US-qualified lawyer Ben Weinberger previously worked as chief information officer and director of IT for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, at Florida firm Ruden McClosky and, most recently, at Lathrop & Gage in Kansas City. He moved to the UK in July 2011.
What does your role cover?
I have responsibility for all IT operations, which includes support, infrastructure and applications, as well as our business solutions group. I also head the facilities department.
What are your key areas of focus?
My role is really about optimising the firm’s operations to focus on being as efficient as possible. A good example is the numerous challenges and potential issues raised when trying to collaborate across multiple office locations such as we have, but, given my previous experience – such as that gained at my prior firm, Lathrop & Gage, which had 13 offices across the US – I bring a strong understanding of those issues.
How many people are in your core team?
Four managers report directly to me across IT and facilities, and there are around 60 staff in the wider teams.
What are your team’s core responsibilities?
To support the business and find ways to keep improving processes across the firm. Bond Pearce has invested heavily in its IT systems but, as technology evolves rapidly, there are always new ways to make working more efficient. Technology is crucial to value-add, which all clients are looking for in the current climate, so we need to stay on top of the latest software and continue to find ways to make the best use of the tools available. We also heavily leverage telepresence for meetings between our teams that span our five offices.
What’s in your in-tray?
Making the firm into a paperless practice. We have a few teams there already, but given the strong tradition of reliance on paper in law firms, there will be challenges to overcome. Physical storage costs alone provide a good motivation.
Mobility is going to continue to be a dominant theme for some time to come. Thanks to technology, lawyers can now work anytime from anywhere, seamlessly across all of our offices – from home, on the move, at a client’s office and so on. Technology will continue to ensure that this just becomes easier and more efficient to do.
What was the most pressing item in your in-tray during the course of last year?
Getting to grips with the role at Bond Pearce and moving to the UK.
What are the most significant external and internal issues that currently have an impact on your role?
The economic climate means that we all need to think about being more commercial and offering more for less.
Describe the management structure at the firm.
The board consists of the managing partner, chairman, business group heads and operational directors.
Who do you report to?
Managing partner Victor Tettmar.
What problem would you most like technology to solve?
I’d definitely like it to remove the dependency on paper and the inefficiencies and costs that accompany it. Beyond that, a Star Trek-style transporter would be quite cool and handy, especially for making trips to our Aberdeen office.
Earnings per partner:£161,000
Profit per equity partner:£220,000
Top of equity:£307,000
Bottom of equity:£145,000
“We have some great technology, but, on its own, that means very little to clients,” says Weinberger. “It’s the benefits to them, such as the way we can present information or provide access to our systems from their iPads and other devices, that we need to develop and promote.”
DMS: Autonomy iManage
PMS: Aderant Expert
Also Windows 7/Office 2010 and OCS (Office Communication Server), as well as Sharepoint 2010 and FWBS Matter Centre