Jon Grant is joining recently-merged LAC Group + Wilson Allen in a new role as VP of Growth Initiatives. Grant joins from the AMLAW50 multinational law firm Greenberg Traurig, where he was Director of Innovative Strategies. Grant believes his experience innovating ‘on the inside of BigLaw’ will be invaluable to LAC + Wilson Allen and their clients.
“It is a simple but novel approach,” says Grant. “LAC + Wilson Allen have strategically hired someone who has been at the heart of driving initiatives to deliver operational improvement inside a law firm. My new role is to use that experience to ensure that LAC + Wilson Allen’s services portfolio – and service delivery – is tightly attuned to meeting those customer needs.”
Before Greenberg Traurig, Grant was the Director of Knowledge Management for the global tax practice of Baker McKenzie. Prior to his 16 years at Baker McKenzie, he practiced law for eight years.
Grant says that law firms are increasingly understanding that operational challenges can’t be solved by technology alone. “I think LAC + Wilson Allen understand that law firms are not only dealing with technical debt but fundamental people and process issues as well.”
Law firms have difficulty extracting real value over time from their solutions because—particularly right now—there is a war for talent that is affecting the operational functions, Grant explains.
“Law firms have always suffered from practice side attrition, but post-pandemic, we are now seeing a rapid erosion on the operational side of the business. It’s hard to leverage the long-term benefits of a solution if critical expertise has left the building.”
This chimes with findings from the Wilson Allen’s OnTech research report released earlier in the year which highlighted how law firms are struggling to tackle operational issues alongside executing business-as-usual processes.
Grant’s first-hand experience is that the best success often arises when the law firm and service provider work together in a long term partnership. And again echoing the findings in the OnTech research, Grant knows that law firms prefer to work with partners who can provide continuity of resources across a broad range of business areas. In this, Grant believes that the recent merger of Wilson Allen and LAC Group means that the company is now extremely well-placed to deliver on this.
“My focus will be helping to build service frameworks and offerings so that LAC + Wilson Allen can deliver specialist expertise and services that evolve with clients’ needs. We need to be in the business of nurturing partnerships that always look ahead to tomorrow’s challenges. Services need to allow firms to engage with low friction to respond to issues quickly and grow flexibly.”
Grant believes building enduring partnerships is the way forward. “Delivering those big mission-critical tech projects is a major outcome in itself, but why stop the conversation at that point? Beyond the implementation, there is the need for ongoing activity in areas such as adoption and user acceptance, and process optimisation – a lot of the real work needs to continue to extract the best value out of a tech implementation. The opportunity is there to work together with a longer-term horizon that allows for a constant re-energising of the partnership between LAC + Wilson Allen and its law firm partners.”
He sees his new role with LAC + Wilson Allen as a chance to continue to improve the practice of a profession he cares about. “It’s a sea change to leave a big law firm and enter this environment, but I believe it is a fertile place to continue to make a difference in how law firms succeed in modernising service delivery, and meet their operational challenges.”
Says Grant: “There is huge potential in what LAC Group + Wilson Allen are able to offer. Specialist service providers who understand law firms’ needs and align the partnership to accrue value over time will catalyse positive change in the industry.”