Wragge & Co gives lawyer key IT role

Birmingham heavyweight Wragge & Co has taken the unusual step of appointing a lawyer to head up a strategic development unit to improve the firm's use of IT, a position normally reserved for IT experts.

Led by lawyer Derek Southall, the five-person unit – made up of lawyers and IT staff – is backed by a multi-million pound investment.

Southall says: “However good an IT team, you need people to talk sensibly about how lawyers work. You need lawyers.”

Southall, who has been at Wragges for six years, will quit legal work to take up his new post. The firm says he will continue to meet clients but only to talk about IT.

He adds: “Our task is to come up with strategies of how best we can use technology both to deliver a better service to clients and improve efficiency internally.”

The team will work with the firm's IT team of 23 which is developing computer links to clients and other projects. Wragges' managing partner Quentin Poole says: “Derek's brief is to put the firm on an even faster track to providing more law per hour.”