Bond Dickinson, in collaboration with its US alliance partner Womble Carlyle, has launched its first ever International Innovation Week.

From 20-24 March, more than 20 events are taking place, looking at everything from how innovative technology is transforming the legal industry and other sectors; to how businesses must challenge themselves to develop more efficient business processes and new ways of engaging with clients as a first step to embedding a culture of innovation.

There are opportunities for all staff from both firms to listen, learn, debate and create, through a series of open invitation webinars, workshops, roundtable events and discussions that everyone can get involved in.

Events throughout the week include:

  • Beyond the Hype: Artificial Intelligence in Legal Research Innovation. Led by Andrew Arruda, CEO and Co-Founder of ROSS Intelligence, an artificially intelligent lawyer built on Watson IBM’s cognitive computer
  • An Introduction to the Internet of Things – Led by Ted Claypoole, Partner at Womble Carlyle and leads the firm's IP Transaction Team and the Data Privacy and CyberSecurity Team and Malcolm Dowden, Legal Director at Bond Dickinson who has written the book 'Business, Law and the Internet of Things'
  • Intrapreneurship - the art of behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization. Delivered by Hans Moller, Swedish tech pioneer and Innovation Director at the North East Local Economic Partnership (NELEP) who has more than 25 years’ experience of leading innovation at large corporates, creating start-ups and establishing Sweden’s first ever science park
  • “Beta Blitz”-- Hands On Design Thinking exercise running concurrently in 10 US Womble Carlyle offices, with Bond Dickinson participating from London with attorney Jack Hicks from Womble Carlyle facilitating. A new 90-minute interactive innovation exercise using well-tested Design Thinking methods from the Stanford Design School
  • What’s Next on the Innovation Horizon? Autonomous ships?” Led by Patrick Dowsett of Mayflower Autonomous Ship project.

Alongside these collaborative events there are opportunities for staff to see the very latest technology up close including Tesla Model S & Model X with Autopilot driver assist features and over the air software updates to add new functionality over time. Also staff can experience Virtual Reality, Drones, 3D printing, 3D scanning and Artificial Intelligence.

Nigel Emmerson, Head of Innovation, comments: "The legal sector needs to embrace innovation in order to remain competitive, relevant and progressive. Our Innovation Group has been established to help identify potential innovation opportunities and coordinate initiatives and projects across the firm. Running an International Innovation Week in collaboration with our US alliance firm, Womble Carlyle, gives us a clear and sustained focus on innovation that will be hugely beneficial to both firms."

"We have already seen really positive results from innovative projects where we have collaborated with clients to tackle a pain point for them and helped bring real benefits to the in-house legal team. We want to ensure we keep developing new ways of working with our clients but also new ways of working as a firm that makes our business better."

Bond Dickinson was ranked in the Top 5 firms for innovation in the Best Legal Adviser Report for 2016-2017. The report also revealed that innovation in law firms is becoming more important to clients – in 2015 only 28% said it was important whereas in 2016 this rose to 62%. Bond Dickinson was ranked in the Top for both Overall Innovation and Alternative Low Cost Centres.