Clifford Chance announced the hire of legal technology entrepreneur Jeroen Plink as CEO of Clifford Chance Applied Solutions, the home to the firm's expanding range of digital products which combine the firm's legal expertise with technology to solve complex, large-scale client challenges.
Jeroen will be based in Clifford Chance's New York office, though his focus, and that of his team, will be global. Jeroen will work closely with the firm's clients, technology partners and lawyers across the world to develop and bring to market new technology empowered solutions to major client challenges. The initial focus will be on the regulatory and compliance space, where the demands on organisations globally are growing at pace and the need for automated and smart solutions, informed by deep legal expertise, is increasingly important. Jeroen will also take on leadership of CCDr@ft, the firm's document automation product that is already part of the Clifford Chance Applied Solutions suite.
Bas Boris Visser, Clifford Chance's Global Head of Innovation and Business Change said: "I'm absolutely delighted to welcome Jeroen to the firm. His impressive track record in setting up and building successful ventures in the international legal technology arena, and his experience as a senior advisor, board member and investor make him a perfect fit for the leadership of Clifford Chance Applied Solutions as we seek to expand our product suite and grow the business geographically. While Jeroen will operate across our global network, being based in our New York office means he will be perfectly positioned to tap into the significant opportunities that legaltech presents for us in that market. We see huge potential for Clifford Chance Applied Solutions to complement our high-quality practice in the US, delivering a differentiated service that will be of considerable value to our clients."
Clifford Chance Applied Solutions, a separate entity to Clifford Chance LLP, is building a suite of digital products and solutions that improve efficiency and consistency, free-up resources and enhance business performance for its clients around the world. Jeroen will be the CEO and will work closely with Bas Boris Visser, Global Head of Innovation and Business Change who will chair the board as a non-executive director.
Jeroen Plink continues: "I'm excited to take on the leadership of Clifford Chance Applied Solutions at such a pivotal moment. It is clear to me that Clifford Chance is dedicated to the development of technology based solutions that will help clients to address large scale challenges that they face, and that will enhance, improve and streamline the client experience. I think the growth potential is enormous."
Launched in July 2018, Clifford Chance Applied Solutions is one of three units underpinning the firm's Best Delivery and Innovation strategy, which is governed by the firm's Best Delivery and Innovation Leadership Group. The other two units are Clifford Chance Create, the firm's innovation ecosystem where clients, leading academic institutions and staff come together to share and develop new ideas, and Best Delivery, the group that brings together specialist expertise with the smartest tools and resources to deliver an overall client experience that is ever more robust, consistent, efficient and innovative.
Matthew Layton, Clifford Chance's Global Managing Partner said: "The hire of Jeroen Plink is testament to the firm's commitment to innovation and the advancement of our strategy. We continually challenge ourselves to be more innovative in how we deliver our service to clients; capitalising on the power of technology is an increasingly important element of this. For in-house teams, the pressures are immense and growing. Digitisation and automation – combined with our deep market expertise – creates opportunities for us to help them in completely new ways, whether that is in implementing regulatory or other changes, improving accountability and audit trails, increasing speed and efficiency or lowering cost. Clifford Chance Applied Solutions is our response to that demand. I look forward to working with Jeroen to position ourselves as a key partner to our clients in this space."
A former Clifford Chance associate who practised as a corporate lawyer in the firm's Amsterdam office from 1996 to 2000, Plink has spent nearly two decades in building his experience in legal technology product development, innovation strategy consultancy and growing legal technology businesses from formation to maturity. Notable roles include establishing and running Practical Law Company in the US as its CEO between 2007 and 2013, and then acting as a Board Member and Advisor following its sale to Thomson Reuters, and as Co-Founder and Director of Legistics Limited (sold to Practical Law Company), the Software as a Service (SAAS) due diligence application.