Australian leaders sponsors global firm’s innovation drive

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Herbert Smith Freehills is making a firmwide commitment to innovation with a new initiative.

Innovation 10 will allow staff to spend up to 10 days a year working on innovative solutions to challenges facing the firm and its clients, such as creating new legal apps, AI, and blockchain and smart contract projects.

The initiative is sponsored by Andrew Pike, the firm’s regional managing partner for Australia. He says it builds on the firm’s focus on building a culture of innovation in recent years.

“That has paid dividends, with a number of achievements such as the launch of our global Legal Operations team, the introduction of decision analysis tools in the UK, and our work on the Australian National Blockchain,” he said.

Pike says that the initiative will allow all staff to play an active role in the business’ transformation.

“They’ll be able to collaborate, share ideas, and broaden their skillset while creating lasting benefits for our clients and the firm," he said.

A&O announces further leadership strength for consulting arm
Following the announcement of the expansion of Allen & Overy’s consulting business to Australia and the wider region, it has now added to its leadership team.

A&O Consulting will be led in the UK, Europe, and Middle East by former Barclays Bank head of regulatory policy Tom Lodder. He becomes the region’s managing director.

In Australia and Asia the business will be headed by Lee Alam.

“Tom and Lee’s appointments are the first of a number of planned hires internationally,” said A&O Consulting CEO Sally Dewar. “We’ve made good progress with recruitment over the past few months to meet the demand we’ve been experiencing and we’re aiming to have most of the first phase of our core team in place by this summer.”

Disputes head among elite honoured in Singapore
A partner at RPC Premier Law has been appointed Senior Counsel by the Chief Justice of Singapore.

Siraj Omar is one of just four recipients to be honoured with the equivalent of Queen’s Counsel. The scheme recognises an elite group of advocates who are considered to have top-tier advocacy skills, professional integrity and are experts in their practice areas.

Omar is head of the dispute resolution practice at the firm, which is a joint law venture of international firm RPC and local firm Premier Law LLC.