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Case study: Allen &Overy

Tracey Caldwell | July 15, 2008
Allen & Overy picked up last year's Most Innovative Law Firm award from the Financial Times.

Ward believes that most law firms, apart from Allen & Overy, worry about the risk element of super-users forging ahead with blogs and wikis.

"The challenge for IT is how you foster innovation in the context of strict financial controls," she says. "It is important to continue to help ideas to percolate and to bring people together. It has held people back not having these connections.

"Some law firms have not been able to make progress because IT is not sure who to go to."

She warns there is a limit to how much the super-user can contribute working alone, and partnership is vital: "Using people as guinea pigs who are willing to pilot systems is fine but it is very different to use them to prove business cases."

Allen & Overy has set up an innovation panel to support projects with cash prizes for creative individuals and Ward describes this as "absolutely the right sort of thing" to encourage super-users by getting people to think about where else they could use technology they use at home or socially.


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