Michael Skapinker, Contributing Editor and Columnist, Financial Times
Session 1: Collaboration and Culture
Collaboration as an important driver of innovation. The most effective legal solutions derive from cross-office, cross-disciplinary teams and involve clients. The most effective in-house lawyers work closely with the business and other corporate functions. But the profession remains dogged by silo-thinking. How can business and lawyers break out of this trap? What role does culture have to play in making lawyers more collaborative and therefore more able to innovate?
Session 2: Diversity
In the research for the FT Innovative Lawyers reports, diverse teams, both in the inherent and cognitive sense, are most likely to innovate. Academic research suggests there is a link between success and diversity. However, the profession remains both inherently and cognitively un-diverse. Clients on the other hand want more holistic solutions to their problems. They are demanding their lawyers be more than technical advisers and increasingly want a more varied set of service lines. How is and can the profession respond?
Session 3: Leadership and Performance
An innovative law firm managing partner or group general counsel can transform their organisations and drive innovation. They are important catalysts for change. However, in many law firms and in-house legal departments, the leaders are failing to respond to what their organisations need. Much has been written about good leadership. What does it take in the legal context to excel in the position? And what is the profession’s current leadership doing to respond to the millennial challenge and changing expectations of careers and personal lives?
Session 4: The Future Structure of Law Firms and Law Departments
New organisational structures are beginning to emerge in law firms and law departments that are helping lawyers break out of the traditional confines of their roles to become more relevant to their clients and business. Instead of focusing on their own products and services, lawyers are becoming outwardly oriented in sometimes dramatic ways.
Session 5: The Salons – Structured Networking Sessions
The three salons will be divided into working groups of 10 people, led by selected innovators who have been ranked in the FT for their achievements in the topic areas. The groups of private practice and in-house lawyers will discuss their own challenges dealing with issues that will include changing behaviours, design thinking and how best to use this approach in your firm and changing the way lawyers communicate. One member of the group will report back to the Salon with ideas. The Salon Leader will select the best ideas from the working groups and report back to the plenary.