The chief technology officer of law firm DWF, Richard Hodkinson, has joined Cheshire-based Converge Technology Specialists (ConvergeTS), the country’s only dedicated cloud computing provider for law firms, as its first non-executive director.
At DWF, Richard handles an annual IT spend of £12m and heads an 87-strong team. The firm has an annual turnover of almost £200m, employs more than 2,500 people, and last year posted net profits of £50m.
Richard, who joins ConvergeTS in a part-time role and remains at DWF, is a regular presenter at the Law Society’s IT Directors Forum, which is sponsored by ConvergeTS. Before joining DWF, he spent 16 years with Irwin Mitchell.
Richard says: “I very much enjoy being in and around tech-based entrepreneurial businesses. As a buyer of IT services, I intend to use my experiences as a buyer of Cloud services to help Converge grow. The take up of Cloud across the UK by law firms is set to accelerate and Converge is very well-placed to capitalise on this market opportunity.”
Converge’s founder and managing director, Nigel Wright, says: “Richard has an entrepreneurial, can-do attitude that mirrors our approach. We are thrilled to have Richard on board. His operational and strategic insights will be invaluable, ultimately helping us to win bigger deals.”
ConvergeTS has over 50 UK-based clients including JMW, Linder Myers, O’Neill Patient, Pannone Corporate and Total Conveyancing Services. Its investment strategy, aimed at maximising the growth of its Cloud services across the UK, was backed by recent research which pointed out that while only 10% of UK law firms currently use hosted services, by 2018 the figure will rise to close to 90%.
During 2014, the business invested £800,000 in new premises in Daresbury Park, helped by a £160,000 Business Growth Grant from the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership. This enabled Converge to build a state-of-the-art data centre – ensuring it complies with the strict requirements of the regulations governing solicitors using cloud-based services – and invest in people to guarantee that Converge has the tightest service-level agreements in the market.