Video Interview: Large Law Firm Innovation at Clifford Chance

Topics: Business Development & Marketing Blog Posts, Law Firms, Legal Innovation, Q&A Interviews, Thomson Reuters, Videos


Innovation is more than a buzzword in the legal industry today. At most law firms, large and small, the push to innovate, adapt new legal technologies and improve efficiency all for the benefit of being able to more deftly handle client matters in being stamped into the DNA of most firms.

In a new video interview, Charlotte Rushton, Managing Director for Thomson Reuters Large & Midsize Law Firms group, talks to Matthew Layton, Global Managing Partner at Clifford Chance, about how the firm has approached innovation and what it means to the legal industry overall.

Layton describes how Clifford Chance sought to make innovation central to the firm’s strategy as a whole; and how, in 2015, the firm appointed Bas Boris Visser as its Global Head of Innovation and Business Change.

“His role is to really be a champion for innovation and business change both within the firm and externally,” Layton explains, adding the goal was to create environment where everybody within the firm knows how important it is to innovate and change, and also challenge the way the firm operates. “We want to be able to create an environment where it’s okay to try something and fail.”

Layton discusses, for example, how Clifford Chance created pilot program around automated template structures for use in clients’ transaction documents. The firm brought together a team that included its own lawyer, coding experts and an outside partner, Thomson Reuters, to develop a program for clients to create and license their own contract template software based on Thomson Reuters’ Contract Express program. Clifford Chance first piloted the program in the Netherlands and is now rolling it out to its clients in London, Layton says.

“It’s a continual process of learning and working with those clients to look at how we can enhance the product and the software to meet the particular needs of an organization,” Layton notes.