The First 100 Days For the CIO Of One Of The World’s Largest Law Firms
Hogan Lovells is one of the largest law firms in the world, but until two years ago, the firm had not had a global CIO. Given the increasingly complex data and security needs, Michael Lucas was installed as global CIO in July of 2012.
Since that time, Mike has assembled a global team, developed a unified IT strategy, and helped establish a innovative IT program to ensure that the firm’s attorneys and its varied customers have the information they need when they need it. Herein, Mike describes the way in which he set himself up for success in the first 100 days at the firm.
(To listen to an unabridged interview with Mike Lucas, please click this link. To read other interviews in the CIO’s First 100 Days series, please visit this link. To read future articles in the series, please click the “Follow” link above.)
Peter High: You were the first ever Global CIO of Hogan Lovells. This came a couple of years after the union of DC-based Hogan & Hartson and UK-based Lovells in 2010. What caused the firm’s leadership team to realize that a Global CIO was needed?
Mike Lucas: I think both legacy firms recognized the need for a consistent customer experience. Early on inter-office travel by firm management highlighted some inconsistencies in both technology and service. The differing local approaches slowed down our lawyers at a very intense time. Many of our systems were the same, we had a lot more in common than different in the two technology stacks but from time-to-time these subtle differences would trip people up. Technology is so incredibly integrated in the way lawyers work today, and so any mis-alignments quickly became visible and impactful.
So, it was something this basic that helped us realize that servicing our lawyers in a seamless way meant defining a global strategy, and an outcome of that strategy was recognizing the need for one global head to streamline decision making and unify the technology function globally. Stepping back, I think the moral of the story here is that the pace of technology change requires not only unification but agility and that starts with a singular vision and well-thought out strategy.
High: How did you prepare for your new role?
Lucas: Interestingly, I did a lot of reading, listened to podcasts like yours, Peter and reading stories of CIO’s who are the best in the business leading their companies through change. I also listened closely to key stakeholders around me and what they were saying the firm needed from this role. It helped that I had been doing many of the facets of the global job prior to the combination, as well as having over 30 years of technology experience to rely on. Most importantly, it was clear that I had the unwavering support of the organization to be successful, something that I found very confidence inspiring (and still do today).
Additional topics covered in the article include:
- How did you evaluate the team that you had, especially since you knew most of them, having been an internal hire to your current role?
- What organizational changes did you undertake?
- Were there process or technology changes that were necessary in your first 100 days?
- Did you pursue any quick-wins as part of your transition into the role? If so, what were they?
- How did you go about developing your first IT strategic plan?
- How did you measure success?
- Mike, for readers who might not be familiar with the technology trends pertinent to the legal field, can you describe how Hogan Lovells uses technology, and what represents IT innovation as it relates to a law firm?