Last Sunday (the 8th March) was International Women’s day. At Clocktimizer, we’re all about girl power. Half of our office are women after all! In honour of them, and of all of the amazing women out there changing the face of legal tech, we decided to put together a list of some of the people who have personally inspired us in the office. The list is by no means exhaustive, and we’d love to hear more names so we can expand it! So if you know of some more inspiring women then please share their names with us.
Katja van Kranenburg, Partner at CMS
Regular readers of our blogs will already be familiar with Katja. We interviewed her for our series on Scaling Up LPM (free e-book available here) where she gave us practical tips on using LPM techniques to improve R&D projects in firms. She has been inspiring for us in the office because of how she combines technology and team management in the firm. Good technology without the right team behind it is doomed to failure. By building a strong team, which integrates technology professionals, legal professionals and even clients, Katje ensures the success of her projects. Katja is leading the way in innovating CMS’s processes to ensure they are able to meet the challenges of the future.
Eugenia Frenzel, Director of Pricing at Perkins Coie
Perkins Coie is a name known internationally. The largest firm headquartered in the Pacific Northwest, it has built a global reputation. Part and parcel of that success is the innovative way it approaches pricing. As part of our series on pricing and profitability we spoke to Eugenia Frenzel, the Head of Pricing to understand how she approaches the challenges facing pricing directors in the modern law firm. Eugenia was inspirational in how she embraced what technology can do for her and her team. By reducing repetitive work, and giving greater insight she has been able to increase the sophistication of pricing at Perkins. Eugenia has also embraced technology like natural language processing to improve the quality and accuracy of the data she collects, rather than relying on phase or task codes.
Christie Guimond, Co-Founder of #SheBreaksTheLaw
Christie is probably a name you are familiar with. As a Senior Manager of Innovation at White and Case, one of the largest firms in the US, she is more than familiar with the practical use of technology in a law firm. However, Christie makes our list as a founder of the new movement #SheBreaksTheLaw. Launched in spring of 2019, She Breaks The Law is designed to act as an international network to female disruptors in the legal industry. With a Linkedin group (head here to sign up) and international events, Christie is at the head of a movement towards promoting and supporting strong women in legal tech. Count us in!
Nicky Leijtens, Co-Founder of #SheBreaksTheLaw
Nicky Leijtens has long been a friend of Clocktimizer, and a real inspiration for all of us in the office. She is currently an Advisor to the Board at the large Dutch firm NautaDutilh. Additionally, she is the second of the three co-founders of #SheBreaksTheLaw. Nicky has long worked in the innovation sector in law, from the Rechtwijzer project to make legal processes more understandable, to Nauta’s own innovation lab in Rotterdam. What makes her great is the ability to critically look at the way things are done, and to try and understand why that is. This critical thinking allows her to improve processes in an informed way, with the support of clients and firms alike. It’s a unique talent. Her founding of #SheBreaksTheLaw is further proof that Nicky wants to ensure that she can use her considerable success to shine the light for the next generation of amazing women in tech.
Priya Lele, Co-Founder of #SheBreaksTheLaw
Last (but absolutely by no means least) is Priya Lele, the third of the amazing Co-Founders of #SheBreaksTheLaw. Priya is the Legal Process Design Lead at Herbert Smith Freehills. Like her two co-founders, this means Priya has worked on the front lines of legal innovation. In fact, Priya was one of the first lawyers to move from traditional practice, to an innovation role. For her, true innovation is about recognising value. By understanding not only what clients value, but also what the firm culture needs, you can ensure your innovation is both well designed, and is likely to be effectively implemented. Her founding of #SheBreaksTheLaw reflects this desire to build knowledge and trust in future innovators, so that the roles of traditional practice, and innovation, can merge.
Ivy B Grey, Director of Business Strategy for Wordrake
We met Ivy while in the US, attending the P3 conference. We’ve long been a fab of how Ivy writes about legal tech developments. Particularly the honesty and clarity with which she approaches innovation. Sometimes this means recognising hype. And sometimes it means looking at the ethics of innovation. More recently, Ivy became the Director for Business Strategy of Wordrake. In this position she has been able to combine many of the skills which make her an inspiring women. Her technical, business and legal knowledge give her a unique insight into both the practical application of legal tech, and in where and why it will evolve.
Shilpa Bhandarkar, Head of Innovation at Linklaters
For Shilpa, innovation means “being brave enough to try new things that challenge the status quo”. As Head of Innovation at Linklaters that means pushing the technological boundaries to find new efficiencies, or completely disrupt an established process to offer a better way of doing things. Key to all of this, is about how you work with people and build trust and excitement in the development process. Shilpa is someone we admire at Clocktimizer because she recognises the realities of development. Not all technology will be perfect from the start. However, by talking with your users, understanding the problem and working iteratively, you can build technology that can change the way you work for the better.