From 19-23 March, transatlantic law firm Womble Bond Dickinson is holding an International Innovation Week. More than 19 events are taking place in the US and UK, looking at innovative technology that is transforming the legal industry and other sectors, how businesses challenge themselves to develop more efficient processes and new ways of engaging with clients to embed a culture of innovation.

There are opportunities for all staff from both side of the Atlantic to listen, learn, debate and create, through a series of open invitation webinars, workshops, roundtable events and discussions.

Events being run throughout the week include: 

  • Demystifying Cryptocurrency and Blockchain: Hosted by Stephen Middlebrook, Of Counsel (Atlanta office) and Malcolm Dowden, Legal Director (Southampton office). Blockchain, or DLT, the technology that powers many cryptocurrencies, is growing rapidly. This session will cover why it's a game changer, how it will impact clients and their sectors, the advisory groups we are involved in and what the firm is doing on both sides of the Atlantic to get a better insight into its impact. 
  • AI in business - use and ethics: Hosted by Phil Westcott, Managing Director at Filament, an AI consultancy that deliver Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning solutions, and Ted Claypoole a Partner from the firm's Atlanta office, cyber enthusiast and senior member of the Privacy and Data Protection Industry team. Ted is writing a book on AI Regulation and recently spoke to the Association of Corporate Counsel's Compliance and Ethics committee about the 'Internet of Things: Law and Risks'. Phil is a former Director at IBM, where he ran the IBM Watson Ecosystem in Europe and launched IBM’s global IoT practice. At Filament he's a specialist in Artificial Intelligence use cases, business models and enterprise transformation and brings experience of providing clients like T-Mobile, IBM, Sita, American Express, Orion and HSBC, with a range of consultancy services including AI education on adoption and ethics, and the development of chatbots. 
  • Do Law Firms Have the Discipline to Continuously Improve and Innovate? Hosted by Professor Dan Linna, Director of LegalRnD – The Center for Legal Services Innovation, and Womble Bond Dickinson co-chairs Betty Temple and Jonathan Blair. Dan is affiliated faculty at CodeX – the Stanford Center for Legal Informatics and an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan Law School. He is the co-founder of the Detroit and Chicago Legal Innovation & Technology meetup groups and was named to the 2015 Fastcase 50 as a person who has charted a new course for the delivery of legal services.

There are also various regional events being hosted in across the UK and US offices that are relevant to local clients or initiatives.

Nigel Emmerson, UK Head of Innovation at Womble Bond Dickinson comments:

"We have learnt a huge amount through collaboration with our US colleagues over the last 12 months but we know we need to keep exploring and embracing change together in order to remain competitive, relevant and progressive. Our Innovation Group works with our lawyers and clients to help identify potential innovation opportunities and coordinate initiatives and projects across the firm. Innovation Week provides a spotlight for these projects and new ways of working that will be hugely beneficial to both firms."

Liz Riley, Chair of Innovate Womble at Womble Bond Dickinson (US) notes:

“We are excited to again partner with our UK colleagues for this vital and necessary exploration of how innovation is changing the very world around us, especially the legal one. We feel that it’s crucial for our attorneys and staff to have a keen understanding of what is on the legal horizon and how it will affect the practice of law. Keeping a weather eye on innovative new dynamics provides a clear path to solid legal footing in the future.”