Catherine Kidd at Thomson Reuters indexes law firm innovation

Catherine Kidd, market development lead, global large law, at Thomson Reuters, explains the different ways in which law firms are approaching innovation strategy.

As market development lead for large law firms at Thomson Reuters, Catherine Kidd’s role includes spending a lot of time uncovering what challenges its customers are experiencing. Recently, she has found herself talking to firms and in-house teams a lot about their innovation strategies. 

Kidd has seen a clear distinction between the use of proactive and reactive innovation strategies. “Firms with a proactive strategy typically have a research and development function that looks at the future of services, what ‘productising services’ for their clients will look like, and what people and processes they should be putting in place,” she says. This then starts conversations about partnerships: “Looking at not just technology solutions, but consultants, vendors, and even clients to some extent, in order to predict what could be next.”

In contrast, reactive firms, although they understand the need to innovate, will apply solutions on a problem-by-problem basis, rather than pre-empting the problem. There are a number of reasons for this approach. “It could be a client driving that by putting pressure on them around, for example, the cost of a type of transaction. Or it could be about headcounts or financial restrictions,” she says. 

This article was first published in the November 2019 issue of Briefing 'Slice time'.

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