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Alternative Takeaways with Malcolm Dowden, Legal Director at Womble Bond Dickinson

Here are three takeaways from Malcolm Dowden, Legal Director of Womble Bond Dickinson, at our recent Tech Leaders Hangout where our panel spoke about the challenges and outcomes of leading teams remotely.

EXISTING TOOLS HAVE GAINED NEW VALUE

Malcolm explained the new ways in which existing tech and structures have become applicable as new challenges have arisen during lockdown.

“Things that have been stubborn inconveniences for years suddenly became urgent problems. And into that category would fall things like electronic signatures and execution of documents. In the early weeks of the lockdown, we were having to give an awful lot of advice on how documents could be dealt with using technology that we’ve had lying around for years, that clients of thought looked nice, but was never a must-have. And that’s prompted a much more interesting phase, in terms of the way that legal documents are managed and transactions are processed.”

Firms should feel encouraged to review the tools they already have access to and ensure they are using them efficiently.

EVOLVE AT THE SAME PACE AS TECHNOLOGY

“One of the areas of concern I think we need to really focus on is making sure that the tech doesn’t outstrip organisational measures and the discipline when it comes to handling personal data, documents and confidentiality obligations. and so a key challenge is to help every individual within the firm to understand how their own conduct and compliance efforts can work with, and be supported by, the available tech.

Malcolm made a brilliant point in that technology doesn’t replace organisation and personal responsibility, especially when it comes to data handling. Success can be found by using tech and personal skills in synergy.

LEAN INTO A PROBLEM-SOLVING CULTURE

When problems like lockdown arise, your company has the opportunity to become a team of problem-solvers. How have you been seizing this opportunity?

“If you’re collaborating online, it’s nobody’s office, it’s everybody’s space. And so again, that shift in dynamic has actually helped to break down some of the barriers and I think it’s created a problem-solving opportunity and a problem-solving culture.”

For full details of the Alternative Hangouts series please click here.