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Legal Innovation Briefing - September Edition

September 06, 2018


Partners Simon Vannini
Senior Associates Louise Taylor
Management Caroline Ferguson

Digital & new technologies Legal innovation & technology

Welcome to this month’s Legal Innovation Briefing, a monthly selection of insights and updates curated for in-house legal teams.  

Less flash, more substance - that was one of the key themes that emerged from this year’s ILTACON event, the International Legal Technology Association’s annual conference. Over 4,000 representatives from a wide range of legal teams and organisations gathered in Washington, D.C. to attend over 100 sessions offered over four days.

Numerous leading legal commentators highlighted after the event that it was great to see a shift from hype to first-hand stories of successes and lessons learnt in relation to innovation and technology.

The big idea: Innovation is a process changed, not just a technology bought 

Although traditionally a technology conference, the broader principles and practices of innovation held the spotlight at ILTACON just as much as the software on show.

In sharing his insights from ILTACON, Edward Sohn from Thomson Reuters noted that it was great to see the legal sector embracing the notion that innovation can take the form of smarter processes as opposed to just technology solutions.

Across a number of the sessions, there were innovation case studies from in-house departments, law firms and alternative legal service providers on how they had created operational efficiencies and increased client satisfaction through solutions that involved little or no technology. Check out the Digest section below to access more information.

What we are up to: Legal Innovation workshop series and Innovation Capability Programme   

After three fully subscribed sessions in Auckland and Wellington, we will be running our legal process improvement workshop in Christchurch on Thursday 27 September.

Other upcoming workshops in the Legal Innovation series include sessions in Wellington (3 October) and Hamilton (10 October) on how legal teams can effectively engage with agile processes.

It also continues to be a busy time within Simpson Grierson with our Innovation Capability Programme in full swing. Our group of 20 innovation champions are now half way through their specialised training with Inventium, Australia’s leading innovation consultancy. The champions are learning best practice innovation methodologies and putting them into action by identifying and implementing ways to improve client experience.

If you would like any further information on the workshops or the Innovation Capability Programme, please contact Caroline Ferguson (09 977 5336 /

Digest: interesting listening from ILTACON

If you want to discover more about what was covered at ILTACON, check out their resources page where you can access recordings and/or materials from each session. A couple that may be of interest include:

  • Leading Innovation - Stories of Perspective, Persistence and Patience - Scott Hewens, Head of Legal Consulting at IDEO, facilitates a session with four great stories about perseverance and how legal teams can work towards a culture of innovation.
  • The Law Department of the Future – part of the Corporate Roadmap track of the conference, this session includes a series of brief presentations exploring the trends re-shaping the in-house legal department (for example legal operations, legal service request and AI).