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FT North America Innovative Lawyers Report 2014 is a rankings report and awards for lawyers based in the US, Canada and Mexico. Shortlists for the awards comprise the top-ranked submissions in each section of the report.

The FT and its research partner RSG Consulting have devised a unique methodology to rank lawyers on innovation. Law firms and company in-house legal teams are invited to submit their innovations. These are then fully researched through telephone interviews. No entry appears in the FT report without a robust client or independent reference. Market experts are also called in to assess the submissions and the research.

Each entry is scored out of 10 points for originality, rationale and impact for a maximum score of 30. They are then benchmarked against each other to arrive at the final rankings. Lawyers are ranked for delivering exceptional value to business.

Commended lawyers are those who received strong individual commendations in RSG Consulting’s research, including through client and market references.

FT 40: Law firm innovators 2014

The FT 40 ranking is a pure aggregate of each law firm’s performance across the private practice categories of the report. The scores comprise:

Legal expertise: total score for entries ranked in the Corporate, Finance and Litigation categories.

Business of law: total score for entries ranked in the Business of law category

Social responsibility: total score for entries ranked in the Social responsibility — projects and Social responsibility — pro bono cases categories

Total score: total score for entries ranked in all seven categories.

For the FT North America Innovative Lawyers 2014 report, 448 submissions and nominations were received and RSG Consulting interviewed and sought feedback from 437 clients, lawyers and experts to arrive at the final rankings. Submissions were received from 66 law firms and an additional 61 in-house teams were researched to create the North American rankings this year. The research was conducted by a team of eight RSG researchers between August and November 2014.

Legal innovator award

A panel of FT judges decided the winner for the Legal innovator award from a shortlist of 10. The judges for the award were:

Michael Skapinker, editor, Special Reports, FT

Rohit Jaggi, editor, Innovative Lawyers, FT

Caroline Binham, legal correspondent, FT

Experts

Experts consulted for the report rankings this year were:

Reena N Glazer, assistant director, Law Firm Pro Bono Project at the Pro Bono Institute

Edwin Rekosh, president and chief executive of PILnet and adjunct professor at Columbia Law School

Douglas Barnard, senior vice-president, general counsel, and secretary at CF Industries, and Lecturer in Law, the University of Chicago

RSG Consulting

The RSG Consulting research team has more than years’ experience analysing the legal profession. It has a track record of devising ranking methodologies for professional services firms. Reena SenGupta, chief executive, helped to launch the FT’s Law & Business page in 2001, and has been a regular writer on the legal profession for the FT for the past 13 years.

The RSG Consulting research team this year were:

Reena SenGupta

Yasmin Lambert

Laura Ansell

Lucy Pearson

James Wood

Dominic Williams

Sharon Springell

Charles Rubin

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