Q. Has the industry changed drastically since you started working in it?
A. The industry has changed, for sure, where I hesitate is on ‘drastically’. We have seen big changes in the way that we work, in-house legal teams have grown and developed more efficient ways of working; law firms have broadened their service offering; we are seeing the rise of Alternate Legal Service providers; and the big 4 are stepping in to the legal services sector. But, is any of this drastic? The Financial Services sector is being challenged every day, banking services are in the palm of our hands, we deal in crypto currencies and do so using Blockchain. I am immersed in the world of Lawtech, and new ideas surface every day that have the potential to drive real change in the industry. The industry is changing, the drastic is yet to come.
Q. What has been the key positive, or negative, impact of change in your area of the market?
A. The most welcomed change that I have seen, and the one that I think has the biggest potential to drive change is collaboration. Bringing law firms and clients together to work on a common problem benefits everyone that is involved. From just building better relationships, to finding more efficient ways of working, and finding solutions to common problems (at pace, sharing both cost and risk, and avoiding duplicate efforts). It’s easier said than done, for sure – the first hurdle is finding that common issue that will unite the group, it’s then about building trust and creating a ‘safe space’ in which you can all work together.
My biggest inspiration comes from the Lawtech founders that I work with now – working hard to make big dreams a reality
Q. Who inspires/inspired you and why?
A. This is a hard one to answer concisely! I have been inspired by many of the people I have worked with. Trailblazers intent on changing the industry, whether that be building the legal function of the futures or shaking up the traditional law firm/client relationships. However, my biggest inspiration comes from the Lawtech founders that I work with now – working hard to make big dreams a reality, and coming up with ideas that could make such a significant change to the industry, particularly those who are focused on access to justice and giving more people the ability to resolve their legal challenges.
Q. What has been the most valuable piece of advice given to you?
A. Relax, and just be yourself. If anyone has a problem with that, it’s more a reflection on them than it is on you. This includes ‘bringing yourself to work and encouraging others to do the same’. I got very caught up in worrying about how I was being perceived and learning to relax marked a real step change in terms of being able to focus on what really mattered and lifting an unnecessary pressure off your shoulders.
Q. If you were not in your current position, what would you have liked to have done?
A. There are two thoughts that I often let run loose in my mind, very much related to the season… the first is of running a ye olde country pub, complete with roaring fire. The second is of a beach bar with a ridiculous cocktail menu and an enormous pizza oven. Needless to say, it’s the beach bar that I think of most often.
Chris Grant | LawTech Director | Barclays Ventures
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