Legal Tech – Nathan Killick – S1E6

This week our host Rob Hanna speaks with Nathan Killick. Nathan is a highly knowledgable and impressive Legal IT Consultant at Sprout IT and Committee Member of the London Legal Networking Group

They enjoyed talking through all things Tech & Cyber Security specifically for law firms and wider legal focused businesses. Nathan highlights a number of key points law firms & chambers need to consider to ensure they can achieve increased efficiencies through IT whilst staying safe and compliant. 

Show notes

Here are 3 reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Learn about Sprout IT and Nathan’s role as a Legal IT Consultant. 
  2. Hear about how legal tech is developing and what law firms can be doing to embrace it.
  3. Discover how to get involved with the London Legal Networking Group. 


Episode highlights:

Nathan’s background and journey:

  • Nathan’s IT consultancy role based in London was around print management, IT and infrastructure.
  • Nathan worked with the company called Xerox for 2 years before moving to New Zealand and working there for them. 
  • After moving back from New Zealand, Nathan was approached by a recruiter from Sprout IT about managing the growth of the business. 

Why did Nathan focus on the legal sector, and what is the changing tech landscape?

  • After a couple of years, Nathan wanted to specialise in an area and found the legal sector had a lot of work to be done and more to be understood.
  • Nathan recognises that the technology and cybersecurity landscape is ever-changing, whereas the legal sector is not changing as quickly.  
  • He believes that this is down to IT managers and directors being in their roles for a long time, and the requirement for accreditations is changing rapidly.
  • For somebody in a high-responsibility role in a firm or chamber, it is difficult to keep partners happy and stay up to date with all the accreditations and technology. 
  • Nathan’s company tend to find responsibilities are so high and time is so short, so people cannot stay up-to-date. 
  • Outsource IT companies are there to relieve the burden of some responsibilities.
  • Nathan believes there is a stigma around IT companies being there to replace IT managers and directors.
  • IT companies are here to stay up-to-date with the ever-changing landscape and relieve the burden from those individuals who have been in the firm for a long time.

What can law firms do to stay up-to-date with technology?

  • ‘Dimensions’ are a vision revolving around strategy, technology and the security around that.
  • Sprout IT take a wider look at what people are doing and how they are doing it – when addressing a client, they look at not only the governance and compliance in the firm but also their security stack, vision, strategy and processes.
  • The top 200 firms are starting to look at the wider picture – IT, technology, and cybersecurity as an enabler, as opposed to being a cost.
  • Nathan finds that the senior leadership within firms and especially chambers are not as aware as they should be.
  • Nathan gives the example of a successful phishing attack being potentially damaging to a firm or chamber. 
  • Nathan believes there is a wider conversation to be had – for people to be educated early, like postgraduates, new trainees and pupils within chambers.
  • Sprout IT hopes to drive change amongst millennials and change the viewpoint of more traditional firms. 

Technology as a risk-averse sector:

  • Nathan gives the example that a lot of people believe Microsoft will take everything, which is not the case.
  • Exchange Online is where individuals’ emails are kept, and they tend to have problems with downtime.
  • He stresses the importance of understanding that there are always going to be other layers to IT and cybersecurity.
  • Billable hours will include elements like downtime, disaster recovery and business continuity.
  • Nathan points out that if an individual’s laptop dies or emails are down, they have an immediate backup to use, meaning there is zero downtime.
  • A common misconception around ‘backup’ is that it could be data or a dominant application on a server; however, utilising the data and working as one needs to be is not productive.
  • E-discovery is becoming more prevalent as it looks over all data stores, shortening the time it takes to complete a task so more can be done, meaning more cases can be won.
  • He demonstrates how some people in the legal sector are not investing in tech because they do not understand it or are not being shown the way, and his company are trying to change this.

How can technology aid GDPR in the legal sector?

  • When Cloud was first released, there were ‘Cloud Cowboys’, which was anybody setting up a server, calling it Cloud, which was not secure. 
  • ‘Cloud Cowboys’ would share Cloud space with organisations that would experience a cyber breach, affecting people on the shared server. 

What is Mimecast, and how does it work?

  • People know Mimecast as just email security – any emails going in and out of an organisation will be vetted by Mimecast.
  • Nathan explains that Mimecast will search emails for viruses, open harmful emails, and decide whether to let them go through to the inbox. 
  • Mimecast is in the top 5 security vendors, and NCSLabs released a report in 2018 stating that it is 25% more effective than any other email security vendor. 
  • It is also an archiving tool as it saves any kind of emails received and sends them to a ledger or archive. 
  • Mimecast is also great for e-discovery, and it can fully replicate an individual’s diary if their email exchange goes down and they cannot access their email.
  • ‘Internet email protect’ stops cyber-criminals from utilising a compromised mailbox to send emails internally and spread infection.
  • The problem Nathan finds is not everyone within a law firm will know what Mimecast is, and everybody needs to understand what it is and its significance.

What is the Cloud, and why is it important in the legal space?

  • Nathan describes the Cloud as a server hosted somewhere else, and there are different types of Clouds. 
  • For example, there are single-tenancy Clouds and multi-tenancy Clouds. Single-tenancy Cloud and Private Cloud are the most secure.
  • A multi-tenanted Cloud shares data with other organisations, which means relying on the other organisation not to get infected.
  • Hybrid Cloud looks at where someone can host their data or applications in an area that will be supported and secured properly by the manufacturer. 
  • Sprout tends to ask clients to host iManage, in iManagers Cloud, because they manage the support most effectively.
  • Nathan recognises that a lot of firms are worried about hosting their data elsewhere in people’s Cloud because they don’t like the idea of somebody else being responsible for their and their client’s data. 
  • Nathan argues everyone needs to understand Cloud is the 1st strategy to use.

The legal sector in technology versus other sectors:

  • The legal sector is small and unique, so Nathan believes big tech companies do not want to touch the legal sector since it is not a massive market.
  • Tech is being invested in sectors like healthcare, pharmaceuticals and accountancy.
  • He recognises that Magic Circle and Silver Circle firms are incubating technology around blockchain and artificial intelligence.
  • Nathan points out that in the legal sector, people like to follow, and Mimecast is a prime example of this. 

Data transferring and merging in the legal sector:

  • Some people who work without a budget can be successful because they are not limiting themselves.
  • When trying to bring two organisations together, Nathan recommends that everybody needs to be working from similar systems to understand data merging, and a lot of work goes into this, especially from the technology and provisioning side.

What advice would Nathan give to firms and chambers to improve their approach to IT and security?

  • Nathan suggests understanding who the top players in the market are and what they are doing is important.
  • It is spending time with supplies and vendors to understand their products and limitations, which is beneficial.
  • He advises getting buy-in from everybody within the business and training staff to be aware of risks.
  • Nathan describes tech as a dynamic landscape, and ensuring everybody understands it is key – some may have more knowledge than others, so it is about adapting communication to explain it. 

Nathan’s recommendations to people interested in legal tech:

  • Nathan recommends The Law Gazette and Today’s Legal Cyber Risk, which is managed by Practical Vision.
  • Looking at scam alerts on the SRA website, where they talk about managing claims as a key area.
  • He urges people to look at where technology is generally going since Microsoft and Citrix are looking at ways to spin up virtual desktops in their own Clouds and environments.
  • He suggests TechCrunch or looking at Reddit.
  • Nathan describes how he spends a lot of time reading, and the National Cybersecurity Centre widen the vision of the SRA and The Law Society into different markets.
  • He advises any law firm or chamber to look at Board Toolkit to know what they need to prepare for since most organisations lack the understanding that they have 72 hours to report a breach.

About Nathan and the London Legal Networking Group:

  • Nathan joined the group because of the importance of networking and building his own profile.
  • He wanted to meet new people and came across recruitment companies specialising in the legal sector. 
  • The group brings people together, such as law firms and chambers.
  • They have recently rebranded to Legal Networking, and it is focused on bringing people together, connecting with people looking for work and internships.

5 powerful quotes from this episode:

  1. “… I think there’s a wider conversation that I personally like to be having, is around, you know, let’s educate people early, so postgraduates or, you know, new trainees or even pupils within Chambers”.
  2. “Networking is really important, I think, in the legal sector…”.
  3. “But also just coming to build my own profile, to get to meet new people, new trainees that are coming through, how people looking to network…”.
  4. “…getting to meet people and see how other people are operating within the legal sector I think is really cool”.
  5. “It’s to bring people together, obviously, you know, a lot of networking happens between law firms and barristers chambers, the clerks are looking to network with, you know, solicitors as well, and so we can help facilitate that”.

If you wish to connect with Nathan, you may reach out to him on LinkedIn.

Enjoy the podcast?

Learning more about the exciting world of legal has never been this easy. If you enjoyed today’s episode of the Legally Speaking Podcast, hit subscribe and share it with your friends!

Post a review and share it! If you enjoyed tuning into this podcast, then do not hesitate to write a review. You can also share this with your family and friends so they too can learn from one of the top business podcasts.

Have any questions? You can contact me through email ( or find me on LinkedIn. Thanks for listening!

Sponsored by Clio: Clio is a legal case management software that work in partnership with the Law Society of England and Wales and is an approved supplier of the Law Society of Scotland.

For more updates and episodes, visit our website and subscribe to our mailing list.  

You may also tune in on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, or Spotify.

Give us a follow on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Youtube.

Finally, support us with BuyMeACoffee:

To learning more about the exciting world of law, Robert Hanna and the Legally Speaking Podcast Team.

Disclaimer: All episodes are recorded at certain moments in time and reflect those moments only.


Rob Hanna: Welcome to the Legally Speaking Podcast, powered by Kissoon Carr. I’m your host, Rob Hanna. This week I’m delighted to be joined by Nathan Killick, an expert legal IT consultant from Sprout IT, and committee member of the ever-growing London Legal Networking Group. Welcome Nathan!  

Nathan Killick: Hello Rob.

Rob Hanna: Today we’re gonna be covering tech and cybersecurity specifically for law firms and also wider legal focused businesses. We’re going to be highlighting a number of sort of interesting and key points, legal businesses need to be considering to ensure that they can achieve increased efficiencies through IT while staying safe and compliant. But before we jump into all of that Nathan, you’ve got to ask the customary question. On the scale of 1 to 10, 10 being very real, how real do you rate the TV hit series Suits?

Nathan Killick: Interesting question. And I’m probably one of the few legal officials you’ve had on here that hasn’t actually seen Suits. So I may have seen a couple of episodes. Seems a bit cheesy to me.  

Rob Hanna: [Laughter]

Nathan Killick: But hey, look, whatever goes, right?  

Rob Hanna: Yeah, whatever goes. 

Nathan Killick: Yeah I’ll definitely have to make an effort to watch some, I’ve heard is good. So what’s your views on it?

Rob Hanna: I reckon based on that response, you can give it a 5 out of 10.

Nathan Killick: [Laughter]

Rob Hanna: We actually had, with the episode last week we did a Harvey versus Hooper chat, where we erm, actually asked Ed Hooper, and he gave it 10. So you know it’s, it, but he did say there was a bit of Hollywood in there, but it’s probably levelling out just above 50%. So 5 out of 10 is a fair rating.  

Nathan Killick: I’ll have to follow the crowd then.  

Rob Hanna: [Laughter] So you know today I’m really excited. We’re talking about all things technical in terms of an IT perspective in the legal sector. But before we jump into that, tell us a bit more about your background and how you ended up sort of getting involved, working in the legal space?

Nathan Killick: Sure. So I guess essentially, from day one, when I was looking at work, I kind of fell into a kind of an IT consultancy role, based in London funnily enough. That was around print management and IT and infrastructure.  

Rob Hanna: Yep.   

Nathan Killick: Through that, company called Xerox, of course, moved to New Zealand after two years experience and worked out there. I believe that managed print is actually more archaic than the legal sector itself, funnily enough. 

Rob Hanna: [Laughter] Okay.

Nathan Killick: Um, great experience. Moved back from New Zealand and actually got approached by a recruiter that felt that I would be well matched now in Sprout IT and managing, managing the growth of the business for them.

Rob Hanna: And again, we had a girl called Lenie Ibanez who did a diversity topic for us the other week. And she was telling us all things about Canada, cause I’ve never been. New Zealand, another place I’ve never been. So where do I need to go and what have I been missing? 

Nathan Killick: So, definitely if you’re going for a short period of time.  

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Nathan Killick: South Island.

Rob Hanna: Okay.  

Nathan Killick: South Island is much more diverse in terms of, the the landscape, what you’ll see, the people that are there. North Island is really cool. You got Wellington where I lived for the year that was essentially the capital city.  

Rob Hanna: Yep.

Nathan Killick: Essentially, because it’s a tropical, is actually a tropical country, you have a lot of cruise ships coming in. And Wellington’s actually, such a small city, that one cruise ship in the harbour took up half  the city.

Rob Hanna: Wow.

Nathan Killick: In terms of the length. So Auckland’s obviously much larger, really lovely city as well. It’s almost just like England 50 years ago, right?  

Rob Hanna: Yeah. Yeah. 

Nathan Killick: That’s why, that’s why everyone’s moving out there.

Rob Hanna: Good stuff. I’d have loved to be there, so I’m a big rugby fan. And I would have loved to have been there on the semi-final day just to see how disappointed they would have been, cause they take it pretty seriously out there, don’t they?

Nathan Killick: Yeah, I was there for the Limes Tour as well.  

Rob Hanna: Oh wow!

Nathan Killick: Yeah, actually. So I went and saw the Hurricanes versus the Lions, which was really, really good. Um, yeah, and the England vs New Zealand game was really good as well. 

Rob Hanna: Yeah, good stuff. And so, moving on to your career then, as you mentioned you’ve always sort of started and been involved in IT and infrastructure. And what’s really interesting about your your sort of background and what you’re doing now, is it’s very focused to the legal sector, right? So I guess first question to you is, why do you focus on, you know, IT, tech, security and why specifically, the legal sector for you?

Nathan Killick: Sure. Yeah, good questions, To be honest, you know, when you kind of first start out looking for work, you kind of dip your toes in different areas, right?

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Nathan Killick: You know, one of the things that I learnt after a couple of years was that I wanted to specialise and niche in an area. 

Rob Hanna: Mhmm.

Nathan Killick: I think, the legal sector specifically, there’s a lot of work to be done. There’s a lot of understanding that is still left to be understood. Especially by, not just kind of IT professionals, but also by say managing partners, or heads of chambers, we work in chambers as well. But I think you know the simple fact is that the technology and the cybersecurity landscape is ever-changing and a lot of the legal sector isn’t changing quite as quick.

Rob Hanna: Why do you think that is? Because I think that’s a really interesting point, and we’ve talked a few topics throughout the podcast where we think the legal sectors probably behind various other sectors. Why do you think, particularly with regards to tech, it’s not where it could be?

Nathan Killick: I think it’s purely and simply a case of, a lot of IT managers and IT directors have been in there a role for a long time, right?  

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Nathan Killick: And the thing is not just with technology and cyber security, I think the requirement for accreditations in say Microsoft or Citrix or whatever it is, that’s changing rapidly as well.  

Rob Hanna: Mmm.

Nathan Killick: And for somebody in such a high responsibility role within a firm or chambers, it’s not easy to A) keep the partners happy. What they then also need to do outside of that is stay up to date  with all the accreditations and technology moving forward. So what we do tend to find is that responsibilities are so high and time is so short, that people can’t stay up to date. And essentially, that’s what a lot of outsourced IT companies are there for, is to kind of relieve the burden of those sorts of things. I think there is a bit of a stigma around a lot of IT companies are there to replace IT managers,  IT directors. I don’t think that’s the case. I think we are here to stay up to date with the ever-changing landscape and to relieve the burden from those individuals that have been in the firm sauce a long time and know them essentially better than their partners, right?

Rob Hanna: Yeah, I think a key part of this is well, is obviously you know, things are moving a rate of knots with regards to technologies generally, lots of things are happening. But particularly with law firms and what you guys are suggesting, what do you think are some of the things they should be thinking about? If they’re not sort of, you know, Managing Partners are busy, you’ve touched upon it yourself, but why should they be really thinking about these, these things from a from a security, but also from sort of staying up with the time perspective?

Nathan Killick: Sure. So essentially, the way Sprout and myself, really kind of look at what we do. You mentioned two really important what we call dimensions there, which is kind of vision, strategy and technology, but also kind of, the security around that. And, you know what people are doing and how they’re doing it. We take a wider look. So when we’re addressing a client, we look at things like not only the governance and compliance within the firm, with regulatory bodies, we also look at the security stack what they’re doing there. We look at their vision and strategy. We look at their processes. It’s all very well having technology in place, any kind of change in management, anything like that, you need to have a process in place. Otherwise it could be right car crash. So what I would say, that we see a lot in law firms and you know a lot of the top 100 and even more of the top 200 we’re seeing now, are starting to look at it from a wider picture, IT, technology, cybersecurity as an enabler, as opposed to just being a cost.  

Rob Hanna: Yep.

Nathan Killick: What we also find is a lot of the, lets say the senior leadership within law firms and especially within chambers. They they’re not necessary As aware as they should be, you know the risks to the business or how invested that they should be. So you know, for example, with a nasty bit ransomware or a successful phishing attack can cause some really serious damage to a firm or to a chambers. But if the senior leadership team on the board on aware of what’s going on – 

Rob Hanna: Mm.

Nathan Killick: Then it doesn’t matter what you’re doing in terms of the technical stuff or the processes, if your senior leadership team aren’t making any grounds from top to bottom, then these are these really things that can kind of trip you up a little bit.

Rob Hanna: Yeah, and that’s the thing. You know, it’s obviously those decisions are dictated by the senior leadership, but it’s gonna have a massive knock on effect to associates or other people in the firm. So it’s something particularly if you’re, you know, even an associate in a firm, you want to know about, you know what procedures, what they’ve got in place to ensure that you know you’re you’re protected and it’s actually going to helpful for them in their careers, not be restricted by anything, right?

Nathan Killick: Sure, 100%. And you know, I think there’s a wider conversation that I personally like to be having, is around, you know, let’s educate people early, so postgraduates or, you know, new trainees or even pupils with- within Chambers. Lets you know, let’s spend some time with those guys and get them to understand, because they tend to be, you know, let’s be honest, they’re a younger crowd now, right?  

Rob Hanna: Yeah. 

Nathan Killick: The millennials coming through, if not, you know, if they’re not already. And what we tend  to find is, they’re not necessarily more tech savvy,  but they understand the implications right? Of, you know, not having the right technology in place, not just from a security perspective, but also because of productivity, right?  

Rob Hanna: Yep.  

Nathan Killick: We’re used to having a mobile phone stuck to their hand, most of the day or working from a laptop device. So they’re really sort people that we’re hoping are going to drive change, even though there should be some change being made right now.

Rob Hanna: Yeah.  

Nathan Killick: I mean, you know, look, at the end of the day, you come across some some law firms, that are so archaic and traditional, which isn’t a problem, but, you know, they’re a bit harder to kind of change their viewpoint.

Rob Hanna: So let’s take that then. Viewpoint. Because, you know, there are, there is, if you’re, if you’re prepared to embrace change, you know, you’re always gonna get lots of sort of objections. And, you know, naturally it is quite a risk averse sector. But in terms of some of the cool things it can do, I know particularly, you should tell us more about this, you know, tech and help with things such as optimisation of billable hours, right? Do you want to talk to us a bit about that and yeah, give us a bit of an overview?

Nathan Killick: Sure. I mean, that kind of it taps into everything really. So you know, let’s let’s take Microsoft for an example. What a lot of people think Microsoft as the be all and end all, that if we just stick everything in Office 365 and Microsoft Azure, then Microsoft will take care of everything.   

Rob Hanna: Yep.

Nathan Killick: Which isn’t the case. So, for example, Exchange online, which is where you keep your emails. They tend to have some problems with downtime. And especially in the kind of Western Hemisphere there have been. Essentially, what’s important to understand is that there’s always going to be other areas and layers to IT and cybersecurity. Now, where we talk about the billable hour that really taps into all sorts of things: downtime, business continuity. So there’s a lot of buzz words around back up, disaster recovery and business continuity. If you really want to say 100% uptime, you need to have business continuity.  

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Nathan Killick: So if your laptop dies or your e-mails it down, you have an immediate back-up that you can fall back on to and work as you were previously, meaning there is literally zero downtime. However, a common misconception is around, ‘oh let’s have some backup’ or backup could literally just be some of your data or, you know, a dormant application sat on a server that’s rickety and old that if your business did experience, you know, and internet shortage or a breakout, then that okay, that data’s there, you haven’t lost it. But actually, utilising that data and working as you need to be, it’s not productive.   

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Nathan Killick: There’s also things around, you know, how are the support staff working paralegals, etcetera. E-discovery is a big thing. There’s some really cool tech out there that’s utilising e-discovery to actually build cases out, purely and simply because, you know, it looks over all your data stores, whether it be iManage or whether it be looking into OneDrive or historical email archives. And what that, essentially, what you’re doing then is, you’re shortening the period of time that it takes to complete a task, meaning you can complete more tasks, meaning you can win more cases, right?

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Nathan Killick: If you think about it as well, going to court or, you know, just technology in the field. We’ve spoken with lawyers, who you know, are taking devices to court and that turning up against other lawyers and other barristers in court who are turning up with case files still.

Rob Hanna: Yeah, yeah.

Nathan Killick: Thousands and thousands of pages. And have got a couple of clerk’s just to bring those case files along. And you’re looking and go, ‘Hang on a minute’. You know, this really is, a chalk and cheese, look at what’s happening in the legal sector. There are people that are making those pushes, and there are people that aren’t yet whether it’s because they’re not investing in it or because they don’t understand it, or they’re not being shown the way. That’s essentially what we are trying to do.

Rob Hanna: What I take from that from from a legal tech perspective, if people are going to embrace you, embrace it as a result of this is giving you a definitive contingency plan, which means you can stay operational at the best of the times when you most need it, right? And I think it can bring people up to being far more efficient. So no, I’m massively on board with that. Another big topic, which has sort of taken precedent since it came into effect in 2018 is GDPR, and technology. How can technology, aid GDPR and, you know, other protection acts in particular in legal?

Nathan Killick: So it’s really actually interesting that you mentioned the other protection acts as well at the end there because, unfortunately what happens with GDPR as, I mean this has been around for what, three years now.

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Nathan Killick: In 2016 is where it reared its ugly head and people didn’t really feel like they needed to do anything until May last year, right?

Rob Hanna: Yep.

Nathan Killick: But essentially what happens is and it is exactly the same with Cloud when Cloud came around as, you know, as an ideology essentially, you got your Cloud Cowboys, we like to call them.

Rob Hanna: [Laughter] Okay.

Nathan Killick: Which is anybody setting up a server in their local shed, saying ‘Hey, look, we’ve got Cloud over here’. Which isn’t secure and there’s security implications all around it. There are Cloud Cowboys out there that they like to say that you know that, they can spin up a server somewhere and its as secure and operational as it needs to be. However, what what you tend to find is, they’ll be sharing that Cloud space with other organisations and that other organisation would get a cyber breach or a virus and then that affects the people that are on that, as I say, shared server. So obviously that’s matured over the years, so with GDPR are going back to that, what’s happened is a lot of GDPR Cowboys, have come out and said that there is a silver bullet for GDPR. Around technology that. you know there’s great technology out there, but the thing is, it’s still such a fresh area that technology itself isn’t perfect.  

Rob Hanna: Yep.

Nathan Killick: You know, a lot of the legal sector will know about Mimecast, and I’ll refer to these guys for a second because some people say, ‘Well, hang on a minute. There’s an archive in Mimecast, which is immutable, which can’t delete’, which isn’t true. You can delete it, but it’s also understanding, you know, where you can delete that data.

Rob Hanna: Mimecast. So tell us more about that, what it is and how it works.  

Nathan Killick: So Mimecast. Funny enough, they sprouted legs after DLA Piper obviously experienced a massive cybersecurity breach, and essentially they brought their, brought their operations to their knees. And the partners, there were emailing, you know, from their private email addresses and WhatsApping from WhatsApp etcetera, which is, was a nightmare. Now, what Mimecast essentially does is, a lot of people know it as just as email security. So essentially any emails in and out of your organisation will go through Mimecast and it will be vetted. You know will be searched the viruses. It’ll open harmful emails within Mimecast and it will decide whether or not to let it hit your email box. So it is up there with the top five of the top five kind of security vendors out there. It is, in our opinion, the top and NCSLabs in 2018 released a report to say, it’s actually 25% more effective than other email security vendors out there now. Other flavours to Mimecast is that it’s also an archiving tool. So some people or a lot of people will know that Mimecast saves, other any kind of emails that are received and sent out, into a kind of ledger or an archive. Now Mimecast is great for e-discovery. So if you need to look back over a case file over six years ago, you use Mimecast and it is a really powerful engine to be able to do that. There have been re- there are other areas within Mimecast that will fully replicate your diary as well, so people use it for business continuity say your email exchange goes down and you’re not able to use your Outlook or whatever it is, Mimecast fully replicates it. So you can log into your Webportal from Mimecast and you can actually work from an Outlook looking interface that has got all of your diary, your contacts, your emails, all of your folders, folder structure in there as well. Um, there’s something called internal email protect,  which, if you do get a compromised mailbox, to stop any cyber criminals from utilising that compromised mailbox and sending emails internally and spreading that infection, essentially. You can you can actually sandbox or containerise that mailbox to stop it from spreading, which is which is really cool. Yeah, they’ve got loads of, loads of different types of modules. The problem that we find in the legal sector is that you know it’s great that the IT directors and some of the senior leadership will know what it is and it’s capabilities, but not everybody within the law firm will know what it is. They know that they’ve got it. They’ll see that an email has bounced and is being hold or held, and you know they might then contact our IT department and go, ‘What’s Mimecast and why is it stopping me from getting my emails?’ That’s, um, yeah, we think it’s really important for everybody you know, to kind of understand what it is and why, why it’s important.  

Rob Hanna: Really liked your Cloud Cowboys comment, by the way.  

Nathan Killick: Yeah, yeah.  

Rob Hanna: Yeah, so I know you talk about this as well. But again, for some of the novices listening in, even myself to an extent, you talk about two hybrid Cloud, or not to Cloud. Do you want to explain what that is in very simple terms and why that’s important with regards to tech in the legal space?

Nathan Killick: Sure, so the understanding of Cloud from, as I touched on lightly earlier, is there’s a guy actually that I work with who turned around, and he said to me that he used to ask people to explain, Cloud. 

Rob Hanna: Yeah. 

Nathan Killick: And he explains that some of the people came back to him and they written reams and reams of information, or they’d spent ages trying to explain it, and he said, ‘No you don’t need to do that.’ You just need to say that it’s a server hosted somewhere else, which is essentially what Cloud is. Now understanding that there are different types of Clouds. For example, there’s single-tenancy Clouds, multi-tenancy Clouds. Single-tenancy Cloud, private Cloud is the most secure that we find. So you would have your line of business applications hosted there. That’s where you tend to find your iManage Clouds now that are spinning up. You’ve got, Thomson Reuters who you know, are burning their Cloud. You’re also looking at Adrian who are looking at spinning up their Cloud soon. Now you can have a multi-tenanted Cloud, which I mentioned earlier, you’re sharing your data with other organisations, which is essentially something you don’t want to do because it’s a vulnerability, right? You’re relying on the other organisation, sharing that pool of data with you. not to get infected, infect you.

Rob Hanna: Yep.

Nathan Killick: Now the idea of hybrid Cloud is looking at, no doubt you guys are in Office 365, everybody is moving to Office 365. It’s looking at where you can host your data or your applications in an area that is going to be supported properly, secured properly by the manufacturer. So again I manage Clouds, we tend to ask our clients to host  iManage, in iManagers Cloud because they manage the patching the support the most effectively. And a lot of law firms are seeing that nowadays. A lot of people are worried about hosting their data elsewhere in people’s Cloud’s purely and simply because they don’t like the idea of somebody else being responsible for their data, right. And it’s their client’s data, essentially. So we help our clients kind of understand that. And I think anybody needs to really understand that Cloud first strategy really is the way to go. So, yeah, I think that’s really important.

Rob Hanna: Yeah, fair point, fair point. And I know we touched on it earlier in terms of the legal sector being behind. And it’s quite interesting for people, you know, I’m passionate about the legal sector and want it to be the best at everything. But, you know, it’s just not there yet. The other week, I think it was last week, we had shared parental leave where Joe Young, who was on, was talking about how you know the insurance sector is actually doing really, really well on that, compared to say, some of the other sectors. Is there a sector that you’ve seen, which is really sort of doing exceptionally well, and maybe legal could learn from with regards to sort of tech and security?

Nathan Killick: To be honest, I think there’s a lot around, I mean the legal sector small, right? I was discussing this with somebody back in the office earlier. The legal sector is so small, and the legal sector likes to be different. That you know, that the big kind of tech companies  that, um, the investors in those sorts of areas they don’t really want to touch legal necessarily purely and simply because it’s not a massive market. When you look at, say, healthcare or Pharma or, you know, accountancies, accountancy firms, that’s where you see a lot of the tech being invested. Although, you know, in saying that there’s a large pocket, as you know, of  Magic circle and Silver Circle firms that, you know, there’s a lot of incubators and even the magic circle firms themselves are incubating technology around Blockchain and around artificial intelligence. The reason I laugh at art-artificial intelligence is because a lot of people believe that machine learning is artificial intelligence themselves, they don’t actually understand the difference. So, so, yeah, you know, I think that the legal sector is definitely behind. I think there are shakes and moves going on. 

Rob Hanna: Yep.

Nathan Killick: Which, as we know, in the legal sector, people like to follow. If they hear that other top 200 law firms are doing a similar sort of thing. I mean, look at Mimecast. This is prime example. What happened with Mimecast, not only is it a great product, but, but, you know, you start winning a section of the market, and then you have the conversation with other people and they go, ‘Oh right, I didn’t know that so-and-so was doing that.’

Rob Hanna: Yeah. 

Nathan Killick: ‘Why are they doing that?’ And then you build that credibility, and then people seem to follow.

Rob Hanna: Yeah, a very valid point. And you know what fascinates me about the legal sector is. it is small, but you think of the number of mergers.  

Nathan Killick: Oh yeah, oh yeah. 

Rob Hanna: You know, things that happen within the legal sector. You’d think, you know, this is should be at the forefront of what they do, you know, with data transferring and merging all the time, um, but it doesn’t seem to be the case, right?

Nathan Killick: No. So this is this is another thing. I think what people tend to try and do is they try and to stretch their budgets. 

Rob Hanna: Right.

Nathan Killick: And I think budget is, you know, really important area. I think some people, you know, some people that work without a budget and sometimes actually be a bit more successful purely and simply because they’re not trying to limit themselves. I’m not saying IT needs to be a  tremendously huge budget. It comes down to what you’re trying to achieve, right? But going back to, you know, the mergers and acquisitions side. When you’re when you’re bringing two organisations together and depending on what you’re doing in terms of, you know, are you keeping them in terms of the operations or are you actually bringing them under one umbrella? You need everybody to be working from similar systems to understand that to merge data. So you know, there’s a lot of work that goes into that. Especially the technology side and the provisioning side, so you know, say you’ve set up a Cloud which okay, is scaleable. But you’re then ingesting all of this data from, say, Firm B into Firm A. You know, these aren’t things that could be taken lightly. And if they’re not properly prepared for, then you’re gonna trip yourself up.

Rob Hanna: Yeah, yeah. Well said, well said. So what, what tips would you give to law firms, Chambers to improve their approach to IT and security?

Nathan Killick: Sure. So that’s a good question. And, you know, I think speaking, and you know, this is from a neutral perspective, purely and simply because I’ve seen it from from each side, and I can understand where law firms and chambers sticking points are. There’s a lot of noise in the market. There’s a lot of technology out there. There’s a lot of applications. There’s a lot of people saying you should get A when they should be getting B, or they should get C when they should be getting G, right? 

Rob Hanna: Yep.

Nathan Killick: So, yeah, essentially, it’s really about understanding, you know, who the top players are in the market, what other people are doing. It’s spending the time with supplies and vendors and getting to understand their products and their limitations. It’s taking the time to get to know your supplies as well, right? So you know, if you have an MSP, you know, spend time of them and ask them to go to market and you know what’s happening in other law firms. Also, you need to get buy-in from everybody within, within the business. One thing that we haven’t spoken about is cyber awareness.

Rob Hanna: Yep.

Nathan Killick: You know, people like to call it the Human Firewall. So you could have all this technology in place but –

Rob Hanna: By the way, I love all these phrases –  

Nathan Killick: Yeah, yeah, yeah!

Rob Hanna: Human Firewall, Cloud Cowboys. This is, this is fascinating stuff. [Laughter]

Nathan Killick: They’re not new buzzwords either, to the people that are cringing at me saying this.  

Rob Hanna: [Laughter]

Nathan Killick: But essentially, that’s it, it’s a really key area, purely and simply because you can spend all this money on, you know, legal tech and legal IT and, you know, if you’re in IT like I am, you get excited by these sorts of things. But if somebody in the Accounts department receives a phishing email or spoofed email. If they receive a spoofing email and they don’t know what it is and they click on a link or they send money to the wrong bank or changed bank details, then what good is spending all that money?  

Rob Hanna: Yep.

Nathan Killick: On, on these sorts of areas. So, you know, it’s definitely important to make sure that your staff are trained up and not just, you know, tick box exercise. It needs to be an ongoing thing and you know it needs to be dynamic. It’s a dynamic marketplace, you know, and it’s just a dynamic landscape in general.

Rob Hanna: Yeah, it needs to be easy to understand as well, that’s the thing thought isn’t it. Like with anything, if you make it so complicated, people shy away from it or they won’t understand it. So you need to educate, you know, with just making things pretty straightforward, and not over  complicate it. That’s my view on it.

Nathan Killick: Sure, yeah, everyone likes the word layman’s terms, don’t they. And I think that’s really important. And I think that’s important in any area, really. At the end of the day, each client’s different. One IT director might have a different understanding of IT than another IT director, similar to we might have a different understanding to them. So it’s all about communication, really, and understanding. Especially if you’ve got a law firm that don’t necessarily have internal IT. You know, you need to be able to simplify the complex I guess, and speak, speak the language that people are going to understand to make those the right decisions. You know, I think that’s more, I think it’s just common sense really, but it’s a really important area.

Rob Hanna: Okay, in terms of platforms you suggest, and, you know, people who are generally interested in legal and technology, legal tech, however, you want to phrase it. Are there places you would point people to, if they want to read up, or if they’ve got a general interest in it that are quite useful platforms for people to sort of?

Nathan Killick: Yeah, I think that, you know, just the typical that the typical legal publications, such as the Law Gazette there’s actually a really a core publication called Today’s Legal Cyber Risk.  

Rob Hanna: Okay.

Nathan Killick: And, that’s managed by Practical Vision. So, you know, I would urge anybody to have a read of those guys. But also, you know, looking at the scam alerts on the SRA website they’ve recently released their risk outlook for 2018 and 19. Where they talk about managing claims as one of the key areas, but also cybersecurity, right. And that’s up there as a key area. Other areas or publications to kind of look at, just, just general, really, because one of the things that we’re spending a lot of time on, is looking at where technology’s going. So it’s not necessarily what’s available in the market now, it’s about you know what our partners are developing moving forward. Microsoft and Citrix, for example, they’re looking at ways in which they can spin up virtual desktops in their own Clouds and own environments. Citrix have got, an addition to that, where it’s a single pane of glass which brings all of your tasks and say, for example, you know, case tasks to one single screen for you to work on, so that’s some really cool stuff. Following those guys and understanding what’s coming forward is really interesting. I don’t think you should necessarily tunnel forward  into the legal sector. I think, you know, the TechCrunch or looking at things on Reddit. You know, I spent a lot of time reading. National Cybersecurity Centre, they do a lot of stuff with, you know, the SRA and the law society, and they kind of widen their vision and look at what’s going on in different markets and go, ‘Hey, look, this is really important for the legal sector as well. Why don’t we, why don’t we put that into a publication’. So the, the National Cybersecurity Centre released the biggest cyber threats to the legal sector, that was actually  in 2018. And it just highlights, you know, that the simple fact that obviously cyber threats are becoming more prominent, what sort of threats to look out for, you know, they’ve also got a Board’s Toolkit. So I would urge any law firm, or even chambers to look at this Board Toolkit, to, you know, know what you need to prepare for. One of the other things that’s really important is what do you do after a cyber breach? A lot of people have had one. Most organisations have had one and again that lack of understanding and GDPR and the fact you’ve got 72 hours to report a breach.

Rob Hanna: Yep.

Nathan Killick: People are going and companies, you know, not clients, but other people have come to us and said, ‘Oh, we don’t need to, we don’t need to report that surely?’ And you go ‘Actually, you should report that. When did you find out that had happened? Three weeks ago? Oh dear.’

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Nathan Killick: You know, so again, the ICO have got loads of information on there, which people will be bored of reading and bored of getting an understanding. But for us, you know the reason we niche in a sector is purely and simply because we want to make sure that the information we’re giving out is succinct and correct and so yeah.

Rob Hanna: Good. Okay, that’s really helpful. Very insightful. So I think there’s lots of good tips for people there who are generally interested. Away then from all things legal tech, I’d say you sort of take some down time, but you’re a busy man, that’s not the case. So you also, I said at the top of the podcast, you’re a committee member for the London Legal Networking Group, and I guess that’s probably worth mentioning how we both met, we were very kindly connected through an event we sort of co-did at the Supreme Court, which was, which was a lot of fun. But for those that are new to your London Legal Networking Group, do you want to tell us a bit more about that, and what your ambitions are for the group?

Nathan Killick: Yeah, sure. So you know, there is quite a few kind of networking groups, but I believe that you know, a small portion are really worth getting to know, such as the LYLG, the London Young Lawyers Group and London Young Professionals Group as well. The London Legal Networking Group, the reason I looked to join those guys. Networking is really important, I think, in the legal sector, anyway. But also just coming to build my own profile, to get to meet new people, new trainees that are coming through, how people looking to network, people like yourself. You know, recruitment companies, the companies that specialise in the legal sector, looking at doing things. Hence this podcast.  

Rob Hanna: Yep.

Nathan Killick: So you know, getting to meet people and see how other people are operating within the legal sector I think is really cool. It’s to bring people together, obviously, you know, a lot of networking happens between law firms and barristers chambers, the clerks are looking to network with, you know, solicitor’s as well, and so we can help facilitate that.

Rob Hanna: So if people want you sort of get involved or come to events, how do they do that? How do they sort of hear about you guys? 

Nathan Killick: Sure. So we’ve recently rebranded to Legal Networking. And there is a new website coming,

Rob Hanna: That’s a first on the podcast. Is that an inside – 

Nathan Killick: Yeah, yeah I think that is! Yeah, yeah!

Rob Hanna: [Laughter]

Nathan Killick: Yeah, I’ll have to get you to sign an NDA on that!

Rob Hanna: [Laughter]  

Nathan Killick: But no, essentially there is some really exciting stuff coming, which you know, I can’t necessarily talk about. But it’s really, it is really focused on bringing people together. And it’s essentially looking at a way in which we can bring people together in a way that isn’t ambiguous, you know, for example, there are lots of legal networking events out there where you stick a name badge on, and it’s all, can be a bit pretentious.

Rob Hanna: Yeah.

Nathan Killick: Or, you know, it’s kind of, you know, it, its peaked and they’re running downhill. What we really want to do is keep it fresh. You know, have areas for people like yourself to connect with people looking for work or looking for internships. Also vice versa, people looking for jobs, connect them with yourselves. Also looking at areas in which, how clerks and solicitors can network and connect. Yeah, it’s a really cool forward-thinking thing. We look, we look at doing different types of events, albeit very social. We’re looking at some thought leadership stuff next year. Time’s time’s kind of flying with those guys, so yeah it’s all really exciting stuff.

Rob Hanna: No, that is really, really exciting, and that’s been the theme throughout our sort of season, the first season of the podcast, Legally Speaking. And it’s a theme that’s come throughout. It is all about networking, the legal sectors isn’t it.  I think years and years go past, I think it was just all about getting the job done and it was a very traditional way, where modern day legal services and legal working, you’ve got a network, you’ve gotta have a network. And those who sort of choose to invest and work on it, and do join great groups like all the great work you’re doing. I think will get so much further ahead than those that sort of just stick to being very offline or not wishing to engage and embrace it, right?  

Nathan Killick: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely correct. Um, yeah, no I definitely agree with that. 

Rob Hanna: Good stuff. Well, look, I think there’s been lots of great insights there, Nathan. So it’s been very, very helpful. Lots of our listeners are certainly gonna be educated. I’ve actually learned a lot today from you. So thanks to that. But before we jump off, I always bore people to tears with what I’m doing outside of work, but when you do get a bit of downtime, what have you got planned for 2020 and what you like to get up to take a bit of downtime?

Nathan Killick: That is a really important, important point actually. I was explaining to you that our COO actually, has recently had a month off. But essentially what we do at Sprout is if you’ve been in the organisation for five years, you get a month off, including your annual leave. Unfortunately, that’s not quite 2020 for me.  

Rob Hanna: [Laughter]

Nathan Killick: But erm, January’s pretty jam-packed, I’m off to Florida, and that’s for the Citric summit to look at the technology and what they can offer in the, in the market moving forward. Um, so I’m going there with our technical director. Then I’m actually going to Dubai with my mum, but it’s her 50th birthday, so, you know, I thought that I would spend some quality time with her and then skiing in Feb. So yeah, I’ve been working really hard this year. 

Rob Hanna: [Laughter] So, next year is the year off, right?  

Nathan Killick: Yeah. Basically, yeah, yeah. So no doubt, I won’t have any holiday left after Feb. So so, yeah.  How about yourself?

Rob Hanna: Nothing as exciting as that! So all I can say is I’m off to Italy for Christmas with the Wife, so that should be, should be a lot of fun. So skiing down some mountains and yeah we will see what 2020 brings. Nathan, can’t thank you enough. It’s been an absolute pleasure having you today. No doubt you’ll be reappearing at some point next year as well. But thanks very much, over and out. 

Nathan Killick: Yeah, I’d love to come back guys, thanks very much.

Enjoy the Podcast?

You may also tune in on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts!

Give us a follow on X, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok and Youtube.

Finally, support us with BuyMeACoffee.

🎙 Don’t forget to join our Legally Speaking Club Community where we connect with like-minded people, share resources, and continue the conversation from this episode.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter.

Sponsored by Clio – the #1 legal software for clients, cases, billing and more!



Disclaimer: All episodes are recorded at certain moments in time and reflect those moments only.


👇 Wish To Support Us? 👇

Buy Me a Coffee

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts