Blank Rome has become the latest Big Law firm to hire a chief innovation officer, signaling the legal industry’s continued shift toward new business models.
Linda Novosel, formerly Steptoe & Johnson’s chief client value officer, has joined the firm as chief innovation and value officer in its Philadelphia office, the firm announced Thursday.
In the new role, Novosel will be responsible for developing new systems to support the firm’s litigation, transactional and regulatory legal work.
Blank Rome chief operating officer Patrick Cavanaugh said the new role is intended to help the firm increase efficiency and lower costs for clients.
“We continue to make significant investments in strategic pricing and legal project management, as they are areas of critical importance to our clients and firm,” he said.
Novosel told Bloomberg Law that the job will include “identifying new staffing models, processes, and technology that will support our practices and client teams.”
“I will be working with my peers, Blank Rome lawyers, and many of the business professionals at the firm to develop client and matter-specific approaches that are aligned with our clients’ goals and budgets,” she said.
Law firms are increasingly hiring chief innovation officers, a sign that the industry is shifting away from traditional business models and embracing new technologies that threaten them.
As of February, 32 law firms in the United States and Europe had chief innovation officers, with the majority of those in Big Law firms, according to the executive search firm The Cowen Group.
David Cowen, the firm’s president, predicted that another 30 would be hired or promoted by the end of 2018.