National does things differently with self-styled innovation hawkers

Sparke Helmore has taken a “divergent” approach to embracing innovation, spinning out an independent hawker-style outfit to meet with clients and connect them to allied service providers.

The value-add concept of Bright Sparke reimagines the traditional role of a law firm as a business adviser, by 'bottling' an entrepreneurial spirit and taking that solution-driven product to clients.

According to the CEO of the new entity, Nicholas Adamo (pictured), the decision to add value with an independent start-up recognises that not all ideas, least of all the most innovative, are seeded in-house.

“We intentionally set up Bright Sparke as a separate entity. It is not an operational capacity of Sparke Helmore Lawyers. That independence, we believe, is really important,” Mr Adamo said.

“Bright Sparke has not been set up to try and sell more legal work. We have fine lawyers who have great relationships and clients that call them up every day.”

Sparke Helmore head-hunted Mr Adamo, who is a management consultant and former partner at Deloitte, earlier this year. In addition to stewardship of the firm’s new innovation hub, he reports to the board as chief innovation officer at Sparke Helmore.

Mr Adamo believes that at the time Sparke Helmore approached him about the role, the firm was focused on understanding how “someone with a non-legal background might view the challenge of innovation”.

The start-up is now embarking on a “capability”-enhancing campaign, to facilitate solutions for the “more complex and difficult problems” that clients face, which may fall outside the purview of strict legal services.

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