Transatlantic law firm Womble Bond Dickinson, which has a large office in Plymouth, has organised an International Innovation Week.
From Monday 19th to Friday 23rd March, more than 19 events took place across Womble Bond Dickinson's UK and US offices, looking at how innovative technology is transforming the legal industry and other sectors, how businesses challenge themselves to develop more efficient processes, and the new ways of engaging with clients to embed a culture of innovation.
This is the second year running that the firm has organised International Innovation Week but this is the first one since the launch of Womble Bond Dickinson on 1 November, when UK firm Bond Dickinson and US firm Womble Carlyle combined, creating Womble Bond Dickinson, a Global Top 100 firm by annual revenue ($410 million/£340million) with 19 offices in the US and 8 in the UK.
International Innovation Week presented many opportunities for all staff from both sides of the Atlantic to listen, learn, debate and create, through a series of open invitation webinars, workshops, roundtable events and discussions. Key issues discussed included Cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology, Artificial Intelligence and innovation in the legal sector.
A number of events were held in the firm's Plymouth office to discuss the initiatives happening across the city and what the region – as a major legal hub – can do to keep ahead of the curve.
Key events included an update from The Bloodhound Project on its supersonic car, which is aiming to beat the 1,000mph land speed record. The interactive session, which was also opened up to pupils from local schools and colleges, provided insight into the project's research and development programme, what needs to be done to promote more jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and the work the Bloodhound team is doing in local communities in South Africa, where it is testing the car, to help boost employment and connectivity.
A breakfast event was also hosted at the firm's offices with a number of speakers including; Eifion Jones, Chief Operating Officer of Heart of the Southwest LEP and Mairi Wickett, Co-founder and Director of WITT Energy; who spoke about driving innovation to help improve transport solutions and boost productivity in the South West and the whole of the UK.
Craig Moore, Partner and Head of Womble Bond Dickinson's Plymouth Office, said: "The events have presented an ideal platform for us all to find out more about the exciting and nimble initiatives happening in the South West as well as within our firm, both in the UK and the US. Through Innovation Week we can ensure that as a firm we keep up to date with innovative new dynamics and continue to develop a culture of innovation to help us drive our business forward and have a mind-set that reflects our clients'."
Nigel Emmerson, UK Head of Innovation at Womble Bond Dickinson comments: "We have learnt a huge amount through collaboration with our US colleagues in the last 12 months but we know we need to keep exploring and embracing change together in order to remain competitive, relevant and progressive. Our Innovation Group works with our lawyers and clients to help identify potential innovation opportunities and coordinate initiatives and projects across the firm. Innovation Week provides a spotlight for these projects and this way of working that will be hugely beneficial to both firms."
Ranking in the UK's top 20 law firms, Womble Bond Dickinson provides legal expertise in eleven key sectors. It is the largest transatlantic law firm in the South West and in Plymouth, it employs more than 180 staff.