What lawyers can learn from retail banking and management consultants

What lawyers can learn from retail banking and management consultants

We have now reached the third and final part of this series of blogs on what lawyers can learn from other industries. So far, we have looked at retail, accountancy, investment banking and manufacturing, focusing on client care, financial literacy, and willingness to accept risk and eliminating waste.

I am going to round off the topic by concentrating on two final industries. First, another part of the banking sector – this time retail banking – and how it has adopted IT into its business model. And then, to bring us back to where this thought process began for me (read the first blog if you’re not sure), I am going to look at management consultants and dealing effectively with change. I thought this last topic might be of use at this juncture, on the chance that something in these blogs may have spurred you into action!

Retail banking: adopting IT

I am sure there are plenty of industries one could point to in order to illustrate how IT has changed and reshaped what they do. Perhaps my selection of retail banking is not the most obvious (although I will defend my point shortly). What is perhaps less controversial, however, is the suggestion that lawyers and law firms have a tendency to be slightly behind the curve when it comes to IT adoption and literacy – not all, certainly, but I would venture it is a decent proportion.

Let me develop out the retail banking point first. Consider how you interact with your bank in today’s world. You get cash from an ATM (and not necessarily one offered by your bank), you can pay in notes, cheques and coins through a machine in branch, you can check your balance, transfer money, pay bills and even apply for loans online – the list is endless. What is absent from this is any real form of human interaction.

Now, zoom back a number of years and less and less of these would be true – you can probably stop at the point where you could only withdraw money if you went into the bank to see the cashier and there was parchment and quills flying around.

If we look behind the security screens and go into the back-office of the bank itself, the same story is evident. Where your friendly (or not so friendly) bank ma

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About the author:

Director, Customer Success and Engagement

Exec Sponsor, Rule of Law and CSR

James works for LexisNexis, a leading global provider of legal, regulatory and business information, technology and analytics, and is based in their London office.  He joined LN in 2012 as its UK General Counsel and was promoted to its board 2 years later.  In 2015, James also took on responsibility for leading the UK Rule of Law and CSR programmes.  He is currently on secondment in a business role, as the Director of Customer Success and Engagement.  

In addition to his duties as UK General Counsel, James also led the legal function for LexisNexis South Africa and for regulatory media organisation MLex after its acquisition in 2015.

In line with a personal passion for access to justice, James leads LexisNexis’s work in the UK on advancing the Rule of Law, with a focus on supporting digitisation in the free legal advice community.  He also heads up the UK CSR programme, encouraging employee volunteering and giving, making a positive impact on society and the communities around us.

In his current role, James runs a team of c.40 individuals that sit at the front-line of our business, ensuring customers get the most value from our products and future customers can make informed and objective decisions when moving to services and tools within our product portfolio.

James began his career in private practice (at SJ Berwin), specialising in contracts, IP, IT, outsourcing and other commercial matters, before moving in-house to investment bank Barclays Capital in 2010. 

Away from the office, James is a Trustee for the London Legal Support Trust, an Officer of the International Bar Association, and an FA Level 1 Football Coach.