Judges to recruit Susskind

Information technology consultant and author Richard Susskind is on the verge of gaining a formal government post to advise the judiciary on the use of IT in courts.

Susskind advised Lord Woolf on the IT needed for his planned access to civil justice reforms and has continued to advise senior members of the judiciary on technology matters on a largely informal basis.

It is not yet clear whether he will work under the auspices of the Lord Chancellor's Department, the judiciary itself or head a government task force.

Newly-appointed Law Lord, Lord Saville, a close colleague of Susskind, has been pushing for a formalisation of his role within the justice system.

“The particular role that I would like to see is him advising the judiciary on technical issues generally. I would hope that the Government sees it the same way – certainly the judiciary do,” said Lord Saville.

Susskind wrote The Future of Law – seen by some as a seminal work on legal IT – and advises law firm clients such as Clifford Chance and Masons. He refused to comment on any future role within the judiciary.

However in an interview in The Lawyer this week (see page 16) he said judges were every bit as receptive as solicitors in embracing technology.