Derek Southall


Derek Southall, is a high profile and very well connected figure in the legal technology, innovation and digital marketplaces and was recently described as the “Doyen of legal IT and Innovation”.

Derek has spent nearly 25 years in a range of leading strategic roles for GowlingWLG for most of this time as a Partner and Head of Strategic Development. Derek started his professional life as a corporate lawyer but since 1999 he has immersed himself in the world of Technology and Productivity, Digital, Innovation, Strategy and Knowledge Management as well as organisational and market change.

Derek has spent over 17 years working both within the business and with major global clients in developing strategies and implementing a range of business improvement projects relating to technology, digital, compliance, risk, and productivity. The firm has grown from £27mil when Derek joined to over £400mil at today’s date. During this time Derek has been responsible for operational and strategic IT as well as having key sales, strategy and productivity responsibilities.

Derek has led the firm’s innovation strategy and in 2016 the firm was named by the FT as the second most innovative law firm in Europe. Derek has also been the driving force behind winning a range of other awards.

The Financial Times ranked Derek as one of the top three most innovative lawyers in the UK in their first study into the UK market and he was recognised in 2017 and 2018’s prestigious Acritas Stars database as a one of few Star Lawyers delivering outstanding service.

In April 2017 Derek stepped down from the GowlingWLG partnership to set up of which he is Chief Executive. Hyperscale Group delivers a range of services in relation to Innovation, Digital, Futures, Strategy, Operational Excellence and more. The company works for corporates, in house legal teams, software companies, venture capitalists, SMEs, start-ups, law firms and other professional services businesses.

The purpose of the company is to help businesses to maximise their potential in an increasingly digitised and complex world.