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The Financial Times is pleased to invite submissions from law firms and legal service providers in Europe for the 2014 FT Innovative Lawyers rankings and awards.

FT Innovative Lawyers is a joint venture with RSG Consulting, a specialist legal research company with decades of experience analysing the legal industry. One of the top legal rankings in Europe, the report and accompanying FT Innovative Lawyers Awards are widely regarded as the best researched in the market.

The intensive research process includes in-depth interviews with referees, expert commentators and market research surveys. In 2013, the research team conducted more than 800 in-depth interviews to reach the final rankings. Your submissions will help us to continue this unique analysis of the legal industry.

FT Innovative Lawyers is supported by Integreon, the global provider of integrated legal, research and business support solutions.

Submissions are invited to the following private practice categories

1. Legal expertise: corporate & commercial

The section covers innovative legal solutions across any field of corporate or commercial law. What were the most innovative deals of the past few years and where did lawyers play a critical role to help their clients grow and expand into new markets? The section will also examine innovative commercial legal advice which has allowed clients to transform their businesses.

2. Legal expertise: finance

In the field of banking and finance, what solutions have lawyers developed to help clients raise and invest capital? The section will rank the most inventive and significant capital raising, structured finance, restructuring, project finance, regulatory and other legal financing solutions and products developed in recent years.

3. Legal expertise: dispute resolution

As cross-border disputes become more frequent and complex, this section will continue to focus on original legal arguments and new ways of working to bring about results for clients. The section covers litigation and any other form of dispute resolution.

4. Client service

This section will examine the most imaginative strategies, programmes, products and technologies deployed by law firms to deliver new and improved services to their clients. As companies demand more from their outside legal advisers, what are law firms doing to strengthen relationships and deliver genuine value?

5. Corporate strategy

How are law firms responding to the economic challenges of slow growth in Europe, changing client expectations, new competition and the increasing internationalisation of legal services? This section will recognise those clear and coherent strategies that have been put into practice. What are firms doing to position themselves clearly and create a distinctive identity, and how they are changing their approach to engaging and developing talent?

6. Social responsibility

Law firms have become increasingly active in the field of corporate social responsibility, becoming agents of change within the legal sector and the broader community. This section covers law firm initiatives with clients, staff, the legal profession, business and the wider community. We are interested in programmes that are creative, effective and sustainable, and which put lawyers and law firms in the vanguard of positive social change.

7. Value resourcing

Rather than reducing costs, we are seeking to recognise law firms that are fundamentally changing the way they work to deliver greater value to clients. How are law firms resourcing legal work and support services in smarter ways to improve efficiency and productivity? This section will examine a range of resourcing approaches, including new uses of technology, process improvements, and new kinds of collaboration between different providers.

8. Legal industry pioneers

This section covers Alternative Business Structures or any of the new models for providing legal services that are transforming the way legal services are delivered. We continue to examine how law firms and other legal service providers are responding to the opportunities presented by the UK Legal Services Act and regulatory changes in other jurisdictions. Legal service providers from across the legal industry are invited to submit to this category.

9. Innovative Individuals

The report will feature the top 10 individuals who emerge from the research as genuine innovators on either a technical or an operational basis. We will look for the individuals who devised the most original ideas, developed the most brilliant solutions and who have taken the boldest steps to change how legal work is done or to drive industry-wide innovation. The lead individuals for every submissions made to the report are automatically considered for this category, but law firms are also invited to make their own submissions or nominations.

The awards

• The awards ceremony will coincide with publication of the rankings in October 2014. Those interested in taking tables at the event should contact Aneliese Seaman, FT Conferences and Events, on +44 (0) 20 7873 4288 or aneliese.seaman@ft.com

• Shortlists for the awards will be drawn from the research conducted for the rankings. They will comprise top-ranked innovations across the categories.

• The FT reserves the right to withhold or change the categories of available awards according to research results.

Awards categories

1. Legal expertise: corporate

2. Legal expertise: finance

3. Legal expertise: dispute resolution

4. Client service

5. Corporate strategy

6. Social responsibility

7. Value resourcing

8. Legal industry pioneers

9. Innovative in-house legal team (In-house award)

10. Innovative general counsel (In-house award)

11. Innovation in operational change (In-house award)

12. Innovative individual

13. Most innovative European law firm (outside the UK)

14. Most innovative European law firm

15. Outstanding achievement award


• 18 April 2014 – deadline for submissions

• October 2014 – publication of the FT Innovative Lawyers report in the FT and awards ceremony in London

How to submit entries

All submissions must be made through the online entry forms which will be made live at the end of February. You will be able to access the forms here

Electronic copies of all submissions must also be emailed to ftresearch@rsgconsulting.com. Please send each submission as a separate file with the name of the submitting organisation and category to which the submission is being made included in the file name.

• Any additional material should also be clearly labelled and emailed (to a maximum 20Mb) or posted to RSG Consulting, 103 Sclater Street, London, E1 6HR, UK.

• Video content, images or submissions in other formats are also welcome.

Submission format

• All submissions must provide the following details and address the originality, rationale and impact criteria as set out below.

1. Description of the innovation: including key dates, parties involved and other relevant background.

2. Originality: Why is the work or initiative innovative? Which elements are most original?

3. Rationale: Why was this specific approach taken? What was the thinking process behind the solution? What market changes does it respond to?

4. Impact: What was the impact of the innovation for the client, firm or key stakeholders? How can its success be measured? Where did the lawyers deliver the most value?

5. References: All submissions must include contact details for at least one internal and at least one external reference who can be contacted to discuss the details of the innovation on a confidential basis.

Nominations are also invited for the following report and award categories, via email to ftresearch@rsgconsulting.com or the online entry forms:

■ Innovative individual

■ Legal industry pioneers

■ In-house legal team

■ Innovative general counsel

■ Special achievement award

Rules for submitting

Time period: the 2014 ranking will assess innovations which have been implemented or closed since 1 January 2013.

Geography: Innovations must have taken place in Europe or have been led from a European office. All law firms active in Europe, regardless of country of origin, are eligible to send submissions to FT Innovative Lawyers 2014.

• There is a limit of TWO submissions per category. If more than two submissions are made, only the first two in alphabetical order by title will be considered.

Word count: Submissions should be no longer than 1,000 words in total, written in English and answer each of the questions on the entry form. The word count excludes references and contact details.

Assessment of Submissions

• Submissions will be fully researched and will be assessed on their own merits, through extensive interviews with referees. The RSG Consulting research team also uses circles of independent experts in the assessment process. Entries will be judged against other submissions in each category.

• Innovations will be scored for their originality, rationale and impact according to RSG Consulting’s scoring methodology.

• Client referee interviews are an important part of the assessment process. Contact details for internal and client or external referees must be included on every submission.

• Submissions, particularly those in the legal expertise categories, should each focus on a specific innovation. Those that are more general and that cover several different pieces of work in one submission will do less well in the scoring process.

FT Law 50

• Ranked scores are the only metric which will be used to compile the final FT Law 50, following the same method used in 2013. Law firms are ranked solely by the total score for all RANKED entries in the following categories of the report:

1. Legal expertise: corporate

2. Legal expertise: finance

3. Legal expertise: dispute resolution

4. Client service

5. Corporate strategy

6. Social responsibility

7. Value resourcing

Conditions of entry

• There is no fee for entering submissions to FT Innovative Lawyers 2014.

• The researchers reserve the right to move entries from one category to another if they feel it is more appropriate. The researchers’ decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.

• The FT and RSG Consulting accept no responsibility for the loss or damage of material submitted.

• The FT reserves the right to publish the names of the firm or lawyers contained in the shortlist of outstanding entries, details and description of all entries and details of winners. All entrants grant the FT a perpetual, non-exclusive licence to publish details and descriptions of entries as referred to, and also agree to participate in publicity reasonably requested by the FT regarding their entry. The FT acknowledges that copyright in all entries remains vested with the entrants.

• Please do not include any confidential information in your entry that you do not wish to enter the public domain because the FT is unable to guarantee that such information will not be published as set out above. Any inclusion of confidential information in an entry is at the entrant’s sole risk and responsibility and in knowledge of the FT’s request not to do so.

• The FT reserves the right to cancel, postpone or suspend FT Innovative Lawyers 2014 at any time.

• By submitting an entry, entrants will be deemed to have read, understood and agreed to these terms and conditions on behalf of their firm or organisation.

Contact details

For research questions please contact RSG Consulting on +44 (0)20 7033 9898, ftresearch@rsgconsulting.com

For editorial enquiries please contact Rohit Jaggi at the FT on +44 (0)20 7873 3714, rohit.jaggi@ft.com

For advertising opportunities or other research sponsorship opportunities please contact Stephanie Collier, Global Associate Director, Professional Services & Technology at the FT, on +44 (0)20 7873 4597, stephanie.collier@ft.com

For enquires about the awards event please contact Aneliese Seaman, Senior Marketing Executive, Financial Times Live, Global Conferences & Events, on +44 (0) 20 7873 4288, aneliese.seaman@ft.com

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