Lawyer and legalpreneur Sherika Ponniah has joined the Centre for Legal Innovation (CLI) as the second member of its Distinguished Fellowship program.

In her new role Sherika will drive innovation within the legal industry by encouraging greater diversity and inclusion. 

Sherika is the Deputy Head of Legal Content at Wolters Kluwer CCH Asia-Pacific, leading a team of 10 content professionals providing information, software and services to the legal profession.

She is a resident entrepreneur at the Macquarie University Innovation Incubator, working with law students and entrepreneurs to promote gender diversity, with a focus on greater inclusivity for professional mothers working in law.

In 2016 Sherika was one of 10 women tech entrepreneurs selected to take part in the Elevacao Foundation Pitch-Ready Program which aims to help women build successful and innovative tech businesses.

Her appointment was welcomed by CLI Executive Director Terri Mottershead who said Sherika’s background as a lawyer, entrepreneur and technologist made her the perfect candidate for the CLI’s Distinguished Fellowship program.

“Sherika brings the kind of creative thinking that the legal industry needs right now.  Her work at CLI  will assist the profession in developing a new definition for diversity and inclusion – one that celebrates different, new and creative solutions to the changes taking place in our industry, and then implements them,” Ms Mottershead said.

Sherika believes inclusiveness and diversity in the legal profession is an essential part of the legal professions response to disruption.

“Diversity has moved beyond just race and gender to include people of different backgrounds, beliefs and life experiences.  My role with the CLI will focus on providing practical support  for legal firms on how to be more inclusive, and to show how diversity of thought is needed to encourage innovation,” Ms Ponniah said