Building upon decades of creative solutions to meet clients’ needs, global law firm Reed Smith has launched a new firmwide initiative to expand and enhance how its teams work creatively with their clients, external partners and each other to drive ongoing improvements in delivering client value.
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.
Andrew Jenkinson, Reed Smith’s London office managing partner, said: “The pace of technological change that all businesses have to contend with creates great opportunities for innovation and law firms are no exception to that. Our Innovation Hub will enable us to develop and promote new, exciting and creative means of providing legal services and, in partnership with our clients, seek dynamic and value driven solutions to business challenges affecting us all.”
Having opened two Innovation Hubs this quarter, the intention is to develop such spaces across the Reed Smith network.
The initiative is being led by New York partner Edward Estrada, the firm’s former global Head of Strategy and now Chair of the firm’s Financial Industry Group, New York Office Managing Partner Cindy Minniti, global Chief Knowledge Officer Lucy Dillon and global Director of Learning and Development Nigel Spencer.
Reed Smith’s Innovation Hubs are one of a number of new initiatives created in the past year, as the firm continues its focus on client value. Other recently launched client products range from the firm’s Deal Performance Platform (DPP) software product, built in-house, to the bespoke Executive Education programme created by the firm’s learning and development team for clients in partnership with a leading business school.
About Alex Smith, Innovation Manager
Alex joins the firm in October from LexisNexis where he led a number of projects focused on innovation, product development and new technologies.
About the Deal Performance Platform (DPP)
The DPP is an in-house developed suite of software, web-enabled processes and alternative legal staffing models that increase internal and client efficiencies, reduce legal costs and streamline deal closing activities.
About the Executive Education programme
Reed Smith’s learning and development team and a leading business school jointly created and together deliver Reed Smith’s Executive Education programme. The tailored programme provides clients with topics including: creating and fostering high performance teams, leading business through change and understanding growth and profitability in business.
About Reed Smith
Reed Smith is a global law firm with 26 offices and more than 1,700 lawyers across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the United States.
For further information, please visit www.reedsmith.com or contact Jeyda Star (senior PR & communications manager EME) on +44 (0)20 3116 2571.