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We are pleased to invite submissions from law firms and legal service providers in Europe for the 2012 FT Innovative Lawyers rankings and awards.

Since 2006, this unique analysis has sought to recognise market leaders in the legal industry by measuring and rewarding uniqueness and value delivered to clients – rather than more conventional metrics such as size, revenue and profit.

Indeed, in many legal solutions and management initiatives, how lawyers innovate is often the only way they can differentiate themselves from their peers.

For the past three years, the rankings have focused on a particular theme: change, collaboration and most recently, bold thinking. This year, however, the challenges facing the legal profession are such that innovation itself is the theme that binds.

FT Innovative Lawyers is a joint venture with RSG Consulting, a specialist legal research company with many years of experience analysing the legal industry. One of the top legal rankings in Europe, 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. In 2011, the RSG Consulting research team conducted more than 500 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.

Entry form

Alll submissions for FT Innovative Lawyers 2012 must be made by completing the online entry form.

The categories for 2012 are as follows:

Legal Expertise: Corporate

The section covers innovative legal solutions across any field of corporate law. What were the most innovative deals of the past few years and how have lawyers helped their clients navigate new territory? In all the legal expertise categories we will also be looking at how lawyers are helping clients grow their businesses in emerging markets.

Legal Expertise: Finance

What financial solutions have lawyers developed to help clients through the eurozone crisis? Which solutions are helping investment between Europe and developing economies? The section will rank the most ingenious and significant capital raising, structured finance, restructuring, regulatory or other legal solutions developed over the past few years.

Legal Expertise: Dispute Resolution

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

Legal Expertise: Private Client and Wealth

For the first time, the awards will examine and rank legal innovations for private clients, including wealth management, family and property matters, and private individuals in litigation matters. How can the legal industry help private clients in the challenges they face from succession planning to tax planning?

Client Service

Law firms are service businesses, but all too often clients complain that the service they receive is below expectations. This section will examine the most imaginative strategies and technologies deployed by law firms in terms of their added value services. As companies reduce the size of their legal panels and seek to build stronger relationships, what are law firms doing to strengthen relationships and deliver genuine value?

Legal Industry Pioneers

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 changes in other jurisdictions. What have firms done to embrace new models or seek external capital? Who are the real game changers? Legal service providers from across the legal industry are invited to submit to this category.

Corporate Strategy

How are law firms responding to the economic challenges of the eurozone crisis, changing client expectations 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 clearly position themselves and create a distinctive identity and how they are changing their approach to engaging and developing talent? A sub-category will examine international expansion strategies.

Value Resourcing

Rather than reducing costs, we are seeking those law firms that are changing the way they work to deliver greater value to clients. How are law firms resourcing legal work and support services in smarter ways, whether through using outsourcing, offshoring or other models to improve efficiency and productivity? How are firms ensuring client work is effectively project managed? The section will also examine new uses of technology, including smart technologies for litigation and value-based billing and fee arrangements.

Legal Innovator of the Year

The report will feature the top 10 individual lawyers who emerge through the research as genuine innovators on either a technical or operational basis. We will look for 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 driven industry-wide innovation.

The Awards

The FT Innovative Lawyers 2012 Awards ceremony will coincide with the publication of the rankings. Those interested in taking tables at the event should contact Reda Sebbata, FT Conferences and Events, on +44 (0)20 7873 4110, reda.sebbata@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 award categories according to research results.

The FT Innovative Lawyers Awards are separate to the rankings and will not necessarily follow the same categories or order of the rankings.

Awards categories

Legal Expertise: Corporate

Legal Expertise: Finance

Legal Expertise: Dispute Resolution

Legal Expertise: Private Clients and Wealth

Legal Expertise: Emerging Markets (drawn from submissions to the legal expertise categories)

Client Service

Corporate Strategy

International Expansion (drawn from submissions to the corporate strategy category)

Value Resourcing

Legal Industry Pioneers

Innovative In-house Legal Team

Legal Innovator of the Year

Most Innovative European Law Firm

Outstanding Achievement Award


The deadline for submissions for the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards 2012 is April 25 2012.

The FT Innovative Lawyers special report, published in the Financial Times, and awards ceremony in London will be in October 2012.

How to submit entries

All submissions must be made via the online entry form. Once submitted you will be able to access and modify your submissions any time until April 25 2012.

Video content, images or submissions in other formats are welcomed. Please complete the submissions form for the entry and mark the appropriate box to indicate where any additional material is included.

Attachments and additional material should be emailed directly to ftresearch@rsgconsulting.com (to a maximum 20Mb) clearly labelled with the name of the submitting organisation and the category to which the submission relates. Alternatively, they can be posted to RSG Consulting, 103 Sclater Street, London, E1 6HR, UK.

Rules for submitting

Deadline: the deadline for submissions is April 25 2012.

Time period: the 2012 ranking will assess innovations from January 1 2010.

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.

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

Submissions should be no longer than 1,000 words in total, written in English and answer each of the questions on the entry form.

Assessment of submissions

Submissions will be researched and assessed on their own merits through referee comments and against other submissions in each category. Innovations will be scored for their originality, rationale and impact.

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

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

Conditions of entry

There is no fee for entering submissions to 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.

The FT reserves the right to publish the names of the firms 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. 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.

Contact details

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

For editorial enquiries contact Hugo Greenhalgh on +44 (0)20 7775 6626, hugo.greenhalgh@ft.com

For advertising opportunities and sponsorship opportunities contact Robert Grange on +44 (0)20 7873 4418, robert.grange@ft.com

For enquires about the awards event contact Reda Sebbata on +44 (0)20 7873 4110, reda.sebbata@ft.com

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