Lindsay Barthram, Wilson Allen’ new director of consulting services for Europe, talks with LTN on spearheading technology at Fieldfisher, all-in-one tech solutions, and more.
By Gabrielle Orum Hernández | April 20, 2018 at 11:02 AM
Amid legal industry-wide demands to innovate and bring in technology, law firms are now increasingly faced with questions: what technology to use, where to use it, and how to ensure that technology roll-outs don’t disrupt existing work.
Lindsay Barthram, Wilson Allen’ new director of consulting services for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), has been thinking about how to help law firms establish new technology strategies and processes for the last few years. Barthram oversaw UK-based firm Fieldfisher’s recent adoption of LexisOne and most recently served as the firm’s head of business transformation. In his new role, he’ll be working with firms on technology implementation strategies.
Barthram recently caught up with LTN to talk about his work in the past few years, and some advice he has for firms looking to bring new innovations into the firm:
LTN: Why the transition in your career into a consulting role?
Lindsay Barthram: I’m passionate about technology change and transformation. With Wilson, I have a dream role where I get live my passion daily helping a wealth of clients achieve their goals and strategies. I’m hoping I can use my knowledge of the various systems I know, along with my deep understanding of the business of law to help firm navigate system implementations as smoothly as possible.
Having overseen a big technology roll-out, what tips might you have for other firms looking to do the same?
Be pragmatic, challenge the way you operate the business and align the value and benefits accordingly to expectations. Firms can get hung up trying to make their new system act like the legacy system. Why? Look for the value of change and the benefits a new system should bring.
Looking back, is there anything you wish you’ve have done differently in Fieldfisher’s technology roll-out?
The roll-out of LexisOne at Fieldfisher was a pioneering project and an alpha site implementation of the new version of the Microsoft 365 for Operations platform. We learned a lot as we went and didn’t really have a comparison project to use as a template. I don’t think we would do things differently, as we were really happy with the approach and delivery. I think we would do more of the operational change management effort. It was a wholesale change for the firm, touching all users across many business processes. Perhaps we could have spent more time with users to support the change. I don’t think you can ever underestimate the impact of business change on the scale of the program of work we undertook.
Vendors love to talk about a legal industry trend towards all-in-one technology solutions. Do you feel that firms benefit more from working with one broad-scale vendor or from trying to work with multiple technology partners?
I’m not fully sold on the idea that one system fits all purposes. Reducing the total cost of ownership that a multi-system landscape brings is certainly a major attraction from a cost and overhead point of view. Grouping system processes logically also helps, i.e. operating one system that holds people, client, and financial data makes perfect sense from and efficiency and intelligence point of view. But point solutions offer rich feature and functions in key business areas. For example, why make an [enterprise resource planning] system work like a case or document management system?
Now that many companies are working with increasingly multinational markets, how do you think that shapes their technology strategies?
Technology needs to be able to adapt and flex to meet the working needs of new business or jurisdictional requirements. Law is traditionally agile, quick to change for client demands, so systems need to be able to cater and support the business, not work against and stifle their most valuable assets its people. Law is driving to be more efficient, lightweight and mobile, technology needs to match these initiatives without losing compliance and financial controls.
What are some things you’re hoping to achieve in your first few years in your new position?
Supporting the growth of Wilson Allen’s EMEA operations is one of the first priorities for me. We have some great clients in the UK, but I’d like to help get the Wilson brand more well-known here and across the continent. I’d like Wilson to be the go-to partner for helping firms get the most value from their investment in technology.
Read the press release: Wilson Allen Welcomes Lindsay Barthram As Director of Consulting Services, EMEA