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My top 3 legal IT speakers to watch at London Law Expo 2014

Over 50 leading presenters and up to 3,000 delegates from many of the UK’s top law firms will converge at the Old Billingsgate in London today for Europe’s largest conference and exhibition for law firm senior managers and legal professionals.


The London Law Expo offers multiple stages delivering keynote presentations, panel discussions, knowledge sessions, live debates, exhibitions and interactive demonstrations.


Some of the most respected names within the legal and commercial worlds will lead presentations on a wide array of topics aimed at helping legal industry professionals to increase their overall performance and profitability. The discussions will cover topics such as: law firm and departmental management; operations and practice management; legal technology software and solutions; business growth and performance strategies; and business development and marketing advice for legal practice managers.


If you are attending the show and are reviewing IT solutions for your organisation, I think these three speakers should be on your ‘must see’ list:

(1) James Caan

As one of the UK’s most successful and dynamic entrepreneurs, it goes without saying that James Caan will be a fascinating and inspiring speaker.


Best known as a panellist on the BBC show Dragons’ Den (where he invested in 14 companies and committed over £1m of investment), James has had a successful 25-year history as a businessman and entrepreneur. He has received various prestigious awards including ‘BT Enterprise of the Year’, PricewaterhouseCoopers ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ and Chairman of the Year at the International Business Awards 2013.


But having made his fortune in the HR and recruitment industry, what will James have to say to management partners and heads of finance and IT at law firms?

Following his investment in Knight’s Solicitors in 2012, Caan last year announced his plan to grow the company through acquisitions and break into The Lawyer UK Top 20 list of top firms. He is quoted as saying he found the legal profession “dogged by the partner structure, failing to build a lasting relationship with clients and with too little focus on making money. … ‘A lot of people said this is not how this industry works: we’re about service, and profitability is a dirty word.”


After setting out with a mission for legal sector culture change, it will be interesting to hear how James now feels the industry is heading in terms of its profitability and commercial opportunities.


Netlaw Media’s chief executive has said: “Immediately following his investment in Knight’s Solicitors, James Caan presented one of the most incredible keynotes ever delivered at any Netlaw Media event and this will be no different – A must attend presentation for any law firm or legal business seeking to increase their results and profitability.”


Peter Owen


Peter is a law firm technology consultant, specialising in IT strategy and software for law firms. As Managing Director of Lights-On Consulting Limited, an IT and management consultancy practice specialising in the legal sector, Peter works with both law firms and IT suppliers. He is also a founder member, Director and Secretary of Litig Limited, a not-for-profit legal think tank.


Prior to Lights-On, Peter was the IT Director at Eversheds for over 10 years, and lead Eversheds’ IT through its merger of seven separate law firms in August 2000, bringing together the seven IT departments with different IT systems, technologies and cultures into one, firm-wide IT department with consolidated technology across the firm.


Peter has cross sector experience that gives him a good commercial overview. Known for his sense of humour as well as his commercial knowledge, Peter will deliver a talk that is both engaging and no doubt very insightful for anyone considering a merger, especially where there are multiple-platform technology barriers to overcome.

Doug Hargrove

Doug Hargrove is Managing Director of Advanced Legal, one of our SmartEye legal management information system distribution partners.

As a bit of background, Doug joined the IRIS software Group (renamed CSH software Group) in 2010 as Managing Director of IRIS Legal. IRIS Legal provides enterprise and business application software to the solicitors and barristers industry vertical. In 2013, the CSH Group was acquired by the Advanced Software Group Plc, the UK’s fourth largest software group, and the legal division was rebranded Advanced Legal.

With a strong retail and technology background gained his previous work with global software and technology group, Torex, Doug will bring commercial leadership insights that will be of particular interest to practice managers. Having held leadership positions as Vice President, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Group Chief Marketing Officer at Torex, Doug has a comprehensive understanding of both the operational and business development side of leadership.


Which London Law Expo 2014 speakers are you most looking forward to and why?


If you’d like to discuss how legal information management systems and legal reporting software could help your law firm run more profitably, give Exen a call on 0845 6806 843 or email info@xnls.co.uk.