A lawyer in his full court dress of wig and gown, participates in a rally to protest against legal aid cuts, across from the Houses of Parliament in central London, Friday, March 7, 2014. The protest coincides with a nationwide demonstration of non-attendance of lawyers which will affect hundreds of cases across the country. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
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The Financial Times is pleased to invite submissions from Asia-Pacific-based general counsel and in-house legal teams to the 2015 FT Innovative Lawyers rankings and awards.

In-house lawyers have been an engine of innovation in business and the legal industry across the globe. In the Asia-Pacific report, we will continue to recognise in-house teams that are enabling their businesses to grow and succeed, and the general counsel driving change within business, industry and the profession.

The FT Innovative Lawyers programme is now in its 10th year in Europe and sixth in the US and North America. It is a unique programme that assesses commercial lawyers on their innovation both for clients and in their own businesses. The programme consists of a rankings report and an awards event, based on independent research and robust editorial investigation.

Across all the regions it covers, 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 the business.

FT Innovative Lawyers is a joint venture with RSG Consulting, a legal research company with decades of experience analysing the legal industry. The report has become one of the top legal rankings in Europe and the US, 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 want 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 threat. This includes processes, compliance, governance and 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.

How to submit

■ Innovations can cover the whole department or a particular division or initiative.

■ Submissions should provide contact details for the general counsel and at least one internal commercial reference.

■ The innovation must be primarily driven out of an Asia-Pacific office of the business.

■ Submissions and nominations are invited on any innovative process or practice put into place since January 2014.

■ Submissions and any additional material you wish to include should be emailed to ftresearch@rsgconsulting.com, clearly labelled with the name of the submitting organisation.

How to nominate

■ 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.

To do either of the above, please provide details using the online nominations forms.

Assessment of submissions

■ Submissions and nominations are assessed according to their Originality, Business alignment, Value creation and Impact.

Each of the four criteria is scored out of 10, to give a total score out of a maximum of 40.

The awards event

■ The awards event will be held at the Asia Society in Hong Kong on 10 June.

■ Shortlists for the awards will be announced, and shortlisted nominees contacted in April.

■ For more details of the event contact Reda Sebbata on reda.sebbata@ft.com.

■ At the award event, the FT will recognise the top scoring entries in each of the categories of the report including the ‘Most innovative in-house legal team’.

Schedule and deadlines

■ 6 March: Deadline for submissions

■ 10 June: Awards event at the Asia Society, Hong Kong

■ 11 June: Publication of the FT Asia-Pacific Innovative Lawyers Report

Conditions of entry

■ There is no fee for entering submissions to FT Asia-Pacific Innovative Lawyers 2015.

■ 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 firms, companies 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 Asia-Pacific Innovative Lawyers 2015 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, ftresearch@rsgconsulting.com

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

■ For advertising opportunities or other research sponsorship opportunities please contact Stephanie Collier, the FT’s global associate director for professional services and technology, on +44 (0)20 7873 4597 or stephanie.collier@ft.com

■ For enquiries about the launch event please contact Reda Sebbata, director of operations, APAC of FT Live Global Conferences and Events, on +44 (0)20 7873 3837 or reda.sebbata@ft.com

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