Chris Jekiel joins during seismic period of change as firm also appoints new Head of Analytics, David Elliot
Insurance risk and commercial law firm BLM has appointed Chris Jekiel as IT Director. Previously Director of IT at Horwich Farrelly, Chris joins BLM at a pivotal time for the firm’s IT leadership and the development of its digital strategy, AI insurance tools and BLM Innovations.
With over 20 years’ experience in IT general management, Chris has worked within legal, financial, banking and global corporate firms. He was recognised within the 2019 CIO 100, as one of the most transformational and disruptive CIOs in the UK.
His appointment follows a period of sustained investment in BLM’s technology offering, particularly the development of BLM Innovations, which the firm announced in July 2019.
Chris will oversee the firm’s investment and growth of its analytics offering, which is now led by the firm’s new Head of Analytics, David Elliott, who assumed the role this month. David joined the firm in 2017 as a data scientist.
BLM Innovations is a suite of seven software tools which enables clients to predict claim outcomes, faults and costs, analyse case data, improve communications, and provide real-time case developments. The project has become increasingly central to managing ongoing client communication and cases whilst many companies rapidly embrace remote working in response to COVID-19.
Chris will also be responsible for ensuring the smooth continuity of IT operations across the firm, directing digital strategy and driving new technology initiatives forward.
Matthew Harrington, senior partner at BLM, said: “The legal sector has been undergoing rapid digitalisation in recent years, even prior to the circumstances we currently face. We have embraced these changes having introduced technology to assist case management and streamline processes in and outside the court system. The appointments of Chris and David have come at a great time of opportunity for the firm; their experience will be invaluable, with IT operations and innovation, now more than ever, vital to ensuring the smooth continuation of our services.”
Jekiel commented: “It is a good time to be joining BLM at a time of monumental change in not only the legal sector, but for business as we currently know it. There’s a great team already in place at the firm, and I very much look forward to working with them on implementing a number of new strategies and strengthening our existing offering.
“As demonstrated by the working practices introduced by many businesses in response to COVID-19, digital connectivity is integral to business resilience and it is vital to continue to advance your IT offering during these exceptional times.”