Douglas J Shaw is originally from Scotland and moved to South Africa in 2000. Douglas has a unique and valuable combination of skills that is very unusual. These involve deep knowledge and experience in law, economics, IT and management consultancy. Having all four of these in one person is not common. He has been an advocate for the last seven years and is involved in a range of court work especially in banking law. He also represents organizations and companies in the consultation processes with the government in the creation of new Acts and policies. In the course of his legal work, he has seen the problem with the existing systems, and has developed a number of better systems. These are leading edge systems that will be useful to governments worldwide.
Having worked as a fund manager in his early 30s (running the best performing investment fund in the world in 2000/2001) he also understands the world of finance, derivatives, insurance, and banking. His first degree involved considerable actuarial science, econometrics, and statistics so unlike most lawyers, he is very good with numbers. He worked in management consultancy on the mines for around a year before becoming and advocate gaining many of the people skills and business re-engineering expertise necessary to deliver strategy and also to execute that strategy. As someone who has consulted informally to fourteen African governments on economic issues in the early 2000s, he is also interested in areas of law which incorporate applied economics. He is a regular attendee of the Law and Economics conferences in Europe and has written a (second) PhD thesis on the subject of how laws could be better.
He has also written many books, some self-published, but four also published by established publishers. His pending PhD has taken his writing and research skills to a new level. Douglas likes to research for a practical purpose, however, and his recent research is aimed at finding global best practice that can then be developed into a product that can be delivered to clients across the globe.
He has also spent time as a programmer and understands the world of IT. After teaching himself C# in his mid-30s, he worked for an advanced, agile-enabled programming house subcontracting to Momentum for a year before becoming an advocate. This has been very valuable in learning the strategy of IT development particularly the cardinal importance in IT development of reducing the project to its most simple and necessary in order to deliver significant results quickly.
Douglas has four degrees, wide experience and in his spare time applies his mind to writing and thinking about how to reduce crime, poverty, traffic and environmental degradation. He was for a time Chairman of Mensa Johannesburg during which the society grew more quickly than any time before or since. Douglas is adept at managing intelligent people, a task often compared to herding cats.
At the current time, he wants to combine his knowledge bases into solutions for improving governments and society. He has a number of ideas which he thinks can be developed into consultancy products that would appeal to governments. He, therefore, seeks to joint venture or otherwise work with international consultancy firms with global reach to the public sector.
We have a number of products at various stages of development of which this is the first and most developed. In brief, it deals with the problem of banks selling a large number of repossessed properties. At the moment, this is usually done too much and for prices that are too low. This is a political problem in many country and thus a solving the problem is a perceived need for governments. We have suggested a process at http://icrl.co.za/process.html and would be interested to hear your views on whether this would be the best process or not. The information on this website gives a starting point for approaching governments.
The nature of this product is that we need to reach many governments which is most easily facilitated through a consultancy like yourselves with global reach.
We would imagine this would work by you putting this out to the global network who would then approach their own governments through their own contacts. Where governments are interested, we would send a team from here in the short term including me. Perhaps local resources from that country would also be trained up and included if that was more cost effective. Presumably you have mechanism for sharing revenue between the South African company that would be initiating the project and that of the company in the host country which markets the project successfully to the host government.
We are flexible about the exact nature of the JV but I would imagine that I would be paid a consultancy rate for my time and then some percentage of the profit on the project. It is possible in time that we could train up local resources so that I would not have to be present on all projects or not present at all times. That would allow us to do more projects and the above arrangement would make developing more teams worthwhile for all parties. I would imagine the host government would pay for costs like flights and accommodation. Should your practice be to organise the project in some other way, then we are open to suggestions.
It is very possible that this project will lead to other projects. IT development projects around this area are also possible (for example, to allow online bits at sheriff’s auctions). Once developed this software can be extended into other countries. However, every legal system is different, so there this has a level of complexity.
Future projects include digitising the courts. There is huge potential here as I can explain. There is also much that can be done to make policing more efficient. These tend to involve both changes in the law, changes in business processes and IT development. Most of these projects are reproducible across multiple governments. Sometimes the government can fund the IT project and become a partner being paid dividends when the product sells to other countries. There are other alternative models.
I am happy to work on this project on the flexible model without requiring to be hired full time. I am currently running down my legal practice. Many cases are coming to a head in a pending constitutional court case. Virtually all the work has been done on this case, and we just need a day to go and argue it. Flexibility allows me to spend some time on that. However, I wish to spend the bulk of my time in the future changing the law and systems for nations, not arguing each individual case which has become quite tedious. I have about 5 additional cases which I need to appear on (for a day) over the next six months. I will try and schedule them all together so as not to disrupt potential travel plans too much.