The Rise of the MicroNed

I feel truly blessed. I have spent 30 years in Legal working with some of the best brains out there – decent, capable people trying to do the very best things for their organisations. This short article is about exactly this. Doing the best thing for your business and an emerging approach to making this happen.

 The Challenge

Over the years we have had many questions put to us which have all been in the zone of “how do we really make this business perform?”. These have included the following and have spanned both business services as well as legal groups:

“How do we professionalise?”

“Are we set up in the right way?”

“Why does it take us so long to do things?”

“Are we competitive and as good as others?”

“What should our ideal structures look like?”

“Are X department as good as they need to be?”

“Why is that team not profitable?”

“I don’t know what I don’t know”

“Why don’t we know this stuff?”

“I wonder if that team are telling me what I want to hear and are too focussed on doing what they like?”

These are all great questions and I have seen many attempts at addressing them but seldom do people feel they have hit their sweet spot.

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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.