Access Legal appoints Emma de Sousa to lead its next evolution and focus on customer value

Access LegalBy Legal Futures Associate Access Legal

Access Legal, part of The Access Group, is excited to announce the appointment of Emma de Sousa as its new managing director. Emma will head up the legal tech provider’s next stage of growth as it drives forward its promise to offer unrivalled capability and service to legal practitioners and law firms.

As one of the UK’s foremost leaders in tech and widely respected for her commitment to delivering customer success, motivational leadership and an ability to drive high performance whilst maintaining an inclusive culture, Emma’s arrival is a real coup for The Access Group. It marks the next step of Access Legal’s vision to help law firms tackle their core challenges and free them up to focus on their people and client experience.

Hitting the ground running, Emma will lead on accelerating Access Legal’s product roadmap to build on its already wide set of solutions for law firms, including the next phase of Access Workspace for Legal, which launched in 2022. The digital solution which tackles one of the biggest pain points legal firms face of having multiple fragmented systems is designed to empower legal professionals to become more productive by consolidating people, data and systems into one single, accessible view.

Emma brings a wealth of experience having helped companies leverage technology to drive modernisation and increase profitability. Having previously spent more than 19 years in senior management roles and most recently EMEA president at Insight she brings a breadth of knowledge. She has extensive management experience in the information and technology industries, leading cloud and digital transformation projects that help customers achieve their business ambitions.

Her appointment follows the retirement of former managing director Doug Sawers, who has spent more than 40 years in business and almost three years at Access Legal.  He has been pivotal to the establishment and success of Access Legal having led the division since 2020 and through the acquisitions of Eclipse and DPS Software and then subsequently Select Legal, Oosha and Legal Bricks, and the launch of Access Workspace for Legal.

Speaking on her new position as managing director, Emma de Sousa said; “I’m here to make a real impact. I am passionate about ensuring we meet our customers’ evolving needs and deliver the outcomes that they require to run a successful law firm. Our growth is ultimately driven by our customers’ success.

“This year is going to be a challenge for law firms of all sizes against the backdrop of a struggling economy and a cost-of-living crisis that will put a squeeze on their clients’ pockets. Yet the focus for firms remains largely unchanged – profitability, recruitment and talent retention, compliance and security are still their priorities – all of which underpin the purpose of our solutions for firms.

“My early observations indicate we have a winning formula; a team with deep knowledge and experience in technology and the legal sector, unrivalled breadth of products and services and a remarkable passion to support our customers reach their goals. I look forward to leading this impressive team to bring yet more success for law firms in the UK and beyond.”

More than 3,800 law firms in the UK now benefit from Access Legal’s solutions which span across case and practice management software, legal compliance, legal learning, conveyancing and property services, legal specific cloud hosting solutions and HR and finance tools. Most of these solutions now sit on its Access Workspace for Legal platform, where firms can add and implement products to meet their practice and business goals.

Access Legal is part of The Access Group, one of the leading providers of business management software to mid-sized organisations in the UK, Ireland and Asia Pacific. Its client portfolio includes The MAPD Group, Minster Law, Winn Solicitors, Wolferstans and Neves Solicitors LLP.

For more information about Access Legal, visit


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