I founded the Senate in 2018 to try and solve problems I had had in my in-house legal career that I could not solve inside the businesses I worked in.
I took and gave advice to others to help them make decisions of all kinds - often difficult decisions that needed careful thought and consideration and often need to be backed up with technical expertise from other professionals.
- I could not keep this advice current and evergreen - it was usually taken and given by email. It got lost in the email clutter, and it was usu sally out of date due to an evolving business and legal / regulatory landscape. Keeping professional advice up-to-date is very hard and expensive.
- Secondly I could not easily seek a second opinion on an issue on the outside of our business. It is common practice to take a second opinion for a complex medical diagnosis - its very rare for other types of professional advice as you usually have to pay all over again (and justify why you need to) and your existing advisors can be difficult and uncooperative about it - they regard it as criticism rather than what is it which is a "sensecheck" on whether you have the right answer. In a life threatening situation this is regarded as good practice, in a professional situation you often have to take a second opinion without involving the original party. That has clear operational risks and is simply inefficient.
- Thirdly, I was used to operating in a part of the world that was often dislocated from the normal business time zones (we worked on a Sunday and were an entire day ahead of our New York based advisors). I would often had to wait days to get a response to my external questions so just had to go ahead with internal advice anyway hoping they would match.
The original Senate concept was designed to address all of these issues - the evergreen advice issue, the second opinion issue and the asynchronous time issue.
Like all businesses should we have evolved over time and in particular listened to our clients and what they want our platform to do. Each new team member contributes their experience and shapes our product. The last three years have seen an immense change from the environment in which I told people that lawyers would be on platforms and answering Q&A ("they will never do it and what's a platform"?).
We have pivoted away from our initial focus on lawyers, we have added a huge community element to the platform, we have added the page you are on to function like a mini-website for some clients. We have clients in lots of different verticals from legal through financial crime to charities. We have added to our original Q&A functionality (now called "SenateSense") the ability to host webinars and videos (new for 20201!) and capture webinar questions directly into your Q&A (called "Senate Talk"). We have evolved, cautiously and slowly but surely.
Building a company is hard. Building a community is very hard. We hope that by using our own product we can do both. Welcome to that journey.
Please join as a member and please please please ask questions!
What is this site for?
We wanted to use our own tech to showcase our products. This senate consists of both our products - our Q&A (SenateSense) and our add on video platform (Senate Talk). Please explore and ask any questions you like on SenateSense and we will answer you...our members page shows some of the team - our Senate Talk page shows some of our client verticals and some videos we have made and it has demos of how Senate Talk and Senate Sense work together to drive questions in webinars into Q&A you can answer over time in your community.
Visit one of our public-service Senate. Discover for yourself how our SenseSense Q&A builds consensus.
Covid Senate Spread expertise & common-sense. Help each other. Ask and answer for your area.
Make Law Better Senate Contribute your expertise and common-sense. Help shape the future.
Brexit Senate Exchange Brexit expertise & intelligence. Let's help each other navigate the bumpy road.
Social and who we are
Founder / Cheerleader / CMO / CEO
Rachel spent 15 years as a General Counsel meeting the challenge of keeping her external counsel legal advice evergreen, horizon scanning for regulatory issues, sourcing and managing the right legal panel. The pace of regulatory change made her traditional working methods increasingly unmanageable. These days she uses our tech to deliver regulatory consulting projects.
Adrian knows the client problem from the inside having been the Head of Legal for First State Investments for 7 years and leading the regulatory change team at Kames Capital, now Aegon Asset Management. These days as a "solo" lawyer Adrian is well placed to understand this from the supply side too, using the Senate to communicate one to many.
Diccon has designed and built numerous self-service web portals. As a technical architect he enjoys the challenge of designing for professionals and experts.
UX strategy and Brand
Throughout her career Tamsin has worked small and scaling businesses, developing brand and user experience. Her mix of design and technical understanding means our design and technical teams work seamlessly.
Jan runs the Senate operations, driving performance improvement and excellence from the inside.