Steering Success and Innovation: An Interview with Denovo Chairman, George Blair

George Blair has been a pioneer in the world of legal technology for over four decades. A visionary leader, and industry veteran, George has successfully guided Denovo Business Intelligence through numerous milestones and challenges since its inception.

Under his guidance, the company has become a trusted name in the legal software industry, delivering innovative solutions that have transformed the way law firms manage their operations.

In recognition of his immense contributions, George recently received the esteemed title of Chairman and Founder, ensuring his continued involvement in shaping the company’s strategic direction.

This is his story…

Interviewer: Today, we have the pleasure of sitting down with George Blair, who is moving across from Managing Director of Denovo Business Intelligence, to his new role as Chairman and Founder to talk about his incredible tenure and the impact he’s had on the legal community in Scotland. George, thank you for joining us.

George: Thank you for having me. It’s great to be here.

Interviewer: George, you’ve been at the helm of Denovo, developing legal software solutions and services for quite some time. Could you share some highlights of your journey as the Managing Director?

George: Absolutely! It’s been an exhilarating journey, to say the least. When I started, way back in the early 1980s we were a small team with big dreams. We were always focused on innovation, streamlining legal processes, and providing top-notch customer support. But in those days, it wasn’t software we were selling, it was the infamous accounting machines, early PCs, and printers.

I learned my trade at Olivetti, who were the market leaders of legal accounting machines in those days. They trained me into being a specialist in the legal market. The opportunity arose to set up my own business and given the experience I had it made complete sense. That business was called Axiom. We ran Axiom from 1982 for the next 25 years.

As we moved into the 2000s, we started to develop the very early stages of case management and CRM software specifically for lawyers. We introduced this new platform to several high profile High St firms in Scotland and the reaction was far beyond our expectations. We knew we had found our niche. Technology was moving forward at a significant pace, and we were convinced that if we invested in the latest tech development and worked closely with law firms, we could make them more efficient than they had ever been.

I’m proud to say that we’ve grown exponentially and expanded our reach. We are now offering law firms who partner with us access to cutting-edge whole practice management software solutions, advanced case management, seamless integrated accounts software, and a support team that you can count on. I believe we have become a real driving force in the legal tech industry in Scotland.


Interviewer: That’s fantastic to hear! Undoubtedly, your leadership over more than four decades has had a significant impact. Can you give us some examples of how Denovo has influenced the legal community in Scotland?

George: Our software has revolutionised how law firms work. We consider ourselves to be the operating system for firms, making their work more efficient, accurate, and convenient. We’ve seen firms take on more cases, provide better client experiences, and ultimately, deliver justice more effectively. I’m genuinely humbled by the positive feedback we’ve received over the years from our clients, and knowing we’ve played a role in their success is immensely gratifying.

Interviewer: It sounds like you’ve truly made a difference in the legal landscape. Now, you’ll be passing the baton to Steven Hill, the current Operations Director. How do you feel about this transition?

George: It’s bittersweet, I must admit. On one hand, I’m excited to see Steven take the lead. He’s been an integral part of the Denovo family for over 18 years and has a deep understanding of our vision. I have complete confidence that our incredible team will continue to steer the ship towards even greater heights, with Steven in the driving seat. On the other hand, I’ll miss the daily camaraderie we’ve built over the years. The conversations, the planning, the incredible ideas that these people come up with. I’m genuinely dumbfounded by how smart our people are.

Interviewer: George, you will not be disappearing altogether, I understand you are still going to retain ownership of Denovo and are taking on a new role as Chairman. Congratulations on your new position!

George: Thank you so much! I’m thrilled to be stepping into the role of Chairman and supporting Denovo in a different capacity.

Interviewer: That’s fantastic news! Can you tell us a bit about your new role and how it differs from your previous position as Managing Director?

George: As Chairman, I’ll be changing from overseeing the day-to-day operations and focusing on strategic planning and guidance. It’s like switching from being the captain of a ship to the lighthouse that guides it. I get to support the team while still enjoying my afternoon cycling and regular trips to my house in Murcia, without the pressure of constant emails flooding my inbox!

Interviewer: That sounds like a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of managing a successful tech company. So, how do you feel about this transition, and what are you most looking forward to?

George: It’s a mix of emotions, to be honest. While I’ll miss being directly involved in the daily action, I’m excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. It’s time for me to impart my wisdom like a wise old owl perched on the boardroom’s shoulder. Besides, I can now casually stroll into meetings with a fancy new “Chairman” title—it has a certain charm, you know?

Interviewer: Indeed, a fancy title can work wonders! With your experience and guidance, Denovo is sure to soar to new heights. So, what’s next for you as Chairman, and how will you continue to contribute to Denovo’s success?

George: As Chairman, I’ll focus on nurturing and expanding our network. I’ll also be the company’s chief storyteller, sharing our successes and innovations. As chairman I will be involved representing the company externally, building and maintaining relationships with stakeholders such as partners, investors, and industry associations. The expertise and industry knowledge I’ve gathered over the years will allow me to occasionally act as a senior representative for the company, attending industry events, conferences, and engaging in discussions related to the legal software industry. I’m also now able to provide invaluable strategic guidance, promote good governance, and ensure the long-term sustainability and growth of Denovo.

And let’s not forget, providing a steady supply of grandad jokes to keep the team entertained during long meetings! A well-timed pun can lighten any atmosphere.

“Our software has revolutionised how law firms work. I’m genuinely humbled by the positive feedback we’ve received over the years from our clients, and knowing we’ve played a role in their success is immensely gratifying.”

George Blair, Chairman & Founder

Interviewer: A Chief Storyteller and Master of Grandad Jokes—what a remarkable combination! We’re certain the Denovo team will appreciate your unique brand of humour.  Now, let’s lighten the mood a bit. Can you share a funny or memorable moment from your time as the Managing Director?

George: Oh, there have been many hilarious moments. One that sticks out was a recent Christmas party in our office which resulted in me having a ‘dance off’ with 2 drag queens in our office training room, which had been turned into a what can be best described as a burlesque nightclub! The other moment that springs to mind was more scary than funny! We were demonstrating our software to a legal firm in Inverness and whilst I was waxing lyrical about how great our software is the building caught fire! As the alarms started blaring the senior partner said to me, “Its ok, it’s just a drill.” That was fine until we saw the smoke billowing outside the window! At that point, we all made a b-line for the fire exit. But being the consummate salesman,  I managed to get the contract signed in the fire muster zone in the firm’s car park!

Interviewer: That sounds like an absolute blast, and I think anyone who knows you would say you are the only person who could get a contract signed during an office blaze!

Interviewer: George, as we come to a close, is there anything else you’d like to say to the Denovo community and your colleagues?

George: To our amazing clients and partners, thank you for your unwavering support and trust in Denovo. To my colleagues, you’re not just co-workers; you’re like family. Keep pushing the boundaries and making a difference in the legal world. I’m excited to see what the future holds for Denovo, and I’ll be cheering you on with full confidence.

Interviewer: Change is never easy, but it’s also an opportunity for growth. Are there any words of advice or encouragement you’d like to share with Steven and the team?

George: Absolutely! Steven, you’ve got this. Trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to innovate. Remember that integrity is essential in business, our team is our biggest asset, and together, there’s nothing we can’t achieve. And, of course, keep a good sense of humour—laughter goes a long way in navigating through challenges!

Interviewer: George, thank you so much for sharing your experiences and insights with us. It’s been a pleasure to have you here today.

George: Thank you for having me. It’s been a pleasure reminiscing about the incredible journey we’ve had. Cheers to the future and to Denovo’s continued success!

If you enjoyed reading this feature and would like to find out more about the incredible software George, Steven and the team have built click here

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