BigLaw Innovation | Norton Rose Fulbright & Reed Smith

BigLaw Innovation | Norton Rose Fulbright & Reed Smith

The recent news of major law firms, Reed Smith launching an innovation lab and Norton Rose Fulbright launching a legal tech subsidiary, indicates how technology and innovation have and is continuing to disrupt the legal industry. The innovative initiatives led by the global law firms confidently predict the growing interest and openness for more law firms to adapt to the modern emerging technologies to optimise efficiency whilst enhancing the service and better serving their clients. 

Reed Smith launches a new 'Innovation Lab'

Reed Smith continues to take innovative initiatives with their recent announcement of launching a new innovation lab that will focus on different practice areas and thoroughly understand how it operates. The lab is one of the few innovation plans in the next three years for Reed Smith, following their “Innovation Seasons” and “Now and Next” tech projects. 

Currently, the innovation lab is still in the early phases and the Chief Innovation Officer, David Cunningham states that the ‘innovation lab’ will have a “more distinct name at some point”. They are also looking to hire a director, process engineers and research and development analysts to join a small team of process engineers and other related experts. 

Cunningham says, “The idea is we study how they do things now. We have process engineers and we’re looking at the clients’ perspective of what they want, what they consider [of] value today. And then we come up with a playbook of how [they] should change and then we work with the practice to actually execute that change.”

“They’re so busy, they can’t grow, because they got more work than people. And so, [it’s a] good problem to have, but it’s a problem,” Cunningham explained. “And it’s a very interesting situation because we got to come in and say, ‘alright, well, how do we get work off of people’s plates? Maybe push it down to some of our people … in [Reed Smith’s captive ALSP] Gravity Stack? [Or] how do we automate certain work so it doesn’t take as much time?’”

“We want to start bringing our clients into the process as well,” Cunningham said. “It’s not just about us internally saying, ‘what are we going to do differently?’ It’s how do we change, how does a customer receive that change? And how do we both get to a better place, because that’s the aspiration.”

Norton Rose Fulbright launches 'LX Studio'

Norton Rose Fulbright has always had a strong innovative culture in the legal space through previous programs such as NRF Transform. Early February, David Woolstencroft, the editor of Legal Practice Intelligence interviewed Nick Abrahams, the Global Co-Leader of Digital Transformation of Norton Rose Fulbright on Why Lawyers Should Know about the Metaverse.

Their new innovation-focused US subsidiary, LX Studio has been launched to further extend the firm’s service strategies beyond the traditional legal services. Through this initiative, they will collaborate with established and emerging legal technology companies and other alternative legal services providers to develop products and services for the firm’s lawyers and clients. 

Jeff Cody, Norton Rose Fulbright's US Managing Partner, said, "LX Studio's focus is to provide innovative solutions that enable our clients to achieve their legal and business objectives in the most efficient way possible. We want to identify, develop and invest in the very best technology and help our clients put it to use quickly, effectively and comprehensively. Our clients want not only our legal advice but also our problem-solving capabilities. We're building this entire business around the idea of giving them more."

Gina Shishima, Norton Rose Fulbright's Chief Strategy and Operations Partner, said, "With the unending evolution of the business and practice of law, LX Studio allows us to capitalize on our tremendous resources and innovative focus. This initiative will bring new opportunities so that we can offer new and different services to support our clients."

Christy Bentz, Norton Rose Fulbright's Chief Client Value & Innovation Officer, said, "We want to meet our clients where they are. Legal advice is the core of the 'what' we deliver, and LX Studio provides the platform to more intentionally collaborate with our clients on the 'how.' Legal service delivery expectations continue to evolve, and LX Studio further positions us to build, codevelop and partner with our clients on personalized service solutions."

Partner Daniel Farris, who was named to the "Fastcase 50" list of legal innovators, said, "In my practice, I've long been fortunate to work with clients who are disruptors by nature and energized by the challenges of digital and business transformation. In joining Norton Rose Fulbright and working to launch LX Studio, I am thrilled to be able to engage with those clients as a part of an enterprise that is equally eager to embrace new technology and new ways of working."

Norton Rose Fulbright’s Technology Tomorrow webinar

For those that are interested in the innovation that is occurring in the technology industry, Norton Rose Fulbright has a four-day online technology conference, ‘Technology Tomorrow’  that is taking place June 20-23. This conference will cover topics for technology businesses and those that are seeking to implement technology solutions. 

You wouldn’t want to miss out on these webinars in particular:

Using smart contracts, computable contracting and AI to innovate: Law and disruptive tech


Madeline Bailey, Co-Head of Technology Consulting, Europe, Middle East and Asia, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

Peter McBurney, Co-Head of Technology Consulting, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

James Russell, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

June 21, 2022 | 12:30 - 14:00 GMT

Follow the link to register for Using smart contracts webinar.

Everything’s coming together: What a converged tech future means for the tech sector


Imran Ahmad, Partner, Head of Technology, Co-Head of Information Governance, Privacy and Cybersecurity, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Peter McBurney, Co-Head of Technology Consulting, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

Nick Abrahams, Global Co-leader, Digital Transformation Practice, Norton Rose Fulbright Australia

Stella Cramer, Global Co-Head of Technology, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright (Asia) LLP

Maya Medeiros, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

June 23, 2022 | 12:30 - 14:00 GMT

Follow the link to register for Everything's coming together webinar.

Also read top viewed Ai Legal article: The Role of AI in Legal Research.

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