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Christina Blacklaws Joins Elevate Advisory Board

Past President of Law Society of England and Wales brings innovation and diversity and inclusion expertise 

LONDON – November 12, 2019 – Elevate today announced that legal innovation expert Christina Blacklaws has joined the company’s Advisory Board. Most recently past President of the Law Society of England and Wales, Ms. Blacklaws brings extensive experience in developing and managing law firms, directing law firm innovation, and advising legal organisations on transformational change, technological developments, and diversity and inclusion.

“Elevate’s Advisory Board is a natural fit for my work on innovation in the practice of law,” said Ms. Blacklaws. “The Board’s membership includes a number of the most far-sighted thinkers in the legal industry, and I’m excited to work with them to help legal organisations adapt to the trends that are reshaping the industry.”

“Christina brings Elevate exceptional experience across a number of important areas of change to the legal industry,” said John Croft, Chairman of the Advisory Board. “Her addition to our Advisory Board demonstrates our commitment to helping law firms and law departments thrive in the future.”

Other members of the Elevate Advisory Board include:

  • Paul Lippe – Founder of xMentium and former CEO of OnRamp Systems (acquired by Elevate)
  • John Weber – Former CEO, Minter Ellison; former DLA Piper Australia Managing Partner and member of the firm’s International Executive
  • Jim Rishwain – Partner and Chair Emeritus of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • Iohann Le Frapper – Group General Counsel of Pierre Fabre Group; Vice-Chair of ICC international Corporate Responsibility commission; former Chief Legal Officer of Gulf Bridge International; former General Counsel for the networks group for Alcatel-Lucent; past Global Chair of the board of directors of the Association of Corporate Counsel; and the past President of ACC Europe
  • Susan Hackett – CEO of Legal Executive Leadership, LLC; former Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the Association of Corporate Counsel
  • Silvia Hodges Silverstein – CEO of the Buying Legal Council; Lecturer in Law teaching “Law Firm Finance and Management” at Columbia Law School; Adjunct Professor teaching “Law Firm as a Business” at Fordham Law School
  • Michele DeStefano – Professor of Law, University of Miami; Guest Faculty at Harvard Law School’s Executive Education Program and at IE School of Law; Founder of LawWithoutWalls and MOVELΔW
  • Mark Smolik – Chief Legal and Compliance Officer for DHL Supply Chain in the Americas; Global Chair of the company’s Supply Chain Legal Services Practice Group; previously Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Ethics Officer of Safelite AutoGlass
  • Ken Grady – Adjunct Professor and Research Fellow at Michigan State University College of Law; former CEO of SeyfarthLean Consulting, General Counsel at three Fortune 1000 corporations, Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management; and past member of the ACC’s Board of Directors


About Christina Blacklaws

Ms. Blacklaws brings extensive experience gained over the course of a three-decade legal career. After studying Jurisprudence at Oxford, she qualified as a solicitor in 1991. Her work developing and managing law firms includes founding a virtual law firm and setting up the first ABS with the Co-op. More recently, she was Director of Innovation at a top 100 firm. She now runs her own consultancy business providing strategic advice, particularly in the area of transformational change, technological developments, and diversity, and inclusion.

She holds a range of public appointments, including chair of the LawTech Delivery Panel, chair of the Next Generation Services Advisory Group (part of Innovate UK), member of the Legal Support Advisory Group, and of the Family Justice Council.  She also was President of the Law Society of England and Wales until July 2019 and performed a huge range of ambassadorial and representative functions both domestically and internationally.

Her experience reflects her passion for diversity and inclusion, access to justice, and technology. Recognised as a leader in promoting diversity and inclusion, Ms. Blacklaws has developed and leads a programme focussed on women in leadership in law. The project produced the largest ever global survey on the issue, two toolkits which supported over 250 roundtables in 22 jurisdictions and led to three insight reports and a Women in Law Pledge, which was supported by the government and all legal representative bodies. This was launched at the international symposium she arranged in June 2019. Ms. Blacklaws represents the Women Lawyers Division and is an active committee member. She also sits on the Thomson Reuters Women in Law Advisory Board and the Chartered Institute of Insurers’ ‘Insuring Women’s Futures’ Advisory Board.

She has led on a number of high-profile campaigns to protect and empower some of the most vulnerable in society including chairing the Grenfell Lawyers Forum. She also chaired the Law Society’s Legal Technology Policy Commission which produced a wide-ranging report and recommendations about the use of algorithms in the justice system.

In addition to her government posts, Ms. Blacklaws sits as a Commissioner on the Oxtec Commission which is advising government on the use of technology in elections. She is heavily involved in the technological issues relating to supra-national legislative and regulatory frameworks as well as the need to demystify lawtech and empower all lawyers to embrace relevant technology. Ms. Blacklaws led on the Society’s relationship with Barclays to develop lawtech incubators.

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