Lucy Dillon, global Chief Knowledge Officer, said: “Our clients often come to us to help them to find clever solutions for changes affecting their businesses and we hope this initiative, and the dedicated spaces we are developing across the firm, will offer them ‘thinking space’ to do just that.
“Our aim is to create a broad community and a shared working environment for our clients, experts and start-up businesses, and to involve independent leading thinkers from universities, think tanks and sectors in which our clients operate. Ultimately, it’s about creating that ‘deliberate serendipity’ of interaction from which innovation sparks.”
A schedule of events to trigger collaboration between clients and contacts has already been developed and will begin formally in November with regular new technology sessions and workshops focused around innovation in the firm’s core industry sectors. The first such session will focus on fintech.
“As Reed Smith lawyers, we are immersed in our industry sectors and practices. As such, we are well placed to create the connections for our clients that will facilitate new approaches, fresh ideas and more efficient methodologies to help them achieve better business outcomes,” commented Tamara Box, Reed Smith’s Europe and Middle East managing partner.