Kennedys launches second Ideas Lab as its drive for technological and intellectual innovation continues

We are thrilled to have officially launched the second instalment of our Ideas Lab as part of our drive to be at the forefront of technological and intellectual innovation. The Ideas Lab, which launched in July 2017, is the brainchild of Partner, Richard West, Head of R&D, Karim Derrick and Innovation Manager, Tom Gummer.

This latest global initiative will ask all members of our global network to consider ways in which existing products, such as Incident Manager and the award-winning KLAiM, can be adapted to guide clients through legal, regulatory or insurance processes and to do so in different jurisdictions and languages.

In addition to our focus on technological innovation, this year’s Ideas Lab will also look at supporting our intellectual innovation by inviting staff to generate ideas for our 2021 thought leadership programme, which is led by our Head of Corporate and Public Affairs, Deborah Newberry. This latest instalment will seek internal views on what issues we should be leading our clients’ thinking on.

Our commitment to innovation is what sets us apart from other firms and this has been borne out by the first Ideas Lab

Primarily client-focused, the Ideas Lab, which is supported by ideation software Ideawake, is a platform through which any member of Kennedys can forward ideas on how to create future products and deliver modern legal services that are anchored to our core principle of helping clients to use lawyers less. Those who do so successfully gain the opportunity to accelerate their careers at one of the most innovative legal services providers in the world.

Our first Ideas Lab saw an engagement rate of almost 50% across the firm, with over 100 ideas submitted. Employees who submitted ideas showing potential value to clients were invited to pitch, ‘Dragon’s Den’ style, in front of our Research and Development Board before the decision was made to invest and build a prototype, with six chosen at the end of the process.

The majority of those six ideas have progressed through development stage and are now functioning prototypes, with some already helping clients in Australia, Bermuda, Denmark, Mexico, Peru, the USA and the UK.

They cover tools which automate liability decision making, or create and manage pre-action letters of response. Others help insurers, corporates and loss adjusters to capture enhanced, legally focused evidence at the scene of any incident or help to provide insurers with policy wording analysis, negotiation and placement process.

Others have attracted significant UK Government funding through Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and Smart Grants schemes.

For his input into the development of one of these prototypes, Head of Investigation Services, Chris Stubbs, became the first winner of our new Innovator of the Year award at the official, internal launch on 27 January.

Suzanne Liversidge, Managing Partner at Kennedys, presents Chris Stubbs, Head of Investigation Services with the Innovator of the Year award.

Richard West, Head of Kennedys’ liability division says: “Our commitment to innovation is what sets us apart from other firms and this has been borne out by the first Ideas Lab. Ensuring all of our excellent people have access to the programme and that successful ideas are suitably recognised and rewarded is a cornerstone of its success.

“During our working days we all encounter a variety of situations, and may find ourselves confronting the same inefficiencies time and again, which hamper streamlined working or indeed successful outcomes. It is these situations which can cause an idea to spark and we now provide an environment in which those ideas can be allowed to grow and become a reality. At the same time we offer new career opportunities for those with the best ideas.”

Karim Derrick, Head of R&D at Kennedys, added: “We are excited to be launching this second iteration of the Ideas Lab. The first round brought an incredible level of engagement globally, and we were thrilled at the creativity and ingenuity shown by staff across all areas. The Ideas Lab is open globally to staff across all levels and departments. Successful ideas in the first round came from paralegals, senior associates, counsel and partners, from offices in New Jersey, London, Melbourne, Hong Kong and Singapore.”

Ideas Lab 2 was launched on 27 January and will be open for a three-month period.