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We are pleased to invite submissions from European general counsel and in-house legal teams for the 2016 FT Innovative Lawyers rankings and awards. Since 2006, this unique analysis has sought to recognise market leaders and drivers of change in the legal industry by measuring and rewarding uniqueness and value delivered to business.

FT Innovative Lawyers is a joint venture with RSG Consulting, a legal research company with decades of experience analysing the legal industry. It has become one of the top legal rankings in Europe and the accompanying FT Innovative Lawyers awards are regarded as the best researched in the market.

The intensive research process includes in-depth interviews with referees, expert commentators and market research surveys. Your submissions will help us to continue this unique analysis of the legal industry. The in-house section of the FT Innovative Lawyers report is supported by Allen & Overy.


This year we will continue to feature general counsel and in-house teams that have demonstrated innovation in one or more of the following areas:

As lawyers: have there been any standout transactions, matters or substantive legal advice where the legal department’s contribution has been critical to business growth or survival?

As operational managers: this includes managing the internal legal function, use of technology, knowledge management systems and talent and engagement programmes. It also includes contract management programmes.

As purchasers: this includes managing external legal service providers, costs, service-level agreements, panel arrangements and procurement processes in general.

As strategic advisers: this includes where the function has partnered with the business to give commercial, strategic advice that has significantly enhanced the organisation.

As risk managers: how has the legal department pre-empted problems or secured the business from threats? This includes processes, compliance, governance or proactive collaborations with other functions.

As thought-leaders: this includes where in-house lawyers have taken on a lobbying role and changed or influenced legislation, regulation or industry approaches. It also includes promoting greater diversity in the legal sector and other ethical or socially responsible initiatives.


We will also be including a sub-ranking in the section that looks at how general counsel have effected transformational change in their businesses over the past two years. Often GCs take on roles that require them to implement best practice quickly to bring the legal function up to speed. Successful implementation is as important as creativity to innovation and this sub-ranking will recognise GCs falling into this bracket.


Submissions and nominations are invited on any innovative process or practice put into place since January 2014. The innovation must be primarily driven out of a European office of the business. Innovations can cover the whole department or a particular initiative. Submissions should provide contact details for the general counsel and at least one internal commercial reference.

Nominate yourself: we are aware that in-house teams are extremely busy and often lack the time to send full submissions. If you do not have time to complete a full submission, you can nominate yourself and the RSG research team will follow up with a telephone assessment of your innovation.

Nominate a peer: you can also nominate a peer or in-house legal team at another organisation.

Submissions and any additional material you wish to include should be emailed to and clearly labelled with the name of the submitting organisation, or find an online submission form here.


April 29 2016 (now extended): deadline for in-house submissions and nominations

October 5 2016: FT Innovative Lawyers awards event in London

October 6 2016: publication of the FT Innovative Lawyers report


There is no fee for entering submissions to FT Innovative Lawyers 2016.

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 company 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 2016 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 7831 0300 or at

For editorial enquiries please contact Josh Spero, ‎commissioning editor, Special Reports, Financial Times, at

For advertising opportunities or other research sponsorship opportunities please contact Stephanie Collier, global associate director at the Financial Times, on +44 (0) 20 7873 4597 or at

For enquires about the awards event please contact Abigail Lewis, marketing executive at FT Live at or 020 7873 4765.

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