We were fortunate to connect with one of our speakers Tom Evans, Senior Legal Operations Consultant with Norton Rose Fulbright, before our 4th World Legal Operations Summit. Continue reading for his insights about our summit and the industry at large:


Your team has been with us in Berlin last two years as well but for those who haven’t met you, could you tell us more about your professional background and your area of interest in the legal operations sector?

I’ve worked in the legal industry for almost 10 years now, and I’ve spent the past 5 of that dedicated to legal operations. I started off working in a litigation department for a UK law firm managing high-volume claims, but I soon found myself much more interested in the management of that volume and making the process more efficient and kinder on fee earners rather than working on the litigation itself. At that stage, I took a punt on joining the inaugural cohort of Norton Rose Fulbright’s Business & Legal Operations Graduate scheme (maybe the first dedicated legal operations grad scheme in the industry?). Fast-forward 5 years, and the opportunities I’ve had to be involved in exciting projects are something I’m truly grateful for, all the way from implementing the first-ever matter management tool for a large energy producer to a multi-year project redesigning the legal spend management approach for a global bank. In that time, I wouldn’t say I’ve developed a specific niche interest within legal operations, but the thing I enjoy the most is seeing the tangible difference you’ve made in the day-to-day lives of the team you’re working with, and how you’ve had a positive impact on that.

I am part of Stephanie Hamon’s team, who was a previous speaker and also a regular attendee. It has been insightful to work with one of the recognised leaders in this field to help build a new and distinct offering in the market.


The 4th World Legal Operations Summit brings together leading industry experts and innovators for 2 great days of knowledge-sharing and networking. What are some notable case studies you recall from last year and what topics are you looking forward to hearing more about during this edition?

There is not one in particular that stands out but rather I have liked how practical all speakers have been in so far that they don’t just “talk the talk” but have also “walked the walk”. They are being generous with sharing their experience and candid about their challenges and failures. And it is always so insightful and comforting to hear from like-minded people such as Stephen Allen who now has been chair twice.

My talk this year is about the role of people in change and how crucial that is to legal operations projects, so I’m probably going to be a bit biased here! However, I am genuinely interested to see how the ‘non-technology’ factors (for want of a better term) are discussed. We often talk about the possibilities that technology can open up, and with GenAI taking centre stage, the conversation has reached a fever pitch. However, technology remains an enabler to effective operations, and I’m really interested to hear how people’s experience of process, policy and human factors has allowed them to succeed in their initiatives.


In your experience, what are some of the biggest challenges General Counsels encounter when implementing changes within their teams, and how can they overcome them?

There is a reason our talk this year is about change management and how to deal with the human aspects of change. Admittedly, much more attention is paid to behavioural and cultural change than there was, say, five years ago. However, this still pales in comparison to the volume of discussion around new technology and how that can help legal teams transform the way they operate.

This is reflected in the challenges GCs have in implementing change in their legal teams. Whilst a lot of attention is often paid to picking the right tool and creating governance that makes sense, in practice, there is still a lack of deliberate attention paid to identifying the right stakeholders, understanding their needs and concerns, and involving them in decision-making. This means that, even with the best tool and process possible and the most logical business case for change, people don’t feel engaged and simply switch off to the changes you’re trying to make, reverting to their BAU.


How do you see technology and automation impacting the role of legal operations professionals in the future?

Despite my other comments on the importance of people and processes in change, technology does remain an enabler of that change, and done right, it can be truly transformative. I think the most exciting area is, without a doubt, knowledge management. Knowledge is a lawyer’s currency – and by and large, the knowledge that they use to keep a business protected from risk is stored, managed and shared in text form. This makes sense, as the law is fully text-based. Conveniently for legal teams, GenAI’s most robust use cases seem to be around the review, condensation, and sharing of text-based knowledge.

When we’re speaking to clients, one of the most common time sinks is the repeated sharing of the same knowledge with the business in a way that they can understand. Therefore, if legal operations professionals can start to (safely) leverage GenAI capabilities to reduce these enquiries, for example, through the use of a chatbot, they can materially change the day-to-day lives of their legal teams and hopefully build momentum and make a case for further investment in dedicated legal operations capabilities.


What do you think is the most valuable aspect of attending a legal operations conference like this one?

Personally, being able to fully extrapolate yourself from the day-to-day work of delivery and spend time listening to new ideas, thinking laterally, and (hopefully) being challenged on your preconceptions is invaluable and a crucial part of both professional and personal development. I think it also helps to take top tips from others who have ‘walked the walk’ – there’s no doubt that legal faces unique challenges that other departments don’t have to, especially when it comes to balancing budget with professional obligations, and this makes gaining forward-looking investment into legal operations projects notoriously difficult. Being able to learn from others who have faced and overcome these challenges can be just what you need to help get you over these obstacles and on your legal operations journey.

(Also, let’s not avoid the fact that spending a few days away from the office with like-minded people is fun!)


Both in-person and virtual tickets are still available for the 4th World Legal Operations Summit, see you there!