Jun 27 '13
EC Associate and all round legal voice, Brian John Spencer recently caught up over coffee with Tim Summers (@TimSummersUK), the plain speaking technology lawyer and co-founder of the exciting Temple Bright law firm. This catch-up came 3 months after our Zero-140 encounter of March 4 2013 – and coincidentally, 3 months since his firm’s move into Tech City, London. He told Brian how, thanks to a lot of intensive work and acclimatisation, a lot has changed (both in his thinking and his point of view) in the 3 months past.
So Tim, back in March you appeared keen on social media as a tool for the modern law practice. Asked if social media played an important role, you said: “Yes, as in every other kind of business. As with anything, you gain in proportion to how much effort you make.”
How has it been since our last chat?
“Since opening our London office in Silicon Roundabout, I have become a convinced convert to the use of social media and blogging for business purposes (although, as I now appreciate, the idea of having separate “business” and “personal” identities/aims is increasingly in question).”
What about Twitter? What success have you had with that?
“Twitter in particular is useful in the context in which we now work, at Temple Bright’s London office. I still feel that it is not equally useful in every geographical or sector context and not every business yet needs to be using it. However for those working in a situation involving internet-savvy peers and customers, it is vital to be using such tools – to participate in conversation and keep up to date.”
Can you explain how you have been using Twitter specifically?
“Twitter is an accelerated way of creating new contacts/opportunities and having a finger on the pulse. Also, in order to tweet relevantly over a period one is forced to think about current issues and form and express views of one’s own. It was partly this experience that helped me to talk coherently about the tech companies on TV last Monday.”
You touched earlier on the idea of having separate “business” and “personal” identities and aims. Can you explain further?
“The boundaries between the “business” and the “personal”, and indeed the “public” and the “private” are being challenged (or in the current Tech City vernacular, disrupted). For those of us over the age of 30 who remember the pre-internet age clearly, it may be hard to adjust to the new reality. But if we want to have a voice in this brave new world, there is really no alternative but to plunge in and embrace the changes – however tentatively at first.”
I know that you’ve been keen to develop a blogging voice. Can you give me a quick comment on where you are with your blog?
“We’re considering whether Temple Bright should be putting a blog on the website. In the digital age one is faced with the dual challenge of living in the real world and the virtual, and presenting oneself as a useful and interesting person/business in both realms! So obviously a blog would contribute to that. However in thinking about it we’re applying the constant test – will this lead to business, will it increase our revenue. That has to be the priority.”