December 22, 2010

Future Content 

My heading suggests that I am about to outline our programme of articles and features for 2011. But, since our aim is always to respond with great agility to the events shaping the legal IT landscape, I cannot say that I know much about what is to come past February. My heading is in fact a reference to the content of this issue which is firmly focused on future developments.  

This issue was a genuine pleasure to edit. I always enjoy the heady mix of perception and speculation that is Predictions, especially when liberally sprinkled with a lighter outlook. This year has been a vintage year for predictions and I am sure that the two selections printed here and the fuller versions on the SCL web site will get lots of attention. 

But they are not the only far-sighted pieces that we have. One of the functions of the magazine is to act as a forum for articles which raise issues about the future conduct of IT practice. The articles of John Yates (on public procurement) and Dervish Tayyip (on cloud computing) do that admirably and mix sane and sensible opinions with constructive suggestions for change. I hope that both will attract lots of interested readers and provoke contributions and debate. 

As I write this, I see that there has been a good response to the call from SCL Chair Clive Davies in his Xmas Development Contract Challenge blog post – in which he challenges readers to come up with the best way of marrying iterative development methodolgies to IT contracts. I envy Clive his gift for provoking such good quality comment. I would like to think that the magazine and web site can offer similar challenges on issues that affect the future practice of IT lawyers and that we will regularly get good responses. You can of course comment online on the John Yates and Dervish Tayyip articles, and all the other articles in this issue – and I’d love it if you did. 

Members’ Directory 

SCL is launching a free-to-view, public directory of members which will allow potential clients and other lawyers to find and connect with SCL members when they need advice or assistance. The Directory will be visibly signposted from the main SCL web site and crawled by Google and other searc engines. We hope that it will become the first stop for anyone seeking expertise in IT law. 

But, to a large extent, the Directory’s success or failure is in the hands of SCL members. It will work best if you do take a little time to craft an accurate and useful entry and post a photograph, and if you monitor your entry so as to update from time to time – recording your latest achievements and successes.  

Obviously I hope it works well and I am sure that you would want to give it your support. But I appreciate that SCL members are busy people and that it will take a few minutes to polish the basic material that you no doubt have at your fingertips or which is transferred over from the main SCL site. It is surely worth taking those few minutes – you can be sure that many of your rivals will! 


While editing this issue was a pleasure, determining which of a number of good quality articles to leave out or hold over was not. We say on the contents page that ‘half your magazine is missing’ and it is certainly true this time because, even in this ‘10% bigger’ issue, there was only limited space and a number of excellent articles are available only on the web site. But the biggest regret for me was that we had contributions by Mark Taylor, David Taylor, Michael Taylor and Mike Taylor. I loved the idea of having a fully taylored issue, but I have only been able to find space for two Taylors out of four.


What is it about the Taylors and IT? And can the Smiths and Jones of the IT world rival this?