Innovation in Technology, Media and Telecommunications by Beth Pendock

From driverless cars to Fintech, TMT clients are at the forefront of technological developments and this innovative spirit is reflected in the team’s legal work. Having spent some time at TMT, I wanted to share my experience of how the team embraces innovation and how the recent pandemic changed the way we work.

In preparation for my new role as a TMT trainee, I took part in a session dedicated to innovation, where we learnt about ‘Smart Delivery’; the firm’s toolkit of innovative products and services. Having worked in TMT for a few weeks, I can see how these tools have been incorporated into the team’s work to provide clients with a more streamlined and cost-effective service. For example, we are currently working on automating elements of contract drafting, providing significant time and cost savings for the client.

Legal Project Management techniques are another innovative tool used across the firm. They are implemented for complex projects to ensure resources are allocated in the most efficient way possible and deadlines are met. I became quite familiar with these tools in my previous seat, CAD, so am looking forward to seeing how TMT might use them differently.

As much as a TMT lawyer loves tech novelties, innovation clearly means more to the team than using shiny new gadgets and online tools. Innovation is often discussed in terms of having an open-minded approach to methods of working. This can be in the form of reaching out to other departments to see what insight they may have, or inviting every level to participate in strategy meetings, from trainee to partner. The team have also been quick to adopt the firm’s new ‘dress for your day policy’, enjoying the versatile approach to office life.

Innovative spirit is proving to be more important now than ever, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Technology represents the only way for business to continue as usual, for both lawyer and client. Contract negotiation sessions are able to continue via video conferencing and electronic methods of signing have allowed completions to take place as planned. As clients are undoubtedly feeling concerned about the uncertainty of the situation, a lot of my work so far has been to produce advice notes that aim to provide clarity on any changes that have been announced and possible long-term implications for the industry. These have ranged from the contractual implications of the virus, to reviewing the different responses from financial regulators.

As a trainee starting the seat just a week before lockdown, virtual meetings have been an invaluable way to chat to (and in some cases meet!) new colleagues. The team have not allowed their social spirit to be dampened. Virtual Friday drinks have become a much-needed forum to share box-set recommendations and this week’s music quiz will be taken very seriously by all involved. There is also a word-based app tournament underway, culminating in a head-to-head of TMT’s finest linguistic brains throughout the UK. Personally, I’m hoping the music quiz will be my time to shine…