A Conversation with a Carpenter

I first met Steve 20 or so years ago. A superb guy – a carpenter by trade but very versatile and multi skilled. He has superb talent and experience and can turn his hand to most things (not a fan of plumbing though which is fine as we have Craig). Trustworthy, honest and capable.

We very much get on. Steve oozes experience and when I am not around makes the right judgement calls and deals with issues for me. After 20 years we are now very loyal friends. Over the years there have been occasions when we have needed the other and have unconditionally supported each other. We have an unwritten code that I pay him immediately he does work and he does the same with his suppliers. If I need him urgently he makes it happen. In the past I have travelled a lot and it was made easier by knowing that if there were an issue Steve and his transit van would be there within an hour.

And so why am I telling you this? We are living through terrible times. Death and illness have brought huge pain and distress for many families. People have found containment hard (albeit our family have adapted much better than I thought they would).

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Derek Southall

Derek Southall

Hyperscale Group
Derek Southall, founder and CEO is a high profile and very well connected figure in the legal technology, innovation, knowledge management and digital marketplaces. Derek has spent nearly 25 years in a range of leading strategic roles for a top 50 global law firm, for most of this time as a Partner and Head of Strategic Development and subsequently as Head of Digital and Innovation. During this period Derek oversaw and helped drive growth from £27 mil TO to in excess of £425 mil TO as well as driving and supporting numerous mergers and international expansion to 18 offices in 10 countries. Derek was ranked by the FT as one of the top three most innovative lawyers in the UK in its first study into the legal market. Derek also led the firm’s technology team to become ranked as the most innovative in Europe and subsequently the firm to ranked as the second most innovative firm in Europe as well as picking up a range of other awards. Derek has been the relationship partner for a long list of major household name clients in a range of sectors including Automotive, FMCG, Financial Services, Food and Drink, Fashion and Construction and has a strong track record in sales and product delivery. Derek has been ranked three times in the last three years as an Acritas Star for outstanding client delivery (based on independent feedback). Derek chairs and was one of the founders of the Legal IT Innovators Group ( which has 80 or so of the top 100 firms as members and which plays a key role in driving ahead technological thinking and change for the good of the legal profession. In this role he has worked alongside the United Nations and a range of other large organisations. recently joined forces with two other leading advisory businesses in the fields of technology, operations and financial management to create the which has been referred to as the “Holy Trilogy” of Legal IT. Its purpose is to pool experience and intellectual knowhow to ensure we have a more holistic approach to how they give advice. Derek also serves on the advisory boards of several start-ups and has recently been appointed to the advisory board of the Global Institute of Innovation, which brings together around 400 academics to solve some of the world’s biggest problems.