2019 Agenda

The Law Firm Innovation Summit 2019 had a jam-packed agenda featuring two days in Boston, eight networking opportunities, and 15+ sessions including panel discussions, keynote speakers, case studies, and workshop style sessions. Our handpicked expert speakers and thought-provoking educational sessions provided attendees with everything they need to know to start driving innovation in their law firm.

November 13, 2019

8:00AM - 8:30AM
and Networking Breakfast

8:30AM - 8:45AM

Opening Remarks: Conference Co-Chairs

Patrick McKenna

McKenna Associates, Inc


Chris Ryan, Managing Director

HBR Consulting LLC

8:45AM - 9:30AM

Keynote: The Magic Button: A Solution in Search of a Problem?

Why Innovation Should Start with Process and not Technology

Innovation seems to be everywhere these days. We see innovation labs popping up, new innovation roles and job titles, innovation committees and other innovation spin-offs. On one level, we should all praise these efforts to actually do something, as opposed to just talking about it. However, most of these programs fall into the classic “solution in search of a problem” bucket. Truth be told, some of these projects do solve a problem, since they are back-office based. But the point here is that we are flirting with the “magic button” that so many of our lawyers yearn to push. The lure of a magic button pulls lawyers away from the work that really needs to be done.  In this opening, keynote segment attendees will learn why innovation needs to begin with process, and not technology.  Far too much of the “Innovation” that we hear about is more focused on the technology.  And even when process does come into the picture, the other missing piece is “the problem.”  What are we striving to accomplish?  Innovation isn’t innovative if no one is using it.  These efforts must start by clearly identifying a specific need, and then moving forward in the direction of a solution—which is most often a process that leads to relatively simple technology.


Toby Brown, Chief Practice Management Officer

Perkins Coie LLP


Jill Nelson, Senior Director, Product and Business Management



9:30AM - 10:15AM

Panel Discussion: Innovation: An Emerging Law Firm Function

Chief Innovation Officers – Challenges & Lessons Learned

What role does Innovation play within law firms? Innovation isn’t just a buzzword or trend.  Innovation has become a functional area that more firms are now prioritizing—if not outright creating new roles and hiring Chief Innovation Officers to help lead their internal efforts.  What challenges have these professionals been facing, what have they learned in how best to serve their firms – in the pursuit of building something new (what could be) while serving in an environment that often seeks to maintain the status quo (what is).  In this dynamic discussion attendees will hear directly from three professionals serving in this role.



Patrick McKenna

McKenna Associates, Inc



Anusia Gillespie, Director of Innovation

Eversheds Sutherland


Linda Novosel, Chief Innovation & Value Officer

Blank Rome


Catherine Monte, Chief Knowledge and Innovation Officer

Fox Rothschild



10:15AM - 10:30AM
Morning Coffee Break

10:30AM - 11:00AM

Research Findings: Clients Rank Their Top Innovation Needs

How are clients setting the agenda for law firms when it comes to innovation? In this segment, attendees will gain illuminating insights from BTI Consulting Group’s best-selling report, The BTI Legal Technology and Innovation Review 2019. Based on in-depth interviews with more the 350 top legal decision-makers – these clients articulate and rank the innovation they want, in order of priority and importance. These research findings will also share client expectations as to who and how these needs will be met/delivered – and why. 



Michael Rynowecer, President

BTI Consulting Group, Inc.

11:00AM - 11:45AM

Panel Discussion: What Innovation Means to Clients

One of the reasons that well-intentioned law firm innovations sometimes fail is that they struggle to align with the needs of their clients. The most successful innovations are client-focused, but what does that really mean? Learn from this panel of in-house experts about their view of law firm innovations, the pain points for which they would appreciate innovative solutions (and believe are differentiating, of value), and how law firms and their clients can best collaborate to engage them in such innovation investments and initiatives to ensure that the results bring value to both sides.  



Bobbi Basile, Managing Director

HBR Consulting



Malvina Iannone, Executive Counsel, Global Legal Shared Services



Jamal Stockton, VP, Head of Innovation

Fidelity Investments


Angelina Colombo, Chief Operating Officer, Legal

Citizens Bank

11:45AM -12:45PM
Networking Luncheon

12:45PM - 1:30PM

Case Study: Innovation Execution…

Is innovation possible without execution?  Is execution valuable without innovation?  What roles do culture and leadership play in innovation?  Angie Hickey, CEO of Levenfeld Pearlstein, will share her insights on the relationship of innovation and execution through the lens of building The LP Way,

A successful customer experience execution strategy, now in its 7th year and still going strong.  She will share the “steps behind the steps” of LP Way, weaving in business research and principles that support each step.  This session provides an opportunity to examine the heavy lifting essential to the advancement of any idea in a law firm setting.  Angie will also share the next innovation frontier at LP: CX + EX.


Angela M. Hickey, CPA, MBA, Chief Executive Officer

Levenfeld Pearlstein

1:30PM - 2:15PM

Panel Discussion: Innovation Governance and Prioritization

Unearthing, Selecting, and Managing Innovation Projects

Your firm is eager to foster a culture of innovation, but innovation involves human and capital resources. How do you make sure that your efforts are focused where they need to be? How do you prioritize which innovation projects to pursue and invest in, and how do you build a business case for your new initiatives, whether they be processes, technology, or other projects? This panel discussion will focus on some of the structural elements that can help you best identify, select and manage your innovation projects.



David Perla, Managing Director

Burford Capital



William Henderson, Law Professor

Indiana University & Editor of Legal Evolution


Christopher Gardephe, Knowledge Management Officer

Proskauer Rose LLP


Jeroen Plink, CEO, Clifford Chance Applied Solutions

Clifford Chance


2:15PM - 2:30PM
Afternoon Coffee Break

2:30PM - 3:15PM

Panel Discussion: The Changing Role of Talent in an Innovation Environment

A cultural shift is inevitable as business (and practice) models begin to change in step with how firms come to view and utilize their own resources, expertise and human capital. Data and analytics are already impacting how we share, manage, and propel our organizations forward, harmonizing with the evolving business reality of our times.  But what demands does this evolution place on talent within our firms today—and how are we preparing for this future?  Obviously, the next generation of lawyers (as well as practice and business support professionals) will need to be tech-savvy, willing and comfortable learning and using emerging tools and platforms.  But how can talent leaders within legal service organizations contribute to and capitalize on, a culture of innovation? This dynamic panel discussion will shine a light on necessary skillsets, talent gaps and potential blind spots with respect to new demands placed on talent and agility within our organizations given today’s rapidly evolving, technology and data-driven environment.



Patrick McKenna

McKenna Associates, Inc



Laura Rees Acosta, Managing Director, Diversity + Inclusion



David Rueff, Chief Client Solutions Officer

Baker Donelson


William Henderson, Law Professor

Indiana University & Editor of Legal Evolution

3:15PM - 4:00PM

Panel Discussion: How to Create the “New Innovation Lawyer”

After a decade of debate, there is no question that the legal market is poised for significant transformation – and there’s data to prove it. In fact, Wolters Kluwer’s 2019 Future Ready Lawyer survey found that Technology Leading organizations – or those that are effectively leveraging legal technology today – are significantly more likely to report higher firm profitability than organizations that are not leveraging technology. But how does one begin the process of driving innovation? Dean Sonderegger will lead a panel to discuss practical strategies for legal professionals to put innovation into practice, find new ways to improve efficiency, and drive profitability within their organizations.



Dean Sonderegger

Head of Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory, U.S.



Dara Chevlin Tarkowski, Founding Partner

Actuate Law


Angie Ligon, Director of Legal Operations

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP


Lucy Dillon, Chief Knowledge Officer

Reed Smith LLP


Closing Remarks: Conference Co-Chairs

Patrick McKenna

McKenna Associates, Inc


Chris Ryan, Managing Director

HBR Consulting LLC

November 14, 2019

8:00AM - 8:30AM
and Networking Breakfast

8:30AM - 8:45AM

Opening Remarks Conference Co-Chairs

Patrick McKenna

McKenna Associates, Inc


Chris Ryan, Managing Director

HBR Consulting LLC

8:45AM - 9:15AM

Keynote: “The 21st Century Law Firm”

Technology and innovation are changing the delivery of legal services in fundamental ways, and today’s law firms need to adapt. This session will place recent trends in historical context, identify specific developments that 21st century law firms should understand, and describe concrete measures that law firms can implement now to ensure that they stay ahead of their competition.


Andrew Perlman, Dean & Professor of Law

Suffolk University Law School

9:15AM - 10:00AM

Panel Discussion: The Role of Tech in Driving Innovation

Technology is one of the major drivers of innovation. It can provide new avenues to deliver advice and services in real time, with greater efficiency and at a lower cost; improve transparency and delivery of timely insights to clients; and, through analytics and related technology, support strategic decision-making ranging from operational issues to substantive legal issues. Much of this enabling technology relies on data, the management of which involves numerous challenges and opportunities. This panel of law firm experts will offer their perspective on the “Business of Tech” – how to address challenges and maximize opportunities for successful tech innovation.



Andrew Baker, Senior Director

HBR Consulting



Michael Barrett, Chief Information Officer

Dechert LLP


William Gaus, Chief Information Officer

Pepper Hamilton LLP


Caroline Sweeney, Director of KM and Innovation

Dorsey & Whitney

Nola Vanhoy, Senior Director, Legal Technology Innovation

Alston & Bird

10:00AM - 10:15AM
Morning Coffee Break

10:15AM - 11:00AM

Panel Discussion: How Diversity Delivers Improvements and Drives Innovation

In this segment we will explore why diversity is so critical for continuous improvement and innovation work. Experiences and research provide compelling evidence that diversity is a key to unlocking innovation. Through use cases and success stories, this panel of innovators will demonstrate why and how to assemble diverse teams to work collaboratively on Design Thinking, process improvement and project management. We’ll make a strong business case for embracing diversity in ways that are practically and intrinsically linked to strategy. Multiple and varied team members contribute a wide range of experiences, skills, and perspectives that fuel new thinking and offerings as well as different ways of doing and delivering work.



Catherine Alman MacDonagh, JD, CEO and Founder

Legal Lean Sigma Institute LLC



Tess Blair, Chair e-Data Practice Group

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP


Linda Clark, Managing Partner

Kean Miller LLP

11:00AM - 11:30AM

Turning Disruption into Opportunity—Understanding the Art of the Possible

Legal technology.  Design thinking.  Data analytics.  Alternative service delivery providers.  Global delivery of legal services.  These and other disruptive forces both threaten the legal profession and create a myriad of opportunities to transform how legal services are delivered.  This session will explore the art of the possible and how to leverage disruption to transform legal services within your organization.  Topics to be addressed include:


  • Identifying your ambition
  • Settling on your strategy
  • Evaluating ideas
  • Deciding on when to build, buy or partner
  • Identifying strategies for project execution
  • Overcoming impediments to change
  • Defining and measuring success  


Osler (one of Canada’s leading law firms) is well along its innovation journey.  Insights and concrete examples of both success and failures will be shared.


Michael Fekete, Partner, National Innovation Leader

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

11:30AM - 12:30PM
Networking Luncheon

12:30PM - 1:00PM

Case Study: How Utilizing an Innovation Committee Can Drive Law Firm Innovation

This presentation will focus on best practices for using innovation committees to spur innovation within a law firm. Topics will include determining the optimal size of a committee, the selection of committee members, and best practices for holding committee meetings and setting agendas. Discussions will also focus on potential pitfalls and ways innovation committees can actually hinder innovation if not properly structured and managed. We will also discuss the challenges of going from ideas to implementation and winning support for projects in the face of political constraints.


Josias N. Dewey, Partner

Holland & Knight LLP

1:00PM - 1:30PM

Case Study: How Creative Competitions and Hackathons Can Drive Innovation

The legal market continues to change at a rapid pace. Law firms must adapt to market needs and demands. Competition is growing from alternative legal services providers and clients are demanding faster service with more value-adds. How do we stay competitive and where do we start?  Creative “Shark Tank”-like competitions, hackathons and design thinking are great ways to source innovative solutions to existing problems.  They allow you to tap into the competitive problem-solving qualities of your employees and provide insight from those on the front-line with clients. They also encourage experimentation and reward the intrapreneur mindset.  Our firms need to keep pace with the evolving legal market and our clients’ expectations. This session will cover designing an innovative competition; selecting problems to address and test; best practices for moving forward with ideas; and working toward creation of an innovative culture.


Dean R. Boeschen, Chief Growth Officer

Husch Blackwell LLP

1:30PM - 1:45PM
Afternoon Coffee Break

1:45PM - 2:30PM

Panel Discussion: Barriers to Innovation: A Solution Provider Perspective

Any way you slice it, software implementation is challenging. But what's really slowing adoption? Join us as three technology founders responsible for rolling out the same tool across a variety of law firms (big, small, centralized and swiss varein) provide their perspective on what enables some firms to efficiently adopt new tools and processes - while similarly ranked peers may struggle.



Anna McGrane, COO and Co-founder




Haley Altman, CEO and Founder


Felicity Conrad, CEO & Co-founder



Vishal Agnihotri, Chief Knowledge Officer

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

2:30PM - 3:15PM

Workshop Style Segment: From Design Thinking to Design Action: Strategies, Tools, and Blueprints

In this fast-paced session, attendees will get an overview and practical introduction to Design Thinking approaches and tools—from brainstorming to multi-day design sprints. You will learn what tools work best for what purposes and the importance of customer-focused initiatives for improving processes, creating mobile apps, productizing servers, and much more. Whether your goal is to impress your clients, make workflows easier, or generate revenue while you sleep, this session will provide practical takeaways you can start to use as soon as you get back to your office.


Dennis Kennedy, President

Dennis Kennedy Advisory Services LLC

& Adjunct Professor of Law

Michigan State University College of Law

3:15PM - 4:00PM

Closing Interactive Exercise: Portrait of a 21st Century Lawyer

Lawyers and other stakeholders in the legal profession often talk in broad generalities about how the profession could (or should) change over the course of the 21st century—particularly in light of new technologies being developed and marketed, the “justice gap” that continues to persist and the perceived disconnect between legal education and legal practice, among many other challenges and opportunities.  In this closing, interactive segment, we will engage all participants and work together as a group to figure out how to begin addressing the challenges and opportunities that lawyers, practice support teams, business analysts, technologists and other stakeholders in the legal profession face—including building a vision of what a 21st century lawyer should look like.  This session has been designed to build upon the materials presented in, and lessons gleaned from, other sessions held throughout the program.  Bring your perspectives from all that you have learned throughout the conference and share them with your fellow attendees.


Karen Suber, Chief Legal and Innovation Officer and Founder

Frontier of the Law


Closing Remarks Conference Co-Chairs

Patrick McKenna

McKenna Associates, Inc


Chris Ryan, Managing Director

HBR Consulting LLC