The British Wills And Probate Awards 2019
In news / By Lydia Cooper / 17 May 2019
Our CEO, Nigel Redwood, will be returning to the judging panel of the 2019 British Wills and Probate Awards which will take place on 17th October at the prestigious Belfry Hotel and Resort in Birmingham.
In the below interview, Nigel discusses what initially inspired his interest in technology, how he thinks greater use of technology could improve the delivery of service in the sector, what will make an entry stand out from the rest and the key challenges facing the industry today.
Please could you provide us with a summary of your professional background and your present role?
I became CEO of Nasstar in 2014 when my previous company, e-know.net reversed into Nasstar plc. Since then the company has been on a journey of growth, both in terms of acquisition and profitability. As part of the growth strategy, between 2014 and 2016 the business made four acquisitions and as CEO, I led the team to integrate the businesses operationally. I joined e-know.net in 2002 as Head of Sales and was then appointed to Managing Director in 2003. Today, Nasstar is an established and well-regarded IT services provider to the legal sector with numerous law firms as clients.
What initially sparked your interest in technology and innovation?
Beer! True story, my first job was as a Business Analyst in the computer services department at Bass Brewers.
How do you think greater use of technology could improve service delivery in the wills and probate sector?
The probate department is not often associated with automation as there are concerns that the personal touch is needed when practicing this area of law. However, technology could be used to improve some areas of client experience where a hands-on approach is not necessary, such as using an online portal for the customer to update information easily. Technology can also minimise the steps solicitors need to take to create a will, therefore improving efficiencies for both the client and the solicitor.
As a judge of the British Wills and Probate Awards, what will you be looking for in relation to the entries? What will make them stand out from the rest?
As a judge of the technology award, I’ll be looking for a firm who has demonstrated an ability to embrace technology and ways of working to provide them with a competitive edge that ultimately means they deliver a better service to the client. I’m also looking for firms who demonstrate innovation within the competitive legal market.
How important do you think it is to recognise outstanding achievement and highlight progression in the sector?
It’s extremely important as recognising success motivates others to improve, which therefore drives service levels. Recognising outstanding achievement also attracts new talent and investment to the sector.
What do you think are the main key challenges the industry is facing at present?
Price pressure is a huge challenge for most firms. In a competitive market with clients demanding more from firms than ever before, the pressure is on to be competitive when it comes to price. To be competitive you must look at the efficiency of the firm, which is where technology can really help to make a big difference.
What advice would you give to wills and probate professionals who are seeking to take greater advantage of technology?
Think outside the box. There’s no one size fits all approach and it might suit your firm’s requirements to utilise multiple clouds and technologies. If in doubt, get advice from the experts. Finally, don’t look at IT as a cost, think about it as a value-add.