FT Innovative Lawyers Ranking US 2012

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US private practice guidelines

(Scroll down for the corporate counsel guidelines)

The report is a different analysis of the US legal sector, highlighting the important role lawyers play in business and how their innovations can enhance the position of their clients. This year, the FT report will also take a closer look at law firms as businesses. With the backdrop of one of the largest law firm failures in history, we will investigate the innovations the firms are making to maintain themselves as sustainable, strategically sound businesses.

The report will be distributed in the Financial Times to our global readership and will be available as a unique resource on www.ft.com.

FT Innovative Lawyers is a joint venture with RSG Consulting, a specialist legal consultancy. The intensive research process includes in-depth interviews with referees, expert commentators and market research surveys. In 2011, the RSG research team conducted more than 300 in-depth interviews to reach the final rankings in the report.

The FT Innovative Lawyers programme in the US and Europe is supported by Integreon, the largest provider of integrated legal, research and business support for law firms and corporations.

Download the private practice guidelines as a PDF

CATEGORIES FOR SUBMISSIONS

A: Private practice

1. Legal expertise: corporate/commercial

Lawyers have an opportunity to become more strategic in their advice. As the economic recovery continues in fits and starts, we want to hear from lawyers who have innovated around their role on transactions and with corporate clients.

a. Energy

As the industry burgeons, the report will seek to find whether energy lawyers have kept pace with their clients. How are they contributing to the industry’s dynamism? The rankings will cover both transactional and litigation work.

b. Legal expertise: intellectual property

Reflecting the growing importance of IP in high-profile transactions, many firms report that this is where they are seeing the most dynamic growth. Looking at the market from both a transactional and contentious perspective, we invite submissions from firms who feel they have added particular value to their clients in this area.

2. Legal expertise: finance

This section will continue to look at innovations across the spectrum of legal work in the financial services sector. Whilst the focus of the section will be transactional, it will also cover bankruptcy work.

3. Legal expertise: litigation

US litigators face a number of transformative trends, including more sophisticated clients, internationalisation and potentially disruptive developments in technology. This year, the rankings will be divided into two. We will continue to look at innovative litigation strategies and the work of lawyers (both defendant and plaintiff) in important cases, but will also include a separate ranking on innovative funding arrangements, or AFAs.

4. Business of law

This section will examine overall law firm management, strategy and sustainability. We want to see submissions from firms who are constantly innovating how they manage their businesses to provide better value for clients and stimulating work environments for staff. In particular, we will look at billing and fees, project management, associate training and diversity.

5. Lawyers to the innovators

With so many entrepreneurial US businesses changing the way the world works, plays and communicates, the report wants to hear how lawyers to these companies are innovating for their clients and themselves

B: In-house legal teams

This section will take a holistic view of company legal functions to profile the most innovative teams. We invite private practice law firms to nominate clients who they feel have been particularly innovative as providers, purchasers and managers of legal services.

C: Innovative individuals

This section will profile the top 10 individual lawyers who emerge through the research as genuine innovators. We will be looking for individuals who have come up with the big ideas that have helped to change the status quo and drive industry-wide innovation. While lawyers involved in the submissions to the above categories will automatically be considered, firms and in-house teams are welcome to make additional submissions to this category.

D: The US FT Law 25

The FT will publish an index of the top US law firms as judged by their innovation performance across all categories of the report. Firms are also welcome to submit background information as to how they operate as businesses. These statements will be considered for coherent strategy, ethical business practices and forward-thinking policies, but they will be used as supporting material only.

SCHEDULE

The deadline for submissions is August 24, 2012. The report will be published on November 20 2012 to coincide with the launch event in New York.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS AND ASSESSMENT

Submissions, particularly those in the legal expertise categories, should focus on specific deals, cases or initiatives and should ideally outline a single innovation. We are not looking to assess practice areas or departments as a whole.

Submissions can be made to any number of categories but there is a limit of three per category. If more than three submissions are made, only the first three by alphabetical order will be considered. In section A, three submissions can be made to each numbered category 1 through 5. A total of three submissions can be made to category 1 (including 1a and 1b).

Submissions should not be longer than 1,000 words. Clarity of language will be taken into account when submissions are scored.

The report will assess innovations that were implemented between January 2010 and July 2012.

The FT rankings do not rely on a panel of judges. Submissions are fully researched. They are assessed by a team of researchers and industry experts. They are scored on independent referee comments and benchmarked against other submissions received in each category. For example, in the legal expertise categories no innovation is ranked without independent client commendation.

Innovations will be scored out of 30 points for their originality, rationale and impact, using RSG Consulting’s ranking methodology devised solely for the FT report.

Submissions should be written in English and explain the following:

o A description of the innovation, including when it was implemented and why it is innovative should comprise the introduction of each submission.

o Originality: it is hard to be truly original in the law. However, innovations will be scored for elements of uniqueness, and the research team will look for new twists on old ideas or significant changes in approach.

o Rationale: researchers will look for evidence that the innovation has occurred out of a conscious, active, strategic thought process. As a service business, the rationale score is essential to assess how central the lawyers were to the matter. This could also be seen as an activity or leadership score.

o The impact/results of implementing the innovation: success is clearly essential to whether submitted innovations are ranked in the FT report. A legal strategy, however innovative, needs to have resulted in a win for the client. Legal expertise submissions should detail how the innovation has impacted the individual client, the industry or the way in which legal work is done. Operational submissions should also outline the impact of the innovations for the law firm. The latter is harder to document in some cases but where possible firms should be able to put the business case for their innovations forward.

o Client referees: contact details for at least one client or external, independent referee who can support the submission

HOW TO SUBMIT

All submissions must be made via the online entry forms that is accessible here and on www.rsgconsulting.com

Any additional material should be emailed to ftresearch@rsgconsulting.com and clearly labelled with the name of the submitting organisation and the category and name of the submission to which the material relates.

If sending hard copies, please post/courier to: RSG Consulting, 103 Sclater Street, London E1 6HR, UK.

Further tips on how to present the best possible submissions can be found at www.rsgconsulting.com. An overview of the project and an online version of the 2011 reports, can be found at www.ft.com/usil11

CONDITIONS OF ENTRY

There is no fee for entering submissions to the FT Innovative Lawyers 2012.

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. Submissions will not be returned.

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, as 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 US Innovative Lawyers 2012 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.

All law firms active in the US, regardless of country of origin, are eligible to send submissions.

CONTACT DETAILS

For research questions, please contact Alessandra Sulzer at RSG Consulting on +44 (0)20 7033 9898, alessandra.sulzer@rsgconsulting.com

For editorial enquiries, please contact Rohit Jaggi at the FT on +44 (0)20 7775 6824, rohit.jaggi@ft.com

For advertising opportunities or other research sponsorship opportunities, please contact Robert Grange, head of professional services at the FT on +44 (0)20 7873 4418, robert.grange@ft.com

US corporate counsel guidelines

The Financial Times published its first ranking of innovation in company legal departments last year. Featuring 14 in-house legal teams, the innovations were broad and diverse. What can be said is that the in-house community in the US is full of ideas as to how to enhance its value to business.

Download the corporate counsel guidelines as a PDF

The FT Innovative Lawyers Report is one of the most respected rankings of lawyers in Europe and growing in stature in the US. It is distributed in the FT but is available online for 12 months at www.ft.com. The Innovative Lawyers microsite is one of the most visited specialist sections on ft.com and the FT’s audited readership is more than 750,000 c-suite users per day.

The US report will be launched at a reception in New York on November 28 and printed in the US edition on November 29. All lawyers who feature in the report are invited to the reception.

The research for our in-house ranking is multilayered. An important strand of the exercise is to invite in-house teams to put themselves forward for consideration if they feel they meet our criteria.

Innovations can cover a particular initiative, the whole legal department or the industry as a whole, and should be supported by internal commercial referees.

Submissions and nominations are invited on any innovative process or practice put into place in the period from January 2010 to July 2012.

The deadline for submissions and nominations is September 15 2012.

HOW TO SEND IN NOMINATIONS AND SUBMISSIONS

We are aware that in-house teams are extremely busy and often lack the time to prepare submissions.

We will accept short nominations for your department or team with a brief description as to why you feel you should be considered. We will then contact you to conduct a longer interview to assess whether you should feature in the report. Your submission will then effectively be your answers to our questions.

You can, of course, send us a full submission, detailing your innovations and why you feel they have added value to the business. In addition, we would welcome any nominations of your peers.

Submissions may be made by in-house teams for themselves and should be sent in both hard and soft copies. Soft copies of the submissions should be emailed to ftresearch@rsgconsulting.com, clearly labelled with the name of the submitting organisation and the category to which the submission relates.

Hard copies should be posted to: RSG Consulting, 103 Sclater Street, London E1 6HR, UK.

If you do not have time to prepare a formal submission, you can still enter your team simply by using the nomination process. To nominate your own team, simply send us an email with your contact details and a brief line entry explaining why you are nominating yourself. We will then contact you to conduct an interview.

If you would like to nominate a team in another company, then simply send an email to us with the name of the company, the general counsel and a brief reason for your nomination.

All nominations should be made via email to ftresearch@rsgconsulting.com, with the subject line “Nomination for FT Innovative Lawyers 2012 in-house section”.

If you would prefer to make your nominations by phone, contact Reena SenGupta via telephone at + 44 20 70 33 9 898.

CONDITIONS OF ENTRY

There is no fee for entering submissions or nominations into the FT Innovative Lawyers Report 2012.

The FT and RSG Consulting accept no responsibility for the loss of or damage to material submitted. Submissions will not be returned.

The FT reserves the right to publish the names of the company, firm or lawyers contained in the shortlist of outstanding entries, details and descriptions of all entries and details of winners. All entrants grant the FT a perpetual, non-exclusive license to publish details and descriptions of entries, and 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 2012 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.

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