Legal Operations Index – Tony Randle
Tony Randle is a partner at Shoosmiths LLP. Shoosmiths LLP is a UK law firm with 13 locations across the United Kingdom, and 210 partners and 1400+ lawyers and business support employees. While Tony is a Commercial Partner at the firm he has been described as “a constant (and passionate) advocate for legal technology”, who is a big fan of “myth-busting tech and making it clear that EQ-empowered lawyers using AI-enabled technology will move the profession to the next level”. It is said that he also does this with “warmth and a lovely self-deprecating sense of humour” and even makes legal tech fun!
Tony has been added to the Legal Operations Index for the following achievements:
Champion of tech/innovation within a law firm
- Tony regularly presents webinars on legaltech. Recent examples include Using technology to demonstrate your value in the business (for LexisNexis) and How legal tech will shape the New How (Shoosmiths)
- Tony has written many myth-busting articles on tech. See, for example: Myth-busting in-house legal tech: tips to avoid tech for tech’s sake, Myth-busting in-house legal tech: I’m a Luddite and Myth-busting in-house legal tech: the time is now ). Also, he is known for his thought leadership, including his “Three Laws of Legal Robotics”
- Tony features in the press regularly on legal tech, such as The Lawyer (The New How: How Shoosmiths Lockdown Project Took Shape) and supplements on legal innovation in The Times (Legaltech: making it work for you
- He’s familiar with the issues that businesses face when choosing legal tech given that he is in frequent contact with the GCs and Heads of Legal of major corporates on the subject and has held many roundtables with them, for example Moving GCs into the 21st century of legal tech
- He is the LawTech Lead for the West Midlands LEP’s Supertech Cluster (promoting proftech throughout the West Midlands) (see: SuperTech and Our proftech leaders)
- Tony sits on the Birmingham Law Society Legal Tech Committee (see: Legal Tech Committee), aiming to help small firms face the challenges of adopting tech when they have little time or resource to do so
- He is a regular conference speaker, for example the SRA’s Compliance Officer Conference 2021, What Does Technology Mean for Compliance
Has driven technological change internally within a law firm
- Tony was involved in managing the once-in-a-generation move from almost 100% office-based working to 100% home working during the pandemic. He personally monitored both the positive effect on the Commercial Team’s productivity and also helped to manage the challenges the team faced and overcame
- He has a lot of experience of working in partnership with tech developers and understands the issues they face in working with lawyers
- He has extensive experience of how, in practice, legaltech has been advantageous and has led to positive opportunities for Shoosmiths and its staff. He understands how law firms operate in the context of procuring legaltech, including the barriers to adoption (both practical and attitudinal) and how they may be overcome. He works closely with internal business support teams in procuring the best available solutions.
Has been a key driver in adopting tech to better collaborate with clients/customers
- As a legal technologist, Tony created a joint venture between Shoosmiths and a start-up lawtech business whose SaaS product is being adopted by numerous household-name businesses. This matter tracking product, Matters + (‘designed by lawyers for lawyers’) is for use by in-house lawyers. In 2019 Shoosmiths won law firm of the year at The Lawyer Awards due in no small part to its ‘innovative tech-based solutions’ (see: Matters+)
- He has also been driving The New How, Shoosmiths’ strategic, long-term project to use tech and innovation to help our clients worker smarter, faster, better, including with legaltech (see: The New How). This includes Tony leading Shoosmiths’ connected services business, Shoosmiths8, which designs and offers clients clever new solutions to their everyday needs. In September 2021 Shoosmiths was awarded Legal Tech Team of the Year at the Legal Business Awards. Shoosmiths8 also includes a legal ops advisory service for clients called Hexagon.
- As one of those clever solutions, Shoosmiths has developed a tool to review commercial contracts using AI, Cia®, which saves 4-6 hours of human time per contract (see: Cia®). Tony is working on new applications for this “AI brain”, including in collaboration with the University of Birmingham.
- As testament to how Tony’s team is positively helping clients to transform their legal operations, one client who uses Shoosmiths’ tech products, Scania, was awarded Most Transformative In-House Team in the 2021 Legal Business Awards.