Kennedys hires former top government advisor to drive forward global data transformation

We are delighted to have appointed one of the country’s leading data specialists as part of a bold new strategy which will revolutionise the way we do business.

Antonio Acuña has spent more than a decade advising central government and, in 2018, was awarded the MBE for services to transparency and open data.

Now the new head of data strategy is set to reimagine the way the firm manages and uses data, enabling our lawyers to quickly access meaningful insight to help them and their clients, build on a culture of innovation and to maximise global connectivity.

The specially created role will build on and harmonise reporting analytics and insight, skills and literacy, governance, curation and asset management, engineering, innovation, and product development.

Antonio, former head of data strategy at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), has been at the forefront of ground-breaking projects throughout his career.

He led the landmark launch of, the first website dedicated to helping people find and use open government data, which was widely recognised as the benchmark for data portals worldwide.

He also designed and delivered Defra’s award-winning ‘Noise Mapping England’ project, which used interactive maps to show the impact from road and rail networks in a bid to tackle noise pollution.

He has advised governments around the globe on their data and digital strategies, earning a place in DataIQ’s Top 100 Most Influential People in Data for 2020.

He also lectures at the University of Glasgow Caledonian on the Digital Nation State – a module specially created by Antonio for students on the MSc in International Diplomacy and the Digital State course.

Global Managing Partner, Suzanne Liversidge, comments: “We have a clear vision and strategy for Kennedys and continue to develop our business with an ambitious global transformation programme that will ensure we continue to set the standard for legal services in our market."

We are committed to ensuring that data continues to support our strategic actions and keeps us at the forefront of innovation.

Martin Stockdale, partner responsible for overseeing Kennedys’ data transformation, said: “Our goal is to have augmented intelligent lawyers with data-driven solutions to free up our experts to deliver their service seamlessly, whilst at the same time ensuring our expanding global business remains connected and communicating effectively."

“We have already made huge progress, but we want to replicate that across our global business, and that’s where Antonio comes in."

His experience, expertise and enthusiasm will ensure that data is not just part of Kennedys’ vision but part of our DNA.

Prior to joining Kennedys, Antonio worked for Parity Group as director of commercial delivery, where he headed up a 24-strong team of digital and data experts.

He said: “I am passionate about change, particularly when it’s driven by data, and I believe Kennedys has a unique opportunity to transform the way legal services are delivered."

“It’s a competitive industry and it’s not enough to simply modify or adapt anymore. Businesses must be bold, to reimagine and embrace new ways of working, and Kennedys is doing just that."

“I’m really excited to be joining now and being a part of that culture change, which I know will deliver huge benefits to everyone.”

We have openly sought to find new approaches to the delivery of legal services, positioning our lawyers as expert strategic advisors who work with clients to optimise businesses.

This is the driver behind the our strategy of helping clients use lawyers less, which saw the launch of Kennedys IQ, a separate technology driven company at the beginning of 2020.