Saturday, 7 May 2011

Linda Cheung

Such a pleasure to meet Linda CheungCEO of Connectegrity for tea at the IOD and hear the story of the launch of this new business.  Linda is a well-established member of the legal twitterati (click here to follow her on twitter) and is soon to launch an innovative new software product to help law firms get the most out of their social media activity.  However, she started life on the other side of the table, regularly instructing magic circle firms as a special projects manager at Morgan Stanley.

Linda told me the story of how working on the launch of Morgan Stanley's first ever credit card gave her a taste for managing projects centred on evolving markets and 'change'.  Numerous other 'transformative' projects followed at the bank, before she decided to step out and apply those skills to a sector in desparate need of innovation: the legal profession.  

She describes her excitement preparing to attend her first legal IT conference at the start of last year, an event focussed on the Legal Services Act and how it would fundamentally change the market for legal services, forever.  She looked forward to discussing the challenges of change and innovation with legal businessmen and women, and exchanging ideas about how to turn that challenge to advantage.  Imagine her surprise and disappointment when the typical response of the day was "Oh I don't really think the Legal Services Act will affect me.  We're not in that part of the market."  Sorry?  Exactly which part of the market isn't going to be affected by this seismic change?  A rude awakening to the world of legal business!

At tea this week though, we both agreed that awareness within the profession has changed dramatically since then.  Today firms have a much better grasp of what the Act means for their business, in terms of both threat and opportunity.  It may not be obvious precisely how the Act is going to affect some firms, but management teams throughout the profession understand that keeping a watching brief is essential.

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What a week for news! - at the weekend we were still celebrating the sublime of the Royal Wedding, but by Monday we had moved on to the macabre spectacle of the Bin Laden shooting.  And who would have thought that the ruling on the 7/7 bombing inquest would take place against the backdrop of Bin Laden's recent death. Clifford Tibber of Anthony Gold solicitors, representing seven bereaved families at the inquest, writes here in The Times of the emotional as well as legal and logistical challenges of managing the case.  Quite an insight into what it means to take on a case with such emotional charge. 

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I just love being a fair weather cyclist!  As my twitter chums may have spotted, I have recently become a fan of the Transport for London Cycle Hire Scheme: total permission to cycle to work in the sunshine, then decide to tube it home if you just don't feel like the exercise at the end of a busy day, or because the weather is a bit cloudy. And it's so cheap!  Brilliant!!

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