Shoosmiths appoints director of its connected services arm to drive innovation and client excellence

December, 2023 - Milton Keynes, England

Shoosmiths has appointed Tom Speller as Director of Shoosmiths EIGHT, the firm’s connected services arm focused on smarter service excellence. 

This key appointment follows the firm’s recent announcement that it is only one of a handful of law firms worldwide trialling Microsoft’s Copilot and after being named as one of Europe’s most innovative law firms by the FT and is coupled with formalising innovation roles across Shoosmiths.

The new role is integral to turbo-charging Shoosmiths’ strategy of excelling in its chosen markets and leading firms in the upper mid-market by 2030. Speller will take Shoosmiths EIGHT to the next level by expanding offerings that support clients in achieving their strategies. He brings with him a wealth of expertise designing scalable client-facing solutions, joining Shoosmiths from Barclays Corporate & Investment Bank where he was global head of escrow and securitisation services.

The firm’s formalised approach to legal innovation also sees the creation of a Client Technology & Service Improvement directorate to drive a business led, client focused approach to how Shoosmiths continues to develop and drive innovation. The directorate will be led by partner, Tony Randle who has been instrumental in the development and growth of Shoosmiths EIGHT services which launched in  2021 and offers a range of products that complement the firm’s legal services, such as AI-powered contract reviews, contract lifecycle management, compliance consultancy, and legal operations transformation.

The firm will also add depth to the directorate with partner Craig Armstrong, principal associate Chris George and senior associate Alex Massey being appointed as heads of legal innovation across our core areas of advisory services, real estate and corporate, respectively.

As the firm continues to drive its innovation agenda it is also creating an Innovation Centre, which will see an opportunity for its people across the business to be seconded into the centre. The aim of the Innovation Centre is to drive client-focused, business-led solutions that deliver new solutions and products, continue to improve service levels and develop innovation skills across a broad range of the business.

(Tony Randle, David Jackson, Rachel Reid and Tom Speller)

Shoosmiths’ CEO, David Jackson, commented: “We’re thrilled to have appointed Tom to propel Shoosmiths EIGHT forward. To achieve our 2030 strategy this requires us to offer the very best services for our clients. A robust connected services arm plays an important role here.

“The market continues to recognise the focus we are putting on our client-focused innovation strategy.  Formalising our leading legal talent that drive this is important objective in our business recognises the strategic importance we place on them and their roles. I am delighted for Craig, Chris and Alex and look forward to continuing to work with them on our innovation agenda.”

Tony Randle, partner, client technology & service improvement added: “Increasingly clients require innovation from law firms, and EIGHT is a strong platform for Tom to grow our connected services offering. His experience designing solutions and building scalable client-driven business models is exactly what EIGHT needs to take it to the next level.

“We want all our people to have the opportunity to engage in our innovation agenda and build business skills that will support their futures. Creating a client focussed, business led Innovation Centre that focuses and flexes resources to meet our client and business needs will enable us to achieve this.”

Speller, said: “Shoosmiths is ambitious and on an exciting journey and I look forward to making an impact. The impressive product suite and Shoosmiths’ position at the forefront of innovation means we’ll continue helping clients to work smarter, faster and better.

“The firm’s decision to recognise legal innovation and products in such a clear way by creating a cohort of likeminded business focused people only adds to the great foundation on which to start."