Matter Stories: Craig Duncan, Director, Legal (International)

Matter Stories is a series exploring the people driving Matterport’s mission to make every building and space more valuable and accessible.

Matter Stories: Craig Duncan, Director, Legal (International)

Tell us about yourself. Where are you located, what’s been your career journey, and what brought you to this industry?

I'm currently based in Otford, Sevenoaks, Kent in the UK, about 30 miles from London. I've had the fortune of living and working in the US, in Chicago and Florida, for a few years. My career journey in technology and commercial law has been richly diverse. I was initially drawn to this industry for its dynamic nature and the complex challenges it presents, especially given my disability. When I was told that pursuing this path would be too hard because of my disability, it only fueled my determination – telling me I can't do something is a surefire way to ensure I do it!

My professional experience spans significant roles in managing and developing international legal teams and handling global-scale projects and legal agreements. I've worked with top law firms like Dentons and FieldFisher in the City, gaining a strong foundation and international exposure. This background steered me towards senior leadership roles in several international companies, enriching my expertise in areas like technology, financial services, digital media, FinTech, SaaS and cloud, telecommunications, data privacy, and market research.

I love being a leader, a problem solver, and a solutions-oriented individual. These traits have been pivotal in my career, helping me navigate the complexities of the legal landscape and drive successful outcomes in the various sectors I have worked in.

Family is very important to me; I'm a proud father of two exceptional university medics and have been married for over 25 years. My varied interests, including being an active member of the Law Society's Group for Solicitors with Disabilities, practising karate, and hosting radio shows, have enriched my life and provided a balanced perspective to my professional endeavours.

Education has always been a cornerstone for me. I hold a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, and a Bachelor’s Honors Degree in Law. Giving back to the community is also close to my heart, evident in activities like running practice interviews for students and training guide dog puppies.

My journey in the legal sector, especially in technology and commercial law, has been both challenging and immensely rewarding. This path has allowed me to not only develop a deep understanding of the industry but also to exercise my passion for leadership, problem-solving, and being a solutions architect. It has been an avenue to lead international teams and make a positive contribution to the legal community and beyond.

What excites you most about your role?

Considering my role at Matterport and the nature of the company's innovative work in the 3D capture and spatial data field, what excites me most is the opportunity to be at the forefront of legal issues in an emerging and rapidly evolving tech industry. Matterport is revolutionizing how we interact with physical spaces digitally, and being a part of this journey is exhilarating.

In my role heading the international legal arm, I am deeply involved in navigating the complex legal landscapes across different regions. This is particularly exciting as it requires not only a deep understanding of various legal frameworks but also an ability to anticipate and adapt to new regulatory challenges posed by cutting-edge technology.

The integration of AI in our work at Matterport adds a layer of complexity and fascination to my role. The legal implications of using AI are vast and multifaceted, presenting unique challenges that are intellectually stimulating. I love the fact that we are pioneering in this space, and it's incredibly rewarding to navigate the legal intricacies that come with such innovative technology.

Working with a smaller, yet highly skilled and dedicated team at Matterport is another aspect that I find extremely rewarding. There's a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose that drives us. I adore my team members for their passion, expertise, and the collaborative spirit they bring to the table. This environment fosters creative problem-solving and innovative thinking, which is crucial in a field as dynamic as ours.

Moreover, my role involves collaborating closely with different departments to ensure that our legal strategies align with Matterport's business objectives and ethical standards. This cross-functional interaction is not only professionally enriching but also allows me to contribute to the company's growth and success in a meaningful way.

Working at Matterport excites me because it combines my passion for technology law with the thrill of being part of a pioneering team in a groundbreaking industry. The chance to work with talented colleagues, tackle unique legal challenges, especially those arising from our use of AI, and contribute to shaping the future of digital interaction with physical spaces is what makes my role truly exhilarating.

Tell us about your biggest accomplishment or favorite project at Matterport? What was it, were there any challenges, and how was it successful?

One of my biggest accomplishments at Matterport, and certainly a favorite project, was the complete rewrite of our Standard Web Terms in collaboration with my partner in crime, Nicole Elmgart. This project was a massive undertaking that I thoroughly enjoyed for its complexity and impact.

The crux of this project was the creation of the brand new Matterport MSA (Master Service Agreement) framework agreement. This wasn't just a routine update; it was a ground-up reinvention of our legal documents. The innovative approach we took with this project set a new industry standard for contracts. Our aim was to make the agreements more streamlined, user-friendly, and adaptable to the diverse needs of our customers.

One of the key achievements of this project was how it significantly improved the customer experience. By introducing a framework agreement, we provided our customers with a more flexible and efficient contractual process. This move was not just about legal compliance and clarity; it was about enhancing customer engagement and trust.

However, the project was not without its challenges. The task of overhauling existing legal documents and creating something entirely new required deep collaboration across various teams. It involved intricate negotiations, meticulous drafting, and a thorough understanding of both legal requirements and business objectives. We had to ensure that the new MSA framework not only complied with legal standards but also supported Matterport's strategic goals and sales processes.

The success of the project can be measured by its significant impact on the business. The new MSA framework has been instrumental in reducing the deal cycle and increasing sales velocity. This, in turn, has had a positive effect on our business operations, contributing to our growth and market position.

In essence, this project was not just a legal accomplishment; it was a strategic initiative that brought together various aspects of the business. The collaboration, creativity, and problem-solving involved made it a highly rewarding experience. It stands out as a testament to our team's ability to drive meaningful change and innovation in the legal domain, aligning it closely with business success.

Are you involved in any programs such as EMERGE, Matterport Cares, ERGs etc., if so why? What’s been a memorable experience?

I was actively involved in the creation of Matterport’s ERG for disability, which was particularly close to my heart as I am partially sighted. This experience was not only personally significant but also professionally enriching, as it provided an opportunity to contribute to creating an inclusive and supportive work environment. Due to time constraints, I’ve had to step back from active participation in the ERG, but my commitment to supporting inclusivity and accessibility remains unwavering.

One of the initiatives that I am deeply passionate about and consistently participate in is Matterport Cares, the company's volunteering program. I strongly believe in the importance of giving back to my community and helping those who are less fortunate. Volunteering through Matterport Cares allows me to make a tangible difference in the lives of others, which is incredibly fulfilling.

A memorable experience in this regard was one of our Matterport Cares events where we engaged in activities directly impacting the local community. The sense of teamwork and the shared goal of making a positive impact was truly inspiring. It's moments like these that reinforce my belief in the power of collective effort and the importance of corporate social responsibility.

Being a part of these initiatives at Matterport has been an integral part of my journey with the company. It reflects my personal values of empathy, community service, and making a positive impact on society. This alignment of personal values with corporate initiatives is something that I find particularly rewarding and is a testament to Matterport's commitment to not just being a leader in technology, but also a force for good in the community.

My involvement in programs like the ERG for disability and Matterport Cares is driven by a deep-seated desire to contribute positively to the world around me. While my professional role is centered around legal and business aspects, these initiatives provide a meaningful way to engage with and support the broader community, embodying the superhero ethos of using one's abilities for the greater good.

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook