Knowledge at Work

Knowledge at Work

Today’s release of the Expert Panel’s Report headed by Rafael Bengoa shows how knowledge brokerage works on a grand scale.
Bringing international academic and expert knowledge to provide solutions for the crisis in health care represents the best possible approach.

The Tests for Test Cases

The Tests for Test Cases

LEXXER Law works within the wider context of a knowledge brokerage and can bring to bear a wider range of insights and ideas to its litigation strategies.
Many clients see litigation as the means and the end with their ‘day in court’ as the objective. However we see litigation as one battle in a larger war and as a result we approach it holistically.

If litigation is a key component then the crucial questions will be which case should be pursued and when and how it should be launched. 

The Litigating for Social Change Cinference hosted in Belfast addressed just this point and will inform our work entitled: The Tests for Test Cases. 

This toolkit will help communities charities and causes guidance on how to approach Test Cases and which issues best lend themselves to strategic litigation. 

How are Cases identified and selected, what ground work is required and which tactics need to be deployed and what should be avoided. 

Facilitating Philanthropy 

Facilitating Philanthropy 

As a firm we not only act for clients trying to source funding but also those wish to support change. Therefore this afternoon’s panel of top international Philantropic Foundations was particularly insightful. 

The high powered panel represented a group of key funders gave interesting insights into the sector from their perspective. 

Nick Grono, Chief Executive, Freedom Fund, Australia 

Erika Dailey, Senior Research Officer, Open Society Justice

Gail Birkbeck, The Atlantic Philanthropies 

Nicolette Naylor, Ford Foundation, South Africa

Martin O’Brien, Director, Social Change Initiative

The discussion was grounded in recent research findings which LEXXER finds most useful. Our access to the top funders in the sector gives us a clear and powerful insight into the minds and methods of existing funders. 

This is important for both those considering making applications and those who would like to use their funds to effect real change. 

Programme of Conference

Litigating for Social Change 

Litigating for Social Change 

Today lawyers and activists from across the globe met in Belfast to disuss how strategic litigation can effect real social change. 

The international conference was held in Assembly Buildings Conference Centre, Belfast, Northern Ireland. LEXXER Solutions have long been involved in matching legal Knowledge with groups and activists on the ground.

A joint project of Law Centre (NI), Social Change Initiative and The Atlantic Philanthropies, this international conference will bring together NGOs, community activists, litigators, academics and funders to reflect on how strategic litigation can transform lives and enable people and communities to realise their rights.
Conference purpose

With speakers from different geographic and legal settings, the conference aims to explore:

Lessons learnt from the use of test case litigation to date

Strategic litigation as a tool for promoting social justice

Models and approaches to supporting strategic litigation

The Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan welcomed delegates and gave a broad introduction to the legal issues locally. 

Are Lawyers the Future of Dealing with the Past

Are Lawyers the Future of Dealing with the Past

LEXXER LAW has long followed the debate about how best to deal with the past and the role of law in resolving the past. 

Today’s conference hosted by the The Lawyers, Conflict & Transition team was the final project conference and held at Queens University Belfast. 

A series of papers were presented covering the range of research and initiatives which addressed : Lawyers and Legal Ethics in Conflict and Transition; Lawyers and International Justice; Cause Lawyers and the Struggle for Justice; and Lawyers and Dealing with the Past.

A range of questions were posed about the role of law in societies dealing with transition. One of the most interesting concepts was legal space as a safe space for dealing with the past but questions were posed about just how much lawyers could be expected to do. 

LEXXER Solutions is currently working with a range of groups bringing academic and professional knowledge to bear on their work. We believe that such knowledge will give the advantage needed to help society as a whole to move forward. 

Just what the Doctor Ordered for the NHS

Just what the Doctor Ordered for the NHS

 Recent reports have been far from a clean bill of health for the NHS nationally or locally, and as part of of our knowledge brokerage work with local Queens based academics LEXXER Solutions has taken an active interest in the health of the health sector.

With a new Health Minister and a number of legacy projects from the previous Minister, reshaping services is a clear priority. The new Health Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA has said her priority is to reshape and refocus the future of health care services. We as a firm welcome the new approach which is based on consultation and quality research, and have a clear view of what needs to be done in terms of training and development to match the structural changes proposed.

Health Minister Michelle O'Neill
Health Minister Michelle O’Neill

Speaking on her first day Minister O’Neill said: “The north’s health and social care sector is the envy of many countries across the globe and there is much we should be proud of and thankful for. We are pioneering, innovative and patient focused, while remaining free at the point of delivery.

“Among my priorities in the time ahead will be the further development of all-island networks to tap into the benefits that cooperation on health and social care issues will bring to every part of this island. I will also place a focus on reducing health inequalities so that no matter where you live, you have the same chance of living a long and healthy life. Mental health is another area which I intend to prioritise and champion.

“There are many challenges to be faced in the time ahead.  More people are living longer with chronic conditions, unhealthy lifestyles create pressure on services and new developments in medical technologies and drugs are increasing demand and raising costs. And all of this in the context of the extreme financial pressures created by a Tory government committed to reducing public services. This means we must use the limited resources we have wisely.

“I intend to focus efforts to reshaping our health and social care sector to ensure we are as efficient and effective as we can be. We must have a firmer grip on the strategic direction of health care delivery in the north and make sure that we deliver the best possible healthcare for all patients. Professor Bengoa’s report, which will help shape the future of health care in the north, is expected in summer 2016. This report will lead the debate on how we can deliver a world-class health service and will form a key part of any change agenda. This, along with the structural reform of the health service, will see a major shift in the way we deliver services.

“We must all rise to this challenge and make the changes necessary to ensure our health service continues to deliver for those in greatest need. The message is simple – we cannot stand still; and we must evolve to survive.”

The Minister added: “I want to recognise the hard work, professionalism and skill of all the staff in the health and social care sector, the Ambulance and Fire Services.  I appreciate the pressured environment they work under and I am very grateful for the expert care they provide. I want to engage with staff from day one. I want to hear from them, I want to listen to their ideas and to any issues they have. It is through their passion and experience that we can keep the momentum of change going. I very much look forward to working with them.”

In conclusion Minister O’Neill said:  “I will strive to improve our health service in every way possible, whilst protecting what is already so good. It is a privilege for me to hold this post and I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead.”

The first step on what we term the “Road to Recovery” will be matching the structural changes with investment in the skills and job satisfaction of staff. At the heart of any health reforms must be Patients and the Professionals who care for them. At LEXXER Solutions we are working with local and international healthcare professionals and academics to provide solutions to the present problems facing the NHS.

LEXXER Solutions welcomes the Expert Panel’s Report

Health Minister Michelle O’Neill has received the report from the Expert Panel, tasked with considering the reconfiguration of Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland.

Health Minister Michelle O'Neill and Panel’s Chair Professor Rafael Bengoa
Health Minister Michelle O’Neill and Panel’s Chair Professor Rafael Bengo

An expert panel was established by her predecessor to help shape the future of health care in Northern Ireland. It was first suggested by Sir Liam Donaldson in his 2015 report which said there were too many hospitals and expertise was too thinly spread. Donaldson’s report highlighted duplication and pressed for a simpler, more efficient system.

There was a difference in opion as to whether the panel should be local or international and in time a compromise was reached with two international figures and four from Northern Ireland, chaired by Prof Rafael Bengoa who is director of the health department at the Deusto Business School in Spain.

Prof Rafael Bengoa
The panel will be chaired by Spanish health reform expert Prof Rafael Bengoa

He is regarded as a worldwide expert on health reform and has advised the European Union and the Obama administration.

Prof Bengoa previously worked for the World Health Organisation for more than 15 years.

He said that over the last 40 years, there had been a focus in health on “planning around structures instead of planning around patient needs and outcomes”.

“The important thing for us at the panel is to be thinking in outcome terms and then we see if there is any physical restructuring that is needed to fulfil those outcomes but not the other way around,” he added.

“The difference Northern Ireland is suggesting is that they are engaging both politically and technically on the long-term and so other countries are not doing that and that is why I think it is interesting to accept this invitation to lead the panel.”

Other panel members include two Northern Ireland-based doctors and two health service managers who are from Northern Ireland but now work in England.

They are;

  • Mairead McAlinden, chief executive of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust. She is a former chief executive of the Southern Trust in Northern Ireland
  • Mark Taylor, consultant in general and hepatobiliary surgery and the current lead clinician at Belfast’s Mater Hospital
  • Alan Stout, east Belfast GP and deputy chairman of the Northern Ireland General Practitioners Committee
  • Bronagh Scott, deputy chief nurse for NHS England London region. She previously worked for the Northern Trust in Northern Ireland
  • Prof John Øvretveit, professor of healthcare innovation implementation and evaluation at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm


LEXXER Solutions welcomed the make up and the remit of the panel since it was and continues to be clear that health and social care is facing significant challenges in the coming years, and to date front line services have been feeling the strain

Northern Ireland’s population is increasing in size and is getting older. More people are living with chronic conditions, unhealthy lifestyles are creating more demand for services and new developments in medical technologies and drugs are increasing demand and raising costs. Add to this the legacy of the Troubles with communities coming to terms with the trauma of the violence and mental health presenting a unique problem here.

The need is for politics to be taken out of healthcare and an informed consensus reached. LEXXER Solutions as a knowledge brokerage stands best placed to bring the different strands of this process together. We can link the academic fields of both policy and practice where teaching and training can be developed to address problems. The professionals on the front line also need to be included as they see gaps in service and weaknesses in the structures that exist and those proposed. However it is often a strength as a broker to be outside the circle and able to draw the best ideas, the working knowledge, and established practice to create solutions which work.


We have now seen the the report completed, and the hard work of considering the financial and organisational implications now begins. The Minister has promised to publish her vision this autumn, alongside the Panel’s report, and is committed to translating the political and public discussion about reform of health and social care into concrete proposals for transforming these important services.”

Our Public Affairs Team LEX REX will be actively engaged this year in all the upcoming healthcare reforms including the Mental Health Capacity Bill. So if you are involved in the sector, and what an input into the shape of services in the future or simply want to be kept up to date speak to out team today.

Commenting on the presentation of the report, the Panel’s Chair, Professor Rafael Bengoa stated: “Today we have presented the Minister with our report.  I know I speak on behalf of my colleagues when I say that it has been a privilege to carry out this work and I hope that it will help to provide a sound basis for the reforms that need to happen.

“Our task has been to make recommendations on a future health and social care model which will deliver a financially sustainable service, providing high quality outcomes in the face of changing patterns of demand.  Patients have been at the heart of our interactions with all stakeholders and it is with them in mind that our recommendations propose a sustainable community based health care system for the future. This is one of the major challenges of our time and one that many western economies across the world are confronting by attempting to put reforms such as this into practice.

“In the course of our work we have been able to talk to people from different parts of the health and social care system and we have been struck by the consistency of the messages we have received. There is a strong appetite for reform and there now seems to be a clear window of opportunity to harness this energy and drive transformation forward.”

LEXXER Solutions as a knowledge brokerage is best placed to turn principles into policy and policy into practice. We will bring together key stakeholders, represent their ideas and interests and work together to ensure that health and social care here is fighting fit.

In the last few years there have been several quantitative and qualitative studies which have highlighted that if organisations want to sustain growth through a competitive edge, then they need to embrace digital strategies and embed digitisation throughout their operations. At LEXXER Solutions we have pioneered new digital methods and approaches in order to give ourselves and our clients the advantage in an ever changing and competitive market. 

Digital technology has altered, and will continue to alter, the landscapes of business, education, entertainment, and government. According to research firm IDC, this trend is set to accelerate in the coming years. In fact, IDC mentions“Digital technologies and the new business models and strategies that they fuel will continue to significantly impact most organisations at a rising level of intensity”.

Despite the numerous benefits of going digital that are now up for the grabs, IDC found – in a new maturity study across 400+ European organisations – that while most enterprises use digital technologies, few actually reap the full potential. Less than 20 percent of the businesses reviewed can call themselves a ‘digital disruptor’ (companies that are aggressive in the use of new digital technologies and business models to remake and create new markets) or a ‘digital transformer’ (organisations that deliver digitally enabled products, and experiences). Most European organisations are either what IDC describes as ‘digital explorers’ or ‘digital players’ – players that acknowledge the need or are at the early stage of transforming the business digitally. However, they face the issue that transformation initiatives focus on optimising the existing business processes and not on truly developing digital products or evolving the company’s business model.

LEXXER Solutions will take your business to the very edge of new technology, giving your the edge in business – KNOWLEDGE.

Digital maturity of European organisations

“Being a digital transformer means adopting technological opportunities whole-heartedly. It involves seeing technology as something profound, something synergising and something more than just a number of disparate business tools that are in place to improve basic business functions,” says Fergus Gilmore, Managing Director of Deltek in the UK.

In the consulting industry, says Gilmore, digital transformers are firms that see technology as a catalyst for bringing their people, processes, customers and ambitions together. “They adopt it as a mechanism for compounding growth and adding value for customers through new and innovative products, services and ideas.”

As a result, these digital transformers – or the ‘Digirati’ as they are also known – are pulling away from their competitors. “They have more agile business processes, well-connected departments, improved collaboration, stronger analytical capabilities and better insight for more accurate reporting that simply puts them out in front.”

Research found that companies that understand the value of digital transformation (Digirati) were on average 26 percent more profitable than their competitors, they were also 50 percent more likely to have lower employee turnover*. 

In line with these new findings LEXXER Solutions has adopted the following principles

1. Put clients at the centre of our strategy – Drive home how digital transformation can benefit the customer’s businesses as well as our own, then introduce new products and services as a result. The added value  provided will show we are dedicated to innovation and progress.

2. Invest in digital skills – 77 percent of firms say a lack of internal knowledge prevents them from becoming digital transformers. We will help you invest in a digitally literate team and task them to drive the change you desire.

Seven principles to turn consulting firms into digital transformers

3. Digitalise your entire firm – It’s true that digital transformation is usually led from the top, but the responsibility cannot just lie with the CEO. To roll out a successful digital plan, the entire company should be on board so staff at all levels are willing to learn, develop and improve.

4. Empower employees – speed up and improve decision making by providing relevant, real-time data to employees when they need it, through whichever device they choose. LEXXER believes that knowledge is power.

5. Implement the right business platform – Make the most of our experts’ time and billable resources while minimising administrative tasks such as time recording, reporting and invoicing with a robust enterprise resource planning system, for instance.

6. Use your data – Measure key performance indicators to set objectives and establish if we are heading in the right direction. Analytics will pinpoint lucrative sales opportunities and historical information will help you spot trends and plan for the future.

7. Build ‘digital’ into your strategy – Technology is no longer a means to an end. It should be ingrained and intertwined into a firm’s strategy and vision right at the point of design. That way it will shape and drive your firm’s culture, relationships and services.

The time for change is now, with an ever more competitive and uncertain market, only those businesses which can stay ahead will survive. So Speak to one of the LEXXER team today and join the SOLUTION REVOLUTION

* World Economic Forum Report, Digital Transformation of Industries.

BREXIT for Beginners 

BREXIT for Beginners 

LEXXER has been working with those in the know since the referendum outcome to analyse threats and opportunities for our clients. With the intervention of the new minister charged with navigating the UK’s exit from the EU on Tuesday the pivotal position of our little corner of the U.K. Is clear.

David Davis is expected to have a telephone conversation with both Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness in the afternoon. 

Prime Minister Theresa May met the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon last week. 

Mrs Foster said she was looking forward to talking to Mr Davis.

“I’ll be speaking to him about Northern Ireland’s direct involvement in these negotiations [about leaving the EU] and I look forward to having a conversation with the prime minister face to face as well,” she said.

“We are in a new era, it is time to be innovative, it is time to be open and flexible which is what the prime minister was talking about when she was with the first minister of Scotland.

“So let’s think about doing things in a different way. We don’t have to do things in the way we did in the past and that’s what the Brexit vote is about – something, new, something different, let’s think about all of that.”

Managing expectations 

Clearly in Northern Ireland many businesses and groups are alarmed about the prospect of leaving the EU.
The business community, the community and voluntary sector, and universities have all voiced concerns about funding and access to markets which need to be addressed.

The uncertainty, and huge challenges will continue however we at LEXXER have canvassed opinion and spoken to those in the know in order to get a clear picture of the way forward. 

While the UK as a whole voted to leave the European Union by 52% to 48%, 56% of people in Northern Ireland voted to remain. This clearly underscores the issues we all now face.

While Theresa May has said: “I have already said that I won’t be triggering Article 50 until I think that we have a UK approach and objectives for negotiations – I think it is important that we establish that before we trigger Article 50.” That means that the rest of this year will bring uncertainty and more questions than answers. 

Our team of European experts will be on hand to answer those questions and help businesses and groups prepare for Brexit. As we look beyond Europe for the first time since the 1960s we will give you the edge in a new global market place – knowledge! 

Parliament Prorogation

Parliament Prorogation

Today business draws to a close in this session of Parliament. Last minute business on the BBC and migrant issues will see the end of the session. However for MPs the work goes on at a constituency level and now marks the best time to lobby Northern Ireland’s MPs. Our LEX REX Team stand ready to put your issues onto the political agenda. 

What is Prorogation? 

Prorogation is the term for the formal end of a parliamentary session. Parliament stands ‘prorogued’ between the end of one session and the State Opening of Parliament which marks the beginning of a new session. 
A session may also be prorogued when Parliament is dissolved and a general election called. Prorogation is marked by a ceremony in the House of Lords.
In centuries past, the Sovereign used the power of prorogation to suit his own purposes, both summoning Parliament so it could authorise taxes, and proroguing it to limit its activities and power. 
Prorogation before the nineteenth century

Early prorogation ceremonies had four key elements. First, the Speaker made a speech mainly concerned with the subsidy bill – a bill ‘for the better support of His Majesty’s household’. 
Then the Lord Chancellor or the Lord Keeper (another official of the royal household) replied to the points made by the Speaker and thanked the Commons for the subsidy bill. The Royal Assent was then given to the bills passed by both Houses. 
Finally, the Lord Chancellor either prorogued or dissolved Parliament according to the Sovereign’s instructions. The Sovereign was customarily present on these occasions and, from the seventeenth century onwards, usually made the speech before prorogation or dissolution.
Prorogation during the nineteenth century

In the early nineteenth century prorogation was a ceremonious occasion. Thus in 1815 the Prince Regent rode in a coach with a cavalry escort to the Palace of Westminster, arriving to a cannon salute. 
Peers wore their full ceremonial red robes trimmed with ermine; ladies looking on wore gowns and jewels. 
In the 1840s, the procession from the Royal Entrance to the Robing Room and thence to the Lords Chamber appears to have been identical in composition to that at State Openings. 
Queen Victoria prorogued Parliament in person regularly between 1837 and 1854, after which she ceased to attend, allegedly because she disliked the ceremony. 
This was the last occasion on which the Sovereign prorogued Parliament or gave the Royal Assent in person, and was also the last time the Speaker made a speech at prorogation.
From 1855, a prorogation speech, prepared by the Government, was read by the Lord Chancellor, and in 1867, Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli introduced the custom of having the Lord Chancellor read the prorogation speech in the first person, as if the Queen were speaking the words herself. 

Winning at the Elections

Winning at the Elections

With the elections looming many of us will open our door to find a political candidate or canvasser urging us to vote. For many it is the best time to speak directly to those who wish to represent us.

So why not take this golden opportunity to put your issues onto their agenda and as they campaign for your support turn the tables and get their support for your issue or organisation.

LEXXER Solutions provides a range of Public Affairs services to help your firm or organisation get itself onto the political agenda. So speak to us today to make real change happen. Get a manifesto commitment made real with out campaigning team.


The Assembly elections in May 2016, offers opportunities to meet and Lobby politicians directly but there are rules about how this must be done. The Lobbying Act (or Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014.) sets out legal requirements and guidelines for those wishing to campaign in the run up to the elections.

The rules have changed with private and public tests to determine whether you/your organisation should register with the Electoral Commission, there are two key differences during an Assembly election from the UK 2015 General Election:

The regulated period is shorter, starting on 5th January 2016 and ending on election day 5th May 2016.

The spending limit for unregistered campaigning is £10,000 for registered campaigning it is £15,300.

We work with the Electoral Commission to ensure that your lobbying work is allowed and our skills will ensure that your message is heard loud and clear. So vote for us and speak to one of our team today and let us help you win at this election.