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FT Innovative Lawyers 2016 is a rankings report and awards for Europe-based lawyers. Shortlists for the awards comprise the top-scored submissions in each ranking.

The FT and its research partner RSG Consulting have devised a unique methodology to rank lawyers on innovation. Law firms, in-house legal teams and other legal service organisations are invited to submit their innovations. This year, we removed specific category areas and invited law firms to submit work in two broad areas: legal expertise and the business of law. We looked at lawyers’ work from the perspective of the business challenges they were trying to solve rather than their own legal practice areas.

Each submission is researched through a multi-stage process. The first stage, a thorough read of each submission, revealed the key business challenges firms had been asked to solve. Telephone interviews and online feedback from clients and independent referees are required to assess each submission.

Each entry is scored out of 10 points for originality, rationale and impact, for a maximum score of 30. Entries are then benchmarked against each other to arrive at the final rankings.

The in-house lawyers rankings are drawn from nominations as well as submissions, but all entries require third-party validation and commendation, usually from senior colleagues working outside the legal function.

FT 50: Most Innovative Law Firms 2016

The FT 50 ranking is an aggregate of each law firm’s performance across the private practice categories of the report. The scores comprise the following:

Legal Expertise — total score for entries ranked in the following nine categories: accessing new markets and capital; creating advantage for clients through speed and process; creating new collaborations; driving value for clients; general legal expertise; mergers and acquisitions; monetising assets; navigating and influencing regulation; restructurings and reorganisations.

Business of Law — total score for entries ranked in the following seven categories: business development and knowledge management; culture, brand and strategy; new model legal businesses; people; resourcing and efficiency; social responsibility; technology and data analytics.

Total score: total score for entries ranked in all 16 categories listed above.

For the FT Innovative Lawyers 2016 report, 643 submissions and nominations were received from 139 law firms and legal service providers. An additional 115 company in-house teams were researched to create the in-house legal rankings. RSG Consulting interviewed and received feedback from 605 clients, lawyers and experts to arrive at the final rankings. The research was conducted by a team of six RSG researchers between May and September 2016.

Judges

A panel of judges decides the winner for the Innovative Individual of the Year and Young Legal Innovator of the Year awards, from shortlists of 10 and eight respectively.

The judges for Legal Innovator of the Year were:
● Harriet Arnold, editor, Innovative Lawyers, FT
● Catherine Belton, legal correspondent, FT
● Laura Empson, professor of professional services management, Cass Business School
● Bob Gogel, chief executive, Integreon
● Reena SenGupta, chief executive, RSG Consulting
● Michael Skapinker, associate editor, FT
● Josh Spero, deputy editor, Special Reports, FT

The judges for Young Legal Innovator of the Year were:
● Harriet Arnold, editor, Innovative Lawyers, FT
● Rosemary Martin, group general counsel and company secretary, Vodafone
● Reena SenGupta, chief executive, RSG Consulting
● Michael Skapinker, associate editor, FT

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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