Reed Smith appoints first chief innovation officer in latest legaltech push

David Cunningham joins in Houston from Winston & Strawn; will continue to lead Legal Metrics law firm consortium

Reed Smith has hired Legal Metrics CEO and former Winston & Strawn chief information officer David Cunningham as its first innovation head, signalling the firm’s intention to accelerate its legaltech offering and improve its digital service delivery.

Cunningham joins Reed Smith’s Houston office as chief innovation officer, where he will be responsible for building on the firm’s existing data-driven legaltech solutions unit Gravity Stack and its shared-services division Reed Smith Global Solutions with other product and service innovations, as well as guiding the firm’s enterprise data and analytics strategy. Cunningham will also continue to lead Legal Metrics, a consortium of law firms and in-house teams that aims to standardise, visualise and share data that measures legal industry performance.

Sandy Thomas, Reed Smith’s global managing partner, said: “We must continue to create new service offerings and products that deliver more agile and customised client support – all with the purpose of helping our clients drive their businesses forward. David brings the ultimate entrepreneurial approach to the delivery of legal services. He is a champion of innovation, and we are thrilled to have him lead us into the next iteration of Reed Smith’s commitment to innovation and client value.”

Cunningham has more than two decades of consulting experience from his time at Baker Robbins & Company (now HBR Consulting) helping law firms innovate and improve, followed by almost a decade at Winston & Strawn driving its tech and data innovation. He founded Legal Metrics in 2019 while at Winston. 

Nick Bagiatis, Reed Smith’s chief operating officer, said: “Working with senior leadership, David will bring together the breadth of the firm’s current innovation activities and direct the future focus of the firm’s innovation strategy to advance the firm’s RS 2024 business strategy. Integrating our technology-related offerings will help the firm better serve clients and establish the firm’s innovation vision for the future. We want to ensure the firm’s brand is synonymous with innovation.”

In May, Reed Smith announced a partnership with service automation platform BRYTER, which allows users to build digital applications without having to learn how to code.

Cunningham said: “Technology, efficiency, data analytics, AI, and metrics are key aspects of the equation that drives client value. When you combine them with exceptional lawyering, you create the ultimate value for clients.”

In 2019, Reed Smith hired Adam Curphey as its London-based innovation engagement manager from BPP University Law School, where he was head of development, innovation technology.

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