60 Seconds with Kerry McCloy of Cleaver Fulton Rankin
Kerry McCloy tells us about her career.
Wednesday 8 June 2022Tell us about your role and your organisation
I am the Innovation and Legal Technology Director at Cleaver Fulton Rankin, which is a leading commercial law firm in Northern Ireland. I was appointed to the role in 2021 to lead the firm’s newly established Legal Technology Group. This is a specialist division that provides managed document review and eDiscovery services to nearshore law firms, in addition to supporting our legal teams in the delivery of services to our NI clients. I am also responsible for streamlining and digitising Cleaver Fulton Rankin’s internal processes and procedures.
Give us a brief overview of your career journey so far
Prior to attending the Institute of Professional Legal Studies in Belfast, I studied Law at Trinity College Dublin. I went on to work in the Employment Group of Irish law firm, Matheson, in Dublin, for several years before returning to Belfast in 2011. Since then, I have honed my legal technology expertise working in the Alternative Legal Services Group of a large global law firm. I was appointed to Cleaver Fulton Rankin in April 2021, to head up their new Legal Technology Group. I am on the Roll of Solicitors and hold practising certificates in Northern Ireland, Ireland and England & Wales.
Describe yourself in 3 words
Collaborative, resilient and versatile.
What is one skill that helps you most in your role?
I think it would have to be resilience. In almost every project that I have worked on, large or small, something unexpected has happened. In my role, I am always working towards a tight deadline, so when the unexpected happens, you need the ability to take a deep breath, assess the situation and quickly find a solution to the problem.
I find it beneficial to take stock after completion of a project, identify ways to improve our processes and equally look at what we did well. It’s a cliché, but every day is a school day!
What advice do you have for women in your type of role?
Have confidence and be yourself. Don’t compromise on who you are or your values. Build a strong network of people around you who compliment you and have the skills and experience that you need for your business to succeed.
I believe in the power of working collaboratively as a team. When you establish a culture of respect and openness, you bring out the best in your team and their diversity can flourish.
Are there any exciting plans in the year ahead in your organisation that you can share with us?
I can’t believe how much we have achieved since I started my role. We have built the Legal Technology Group from the ground up, and now have a team of trained law graduates and solicitors providing document review services to our NI clients and nearshore law firms.
At the recent Women in Business Awards 2022, I received the Outstanding Innovation (Corporate) Award. This is a huge career highlight for me and I feel honoured to be awarded this accolade, given the fantastic finalists in my category.
I am incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved so far and equally excited for the future. I am really looking forward to developing and growing the Group. I would like our Legal Technology team to be recognised as innovative and market-leading, and also for excellence in our service delivery. Over the next year, we will continue to develop a strong pipeline of quality work from our existing and new clients, and look to expand into different practice areas.
Where do you find your career inspiration and why?
I find inspiration in a variety of colleagues, friends, articles, books and conferences. My children inspire me to try to be the best version of myself every day and give that instant, fairly blunt, feedback if I’m not!
However, the people who have inspired me most are probably my mum and my grandmothers. They instilled a belief that, ‘If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly.’ I really believe that. They’ve all taught me the value of community spirit and hard work. It’s amazing what you can achieve when everyone pulls in the same direction.
If you had to pick your soundtrack song to get you through the working day, what would it be?
My children would prefer that I say something cool and current but if I’m honest, I prefer something cheesy. I’m often found singing along to ABBA in my kitchen!
What's your favourite break-time snack?
I (attempted to) cut down on sugar a few years ago and started snacking on raw fruit and nut bars. I wasn’t too disciplined on the sugar front during lockdown, but I have stuck with the bars to give me a quick, healthy boost with my morning coffee.
How can your fellow WIB members keep up to date with you and your organisation?
To keep up to date with Cleaver Fulton Rankin and our Legal Technology team, please visit our website cleaverfultonrankin.co.uk or Kerry’s LinkedIn profile here: Kerry McCloy | LinkedIn.
Author Kerry McCloy
Wednesday 8 June 2022