Author: David Kinnear

Ready. Steady. Read. New High Performance Counsel Library Will Allow Readers to Browse and Download Top Legal Leadership Interviews and Thought-Leadership

When we first launched High Performance Counsel there were many puzzled looks and a few wry smiles. Why, after all, would anyone launch a publication these days? The answer is simple. It is to tell the stories of the next ten years in law as the “legal space” we know today transforms into the “legal industry” of tomorrow. The latter speaks to scale, complexity and the intrinsic role of technology in what lies ahead. It smacks of leadership challenges and opportunities waiting to be addressed. So it is that High Performance Counsel features the individuals, organizations and solutions leading the...

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Legal Innovation: Incrementalism May Win Battles But It Won’t Win This War

The issue of labor sourcing in the modern legal industry is going to come under significant scrutiny as buyer sentiment changes and new technology identifies the opportunity for far greater efficiencies and cost savings. Technology has crossed the chasm. Now the legal industry must do likewise to prepare for stiff competition ahead. This is no time for incrementalism. HPC presents a few thoughts on this by David Kinnear

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Legal Innovation. Are You Ready to Play Musical Chairs?

A thought or two on what’s starting to happen in the marketplace – by David Kinnear Legal innovation is upon us. And it’s not going away. This has serious, permanent implications for the legal sector and those working in it. A year or so ago I spoke with a senior partner of a major law firm about their strategy on legal technology adoption – the response was interesting and very telling: “We don’t want to the first but, I can tell you, we won’t be third.” More recently, I fell into conversation with two General Counsel of major corporations....

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Everyone Has A Plan Until They Get Punched In The Face.

We live in interesting times. Over the last few years I’ve spoken with many folks involved in the legal sector – some speak of excitement and many speak of dread. Change is all around and most confess to being pulled along by the current versus surfing the wave. Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. The point is, are you ready for change? My best advice to lawyers – starting out and later in life – is don’t get left behind. I’m often asked by parents whether their kids should study to become lawyers or...

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HPC Expert Commentary: Can You Hear Me Now? The Future Of Law In Our Pockets

It’s September 12 and what you don’t already know about the new iPhone, you’re probably going to find out today. The ’phone in your pocket represents the empowerment of a generation and every future generation – the ability to self-serve, self-select, self-support. This is hugely relevant in the context of engaging people who are qualified and who want to be found for legal services work these days. The task of finding and mobilizing qualified legal talent shouldn’t be complicated. I repeat “shouldn’t”. In future, it won’t be thanks to truly disruptive tech like Mplace. And that’s the point.

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HPC Analysis: On Legal Costs And Expectations – The Road Ahead Calls For Confidence In Closer Collaboration

The best way to tackle a difficult subject is to understand it – and talk about it. Legal costs and expectations would seem to be a good example. We see some great conversations ahead and even stronger business relationships emerging as clients and their legal service providers engage around data, embrace change and realize the benefits of greater transparency in helping one another succeed.

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James Joyce And The Legal Sector Myth

As the industry faces cost pressures and business interjections from outside – from the C-suite, from new technology and new legal service providers, from data and automation – we may yet see a new and greater symbiosis between these communities around what unites us, not what divides us. In my various conversations with leaders, I see a shared passion for “better” – not just for cost reduction though that is a consideration for every business. I see a genuine “fire” in the eyes for advancement in how we do things, the purpose it serves and the value it creates or adds to our clients. The future will come soon enough, as they say, and it will bring mighty change. Of that there can be no mistake. But on both sides of this discussion – and looking further afield into the growing array of participants – I see encouraging evidence of great innovative and forward-thinking individuals that will carry the torch and take the opportunity to champion “better”.

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HPC Analysis: Market Forces and Smart Leadership Shape Successful Technologies Like Mplace

Ford observed that his customers would have asked for faster horses but he saw the need – and opportunity – for the car. In modern law, it may be said that the co-founders of Mplace have a similarly bold view. The opportunity for something better, like Mplace, far outweighs the incremental changes others may suggest. Caleb and Aden are onto something – you can feel it. But even moreso, when you run the numbers, you know it. This may explain why several major customers and partners have signed on to work with them this year.

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Farming And Law – Worthy Professions Responding To The Unforgiving Voice Of Innovation.

“A moment – poised atop the vast field in the dark. Barely in our seats as the vast array pulls us steeply downward. Our powerful spaceship hovered, engine hungry – then plunged deep into the dark – only pierced by the sharp arc lights – and that was plenty. This is not the farming of my childhood. It is better, far better. And the same will be true of law.”

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This week was fabulous – but one of the best highlights was knowing I work with really great people. So this edition of BULLET POINTS is different. It’s by way of a big thank you to two amazing team members who really showed what teamwork and leadership means this week. And that’s also why next week is going to be, well, so exciting.

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I walked by the still-shuttered Blockbuster storefront space the other day – the one we visited hundreds of times on Friday nights in sun, rain and snow. Blockbuster – even the name seems almost a self-mockery at this point. So who misses Blockbuster movie nights then? No, really. Granted there was the competitive fun of scoring a new release movie before they sold out on a busy night – but it was 50/50 whether the tape would garble in the machine from over-use. The “fun” is lost in history – never to be seen again. The concept has been blown...

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Just over a month ago, we raised a glass on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange to a full day of discussions and presentations on Cybersecurity. It was a suitably sparkly end to an otherwise very serious day. While Cybersecurity conjures up images of spies, fast cars and martinis shaken not stirred, the reality is a whole lot more gritty. The consequences of error can be devastating. Boards of Directors are waking to the challenges of governance in a world that didn’t exist 20 years ago. CEO’s are having conversations about risks that can kill their businesses....

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We may not have a crystal ball we can gaze into to tell the future – but all of us can learn from some of the brightest minds in legal innovation who are thinking about it a lot. To contemplate a lifelong career with a blindfold on makes no sense. It never made sense but it makes less sense today than ever before in the legal sector. To know what’s coming allows you to plan for it and embrace the change – not get left behind by it. Starting this week – an exclusive series of articles in conjunction with our friends and colleagues at Law Made. You won’t want to miss this.

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We’re delighted to launch a new, exclusive series written by two leading minds in legal innovation, Lisa Culbert and Jason Moyse of Law Made. They’ll be looking at the road ahead for the modern legal practitioner and other participants in the legal industry. What does it look like? What are the new skills? Will yesterday’s niche career in tech and innovation become tomorrow’s mainstream career? All these questions – and more. We think you won’t want to miss this.

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Each of the new Advisory Board members brings unique insights and experiences of the legal industry in their various capacities as clients, practitioners, founders, analysts, commentators, technology advisers, investors and media. They join world-class colleagues who have supported HPC since its inception – the resulting combination of intellect and experience is second to none.

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Newton’s Law of Gravity applies to everyone except when you’re an astronaut in a cool rocket and then you don’t care anyway since, well, it’s so cool. For everyone else, we have gravity. It’s an uncomfortable truth for many but, a bit like Newton’s Law of Gravity, it turns out that the rule of “better, faster, cheaper” applies to the legal industry also. Unless you have a rocket ship, you get to deal with it like everyone else. This might be a good point to strap in. The better, faster, cheaper movement has been a bit slow arriving –...

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