Radical Change in Law: A Conversation with Simon Levine, Global Co-CEO and Managing Partner of DLA Piper
Author Jessica Swanepoel  | 

In the latest episode of The Unworking Podcast, as part of our new Legal Insights series, Cornelius Medvei, our advisor at Unwork, had the pleasure of hosting Simon Levine, Global Co-CEO and Managing Partner of DLA Piper, one of the world’s largest law firms. Simon has overseen a transformative decade at DLA Piper, focusing on innovation and the firm’s purpose to “make business better.”

A Decade of Transformation: Simon Levine’s leadership at DLA Piper has been marked by a commitment to evolution and innovation. Under his guidance, the firm has not only expanded its global footprint but has also embraced new ways of working, integrating technology and forward-thinking strategies to better serve its clients.

Reflecting on his journey, Simon shares, “Leading DLA Piper has been an incredible journey. We’ve focused on evolving our services and embracing innovation to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our clients in an ever-changing business landscape.”

Spearheading Law&: One of Simon’s most significant contributions to DLA Piper has been the creation of Law&, a brand dedicated to disruptive and transformative legal, tech, and business advisory solutions. Law& represents a cultural shift within the firm, moving beyond traditional legal services to offer comprehensive support that addresses the broader needs of clients.

“Law& is about more than just process,” Simon explains. “It’s about fundamentally changing how we work and how we support our clients, incorporating technology and business advisory to provide holistic solutions.”

A Cultural Shift: Simon’s leadership has driven a cultural transformation within DLA Piper, fostering an environment that encourages innovation and a client-centric approach. This shift has been recognised externally, with the firm receiving multiple awards for its innovative efforts, including accolades from the Financial Times.

Discussing the cultural change, Simon emphasises, “Innovation is not just about new technology; it’s about changing the way we think and work. We’ve worked hard to create a culture that encourages experimentation and values new ideas.”

Embracing Technology and Innovation: Throughout the conversation, Simon highlighted the importance of embracing technology to drive innovation in the legal sector. “Technology is an enabler, not a disruptor,” he noted. “It’s about using technology to enhance our services and provide better value to our clients.”

Simon discussed how DLA Piper has integrated advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and data analytics into their practices. “AI and data analytics allow us to deliver more efficient and effective legal solutions. They help us anticipate client needs and offer proactive advice.”

Client-Centric Approach: A central theme of the discussion was DLA Piper’s client-centric approach. Simon described how the firm strives to understand and address the unique challenges faced by their clients. “Our goal is to be trusted advisors, not just legal service providers. We aim to understand our clients’ businesses and offer solutions that drive their success.”

He shared examples of how the firm has tailored its services to meet client needs, such as developing bespoke legal tech solutions and offering strategic business advice. “We listen to our clients and adapt our services to meet their evolving requirements. It’s about building long-term partnerships based on trust and value.”

Transition to Strategic Innovation Partner: As Simon concludes his tenure as Global Co-CEO, he will transition to lead Law& as Strategic Innovation Partner. In this new role, he will continue to drive the evolution of the Law& brand, focusing on embracing technology, legal optimization, and business advisory advancements to support the firm and its clients in a rapidly evolving business landscape.

“I’m excited to continue my journey with Law&,” says Simon. “The business landscape is changing rapidly, and we need to stay ahead by continuously evolving and embracing new opportunities.”

Looking Towards the Future: Simon Levine’s vision for the future of DLA Piper and the legal industry is one of continuous evolution and innovation. He believes that by embracing change and focusing on the broader needs of clients, law firms can play a crucial role in shaping the future of business.

“I am optimistic about the future,” Simon concludes. “By focusing on innovation and staying true to our purpose of making business better, we can create a lasting impact for our clients and the broader business community.”

Join us in this enlightening conversation with Simon Levine on The Unworking Podcast. Subscribe now to explore the future of legal services and discover insights from visionary leaders shaping the workplace of tomorrow.

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