Marc is the Practice Director for SYKE’s Icertis Practice and oversees the delivery of Icertis implementations – primarily in regulated industries such as biopharma and banking. He is an expert in Contract Lifecycle Management and Document Automation solutions and a non-practising Solicitor. Combining extensive legal and technical knowledge he has implemented CLM solutions for some of the biggest and well-known companies in the world. These have included complex implementations with global roll outs and multiple languages.
Tell us about your career path and how you ended up at SYKE?
I’ve had quite a varied career path. I spent four years in the British Army as an electronics engineer in my late teens and early twenties. I hadn’t done amazingly well at school and college and I was really looking for a role that would allow me to get a trade and see the world. It’s fair to say after four years (primarily spent in Germany but also six months in Iraq) I felt I had found the drive and ambition I had lacked as an immature 18 year old. Army mottos like “be the best” and “adapt and overcome” instil a mentality than anything is possible and no obstacle is too great to overcome.
The only AS level I had passed before I joined the Army was for law and I really enjoyed it, but I knew there was no chance of progressing in the legal sector with the qualifications I had at that point. While I was serving in the Army I did an Open University law course and I left the Army shortly after completing it to go to University to do the LLB. Skip forward six years and I had completed my degree and LPC, which included a ten month interlude travelling around SE Asia and Australia.
After a couple of years paralegalling at Simmons & Simmons and RPC I qualified as a solicitor in 2017 through the equivalent means route. For those that aren’t aware it involves proving to the SRA that all the work I had carried out as a paralegal was equivalent to that of a trainee. At that point in time I had the choice to either continue with the professional negligence litigation work I was doing, or take on a brand new role rolling out document automation across the law firm I was working in.
I chose the latter as it seemed like an exciting role where I could use both my technical background and blend it with my legal one. As a hybrid I could speak both ‘languages’ to IT and lawyers respectively I thoroughly enjoyed thinking up innovative solutions and working with lawyers to automate their contracts. After a few years in that role I moved on to SYKE where I started as a Senior Legal Engineer getting involved with Contract Express, DocuSignCLM and Apttus projects – before starting SYKE’s Icertis practice from scratch.
What is your current role and what does it entail?
I’m Practice Director for our Icertis practice – I manage a great team full of highly-skilled technical configurators and experienced project managers to deliver ICI implementations to some of the best-known companies in the world. I still enjoy getting stuck in on projects so spend a good proportion of my time designing solutions for clients – blending my experience as a lawyer with knowledge of CLM. Aside from my role at SYKE I’m also the Founder of the Legal Technologist magazine.
What’s surprised you about working at SYKE?
I think the main surprise is just how much SYKE has grown in such a short space of time. About two and a half years ago when I started working at SYKE there were maybe 15 people in total. Now there are over 130 people so there has been some exponential growth over that period.
How would you describe the working culture?
You get a lot of responsibility at an early stage within a supportive environment. Everyone is open and approachable, and there are plenty of opportunities to learn about legal tech and how it is implemented.
What have been your highlights so far?
I think one of my highlights so far has been the implementation I did where I managed the delivery of a series of complex agreements across around 60 jurisdictions and in 8 different languages. It was incredibly challenging at times – however, I had a great team and we were able to deliver to the client’s satisfaction.