Innovation in business methods and a focus on international expansion are driving firms up the rankings

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See the 2013 winner and the shortlisted Innovative Lawyers
A nimbler sector sees competition from US and Asia
Graeme Nuttall, partner at Field Fisher Waterhouse, on employee ownership

Submission guidelines for 2014

Read the guidelines on how to enter your submission

Innovative Lawyers 2013

©Martin O'Neill

Alliances shift up a gear

Changes in the profession are gathering pace but there are already many indications of how lawyers’ mindset has been transformed

Graeme Nuttall
©Charlie Bibby

Pillars of creativity and vision

Candidates share an ability to turn client needs into groundbreaking initiatives

man holding aloft barbells
©Martin O'Neill

Fit to survive

Sticking to old ways of doing things is unrealistic, especially when clients are looking at costs

Daring to be different

Firms all over the continent are looking to remain competitive during tough economic times by moving away from tradition

man in suit with measuring tape
©Martin O'Neill

Tailor made

During the economic crisis, law firms have come up with bespoke solutions to financial problems

new structures
©Martin O'Neill

More for less

Law firms are accelerating the pace of change by constantly rethinking their model to separate process from value

rainbow pyramid
©Martin O'Neill

Room at the top

With the rise of the mega-firm, training partners in leadership skills will become increasingly important

puzzle pieces
©Martin O'Neill

Cross-border counsel

Knowing how to deal with local governments gives firms an edge when negotiating in difficult jurisdictions

Added value

The evolution of in-house teams means pure legal work is just one part of a bigger role

Ranging into fresh pastures

Diversification into non-legal sectors is helping law firms generate more income from legal advice

Rewarding partnerships

Sharing clients with other lawyers in the same firm might be expected to hit earnings. But the opposite is true

Structural shift

The role of the lawyer is changing rapidly. Legal expertise is still prized, but it is no longer enough to guarantee success

Lawyers in the news

Legal advice and innovation is often reactive, with lawyers creating solutions in response to client needs

Research methodology

Each entry is scored out of 10 points on originality, rationale and impact for a maximum score of 30

2012 innovative lawyers

The new rules of law

Innovation in business methods and a focus on international expansion are driving firms up the rankings

Across borders

The international nature of many mergers and acquisitions today demands new ways of thinking on the part of lawyers

Rich seam

Industrial expansion across the African continent is generating business for international law firms

London calling

High-calibre lawyers, a widely adopted legal system and not least the English language have created a buoyant market for UK legal services, writes Caroline Binham

Legal London looks abroad

It has been a year where London, famous for its legal services, has turned its eyes abroad, says FT editor, Lionel Barber

On the consumer trail

UK legal market reforms aim to improve accessibility for clients but might spell the end for many small firms, writes Jane Croft

SlidLegal Innovator of the Year 2012

One of the admirable features of the shortlisted candidates is their ability to instil a sense of community among colleagues.

Bringing people together: Legal Innovators

One of the admirable features of this year’s shortlisted candidates is their ability to instil a sense of community among colleagues, writes Michael Skapinker

Tabs on the watchdog

Law firms are preparing for the arrival of a new competition super-regulator, writes Caroline Binham

Prized asset

The success of in-house legal teams in contributing to firms’ profits has made them a force to be reckoned with, says Reena SenGupta

Ahead of the game

Young lawyers comfortable with new technology are bringing a fresh approach to legal and practical issues, writes Andrew Baxter

Spanish independence

The long absence of international law firms from Spain has allowed domestic practices to build their profile, says Miles Johnson

Expanding horizons

The FT Innovative Lawyers report and awards highlight how law firms are contributing fresh thinking and practice to business around the world, writes Lionel Barber

Lawyers in the news

Hannah Kuchler and James Pickford follow some of the profession’s innovative members

Research methodology

The FT and its research partner RSG Consulting have devised a unique way to rank lawyers on innovation