Forsters appoints former Harbottle & Lewis interim IT Director as new CIO

The former interim IT Director of London-based law firm Harbottle & Lewis, Anthony Stables, has been hired as the new CIO of Forsters, a real estate and private wealth law firm.

The first step in implementing our tech strategy is the appointment of Anthony Stables to the newly created role of CIO.

– Paul Roberts, Managing Partner, Forsters

Before joining Forsters, Stables had been interim IT director at Harbottle & Lewis since October 2017, before which he had held similar roles at Olswang, Prudential, and Farrer & Co. He is also director and founder of an independent IT consultancy specialising in strategy and transformation, RESHAPE IT, which he set up in May 2017.

“Forsters is driving significant change across the use of technology in its business,” said Paul Roberts, Managing Partner at Forsters. “We recently conducted a large-scale technology review to enable us to be better positioned to meet the current and future needs of our clients. The first step in implementing our tech strategy is the appointment of Anthony Stables to the newly created role of CIO. His remit is broad across all tech services but with specific priorities centred on change management, optimisation of our IT team and the development of a project management super group.”

The legal sector, in the UK and globally, has had a reputation for some years as being behind the curve in terms of information security.

High-profile breaches in the previous year have highlighted this, with particular attention on DLA Piper, and on RepKnight’s discovery on the dark web of nearly 1.2 million email addresses and credentials from 500 of the UK’s top law firms.

However, perhaps at least partially in response to this increased scrutiny, law firms have been stepping up their game over the past 12 months. Faced with the real financial costs of a breach, both in terms of operational and reputational damage, we’re seeing law firms make significant changes as they increase investment in cybersecurity and data protection.

Forsters’ creation of the CIO role is a reflection of this change in attitude and move towards a genuinely mature security culture.

“It is an exciting time to be joining Forsters at such a critical point in the firm’s evolution,” said Stables. “My remit will ensure that the firm is able to take advantage of the key technology processes and programmes to provide a truly unique experience for clients and staff alike. I’m most looking forward to working with the IT team to bring to life the vision set out in the firms’ tech strategy.”

B2B media executive with an unusually broad and international range of experience in both the editorial and commercial aspects of publishing, social media and events. I write a range of content types on technical subjects in wholesale finance and IT and have interviewed senior figures from the public and private sector globally for many years.

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