Thom is a Senior Legal Engineer in the Thomson Reuters practice area. He works closely with our clients and legal engineers to lead a number of implementation projects involving HighQ and Contract Express. This involves working closely with the client to understand their requirements and existing processes and then translating this into a custom built solution using the Thomson Reuters technologies.
Thom is based in Leeds, UK.
Tell us about your career path and how you ended up at SYKE?
I’ve been very fortunate to see the world of legal engineering from all angles – in-house, private practice, technology vendor and now consultancy. After graduating from my Law degree, the traditional route of training contracts or pupillages didn’t appeal to me and I wanted to apply my degree in a business context.
I joined Asda’s Legal and Compliance team working on operational matters (such as advertising regulation and health and safety) and quickly found myself building basic automated processes in a SharePoint instance that no-one was using, just to speed up my own tasks and ways of working. This then led to working with Alistair on improving Legal operations and exploring further uses for Asda’s Contract Express implementation.
After leaving Asda I was keen to move into legal technology full-time and joined Taylor Wessing’s legal engineering team for their initial roll-out of Contract Express, before moving to DWF to join the mature document automation programme there – delivering thousands of hours a year in time savings for the business. Two years ago, I joined the process automation technology vendor BRYTER as a Customer Success Manager when they expanded into the UK. This saw me work closely with global law firms and corporates to successfully implement the system into their teams and to ensure they are getting the most value from the different features, integrations and potential use cases – including designing complex integrated workflows.
I was excited to have the opportunity to join SYKE – working in consultancy is allowing me to see legal engineering from another perspective and bring my experience to our clients and projects.
What’s surprised you about working here?
There’s a lot of hype in the legal tech world and it can sometimes be difficult to establish in all the noise where solutions are actually being implemented and used. Coming into SYKE and seeing the volume and variety of projects underway, and how we work with clients to ensure a successful implementation, wasn’t so much a ‘surprise’ but more so an affirmation of the importance in getting technology implementation right and focusing on improving core processes over chasing the latest trend. It gave me great confidence from day one about the expertise and value that SYKE offers its clients.
How would you describe the working culture?
I’ve been working remotely for over three years and the fact that SYKE has always been remote based (even before the pandemic) was an important factor in deciding to join the team. I hope that one thing to come from the pandemic is a change in attitudes re presenteeism in offices and having trust in employees. SYKE is a fast-paced environment but being given the freedom and responsibility to deliver your work using your own experience and judgement creates a collaborative culture where we focus on the important matters – the quality of our work and how we can always develop and improve – rather than internal processes or line reporting.
What have been your highlights so far?
Presenting my first HighQ design to the client for sign-off was an exciting moment. The requirements meant that we had to work out how best to use HighQ for a solution it’s not commonly used for. We were confident our approach would deliver on both the client’s requirements and provide a great user experience but to receive positive feedback from the client was a great validation of our approach and the work myself and the team put in to get there.