Please welcome my good friend Gavin Ward. Gavin is a lawyer who turned legal technologist, working as a self-employed consultant to the legal profession in Scotland. Based in Scotland’s largest two cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, his business is called WardblawG Consulting, which includes social media and SEO services for law firms across Scotland. As part of this service, he work at LawWare Limited, a leading law firm practice management firm in Edinburgh which services over 180 law firms in Scotland. Part of his role there involves constant use and understanding of their latest product, LawCloud, which is a version of LawWare that is available via a secure type of cloud computing. Another facet of the role involves creation and implementation of legal workflows, using his knowledge and experience of Scots law, but also working together with law firm clients.
Gavin also works closely with the owner of CaseCheck, Stephen Moore and I continue to tutor private law and commercial law at two major Scottish Universities. In between all his work, Gavin does find some time to relax. He enjoys engaging people in conversations on Twitter!
He is not easy to catch but I managed! And here are Gavin’s answers:
1: What is your most favourite part of the day?
My favourite part of the day is in the evening, as I tend to get most of my writing and non-work-related tasks done then. It is, however, not the best part of the day for interacting with the UK communities, for instance through Twitter. Nevertheless, I have some interests in America and
in the evening, I get a good chance to connect there.
2: What is the worst kind of person you ever sat next to on a flight?
The worst kind of person I’ve ever sat next to is the incessantly chatty type of person. I am always up for a good conversation with a stranger, but after an hour of conversation it becomes a chore and I do value my alone-time also.
3: Were you ever in a situation where you came up short with a good come back? You can give it now!
I think I have a way with words, puns and thinking on my feet. I’d say there are too many to count 😉
4: Which trials/cases still haunts you till today?
When I was a trainee lawyer in litigation, I was instructed by a large property management company to remove travelling people, or gypsies as they are sometimes known, from a commercial property the week before a freezing Christmas. I ended up in Court two days before Christmas to seek the removal order, but I must admit my heart wasn’t in it and the argument that the property was to be sold shortly was not a solid one. Those people were just looking for somewhere to stay over the Christmas holidays and the fact that it was in a deserted commercial property gave little reason for a removal. Nevertheless, the order was granted and the people were evicted. The client’s interests, however, always come first. You just have to deal with it.
5: If you have a blog, how did you get started? Who or what inspired you to blog?
I have a blog, which is currently housed at http://wardblawg.com/, although expansion is happening rather quickly just now, particularly given its integration with social media, which is becoming more important for Google search results.
It all started when there was pressure on my job and it looked like redundancy was a real possibility. I thought that if I add value to my firm by setting up an extra arm of knowledge for the legal profession and business community, my name may be well-known enough that I would secure my job. Nevertheless, this all matched up with my long-term goal of making a real difference to the legal world and I think the marriage of these two concepts was an ideal one. Further, when at University, my dissertation in International Private Law and Human Rights was merited with a first class award and subsequent publication in Scotland’s The Juridical Review. The professors, Professor Elizabeth Crawford and Professor Janeen Carruthers at Glasgow University, said to me that I may, thereafter, get a flavour for publishing. That is a perfectly true statement.
6: Did you end up in the profession of your childhood dreams?
I would say that I haven’t quite yet found my specialism within my profession, but I have always been good with technology and explaining things to people. I would say that I am headed in the right direction. Nevertheless, I really wanted to become a professional golfer, my
birthday being on the same day as Tiger Woods, just a few years after. This was, however, a dream which ended when a back operation forced me to cut down the amount of golf played. My lowest handicap was 3.7. Perhaps one day I’ll get it down to scratch.
7: Tell us about your most embarrassing experiences in a restaurant, opening a bottle of wine, or do-it-yourself projects. Pick one and tell all!
I usually don’t get embarrassed too easily, but there was one time in my first week in the halls of residence in my first week of first year at university, that I was starting to really learn how to cook. I tried to boil the onion. ‘nough said 😉
8: Have you ever dozed off during a lecture or meeting?
I like law too much to have dozed off 😉