Derek Southall, Founder and CEO
Our Founder and CEO Derek Southall, is a high profile and very well connected figure in the legal technology, innovation and digital marketplaces and was recently described as the “Doyen of legal IT and Innovation”.
Derek has spent nearly 25 years in a range of leading strategic roles for a top 50 global law firm, for most of this time as a Partner and Head of Strategic Development. Derek started his professional life as a corporate lawyer but since 1999 he has immersed himself in the world of Technology and Productivity, Digital, Innovation, Strategy and Knowledge Management as well as organisational and market change. During this time Derek has delivered a range of strategic projects both for the firm and its global clients (the latter ranging from some of the biggest legal teams in the world to the very smallest). Derek has literally supported hundreds of in house legal teams in a wide range of sectors.
Derek has spent over 17 years working both within the business and with major global clients in developing strategies and implementing a range of business improvement projects relating to technology, digital, compliance, risk, and productivity. The firm has grown from £27mil when Derek joined to over £400mil at today’s date. Derek has played a key role in supporting this growth through the dotcom era, multiple recessions, internationalisation, head quarter moves and several waves of technological changes.
Derek has led the firm’s innovation strategy and in 2016 the firm was named by the FT as the second most innovative law firm in Europe. Derek has also been the driving force behind winning a range of other awards.
The Financial Times ranked Derek as one of the top three most innovative lawyers in the UK in their first study into the UK market and he was recognised in 2017's prestigious Acritas Stars database as a one of few Star Lawyers delivering outstanding service. This was based entirely on independent client feedback. The IT team which Derek has been responsible for has also been named as the Most Innovative Legal Technology Team by the FT and Legal Business as Legal Technology Team of the Year.
Derek has been relationship partner for a long list of major household name clients in a range of sectors including Automotive, FMCG, Financial Services, Food and Drink, Fashion and Construction.
Derek chairs and was one of the founders of the Legal IT Innovators Group which plays a key role in driving ahead technological thinking and change for the good of the legal profession. In this role he has worked alongside the United Nations and a range of other large organisations.