Shilpa Bhandarkar

Shilpa Bhandarkar | Linklaters

I am a dual qualified lawyer whose experience uniquely qualifies me to provide leadership at the forefront of LawTech and legal sector innovation. My previous experience includes practising as a solicitor, management within a magic circle law firm, founding and selling a technology business, growing and managing the lawyer network of an award winning online legal market place and, currently, leading the innovation strategy of a magic circle law firm.

My interest in technology started relatively recently in my career when I had a business idea for a mobile app. I learned the basics of coding as part of the first cohort of Mums in Tech, mainly with the aim to become more tech literate and be able to communicate and work effectively with the development team. Since then I have learned HTML and CSS and am currently learning basic Python. As the co-founder of Coo, I participated in two separate Google accelerators, Google for Mums and Google LaunchpadX. Coo was recognised as one of the App Store’s “Apps of the Year” (2017).

After selling Coo, I joined Lexoo as their Legal Network Director. I was responsible for the supply side of Europe’s largest B2B legal marketplace. Lexoo was on the UK’s Hottest start-up list (2015-2017) and won an FT Innovative Lawyer Award in 2017. My greatest learnings while at Lexoo were around UX and the product design of the lawyer dashboard, in particular to increase instruction rates and influence lawyer behaviour on the platform.

I recently joined Linklaters as the Head of Innovation. My responsibilities include leading on my firm’s strategy on emerging areas like artificial intelligence, data and blockchain, as well as working with lawtech start-ups. It’s a really exciting time to be in law – different trends and technologies are coming together to make it an unprecedented time of change in the industry.