We are pleased to invite submissions from law firms and legal service providers in Europe for the 2013 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.

We have simplified the assessment criteria for the FT Law 50 ranking in 2013. More details on the methodology are included at the end of these guidelines.

FT Innovative Lawyers is a joint venture with RSG Consulting, a specialist legal research company with decades of experience analysing the legal industry. One of the top legal rankings in Europe, the accompanying FT Innovative Lawyers Awards are widely 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 2012, the RSG 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.

Private practice categories for 2013

1. 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 grow and expand into new markets?

2. Legal expertise: finance

What financial solutions have lawyers developed to help clients through the European downturn? 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 in recent years.

3. 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.

4. Legal Expertise: private wealth

A private wealth section 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?

5. 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?

6. 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, seek external capital or prepare for new entrants into the market? Who are the real game changers? Legal service providers from across the legal industry are invited to submit to this category.

7. 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.

8. 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, 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.

9. Innovative Individuals

The report will feature the top 10 individuals who emerge through the research as genuine innovators on either a technical or an operational basis. We will look for the individuals who devised the most original ideas, or 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 awards ceremony will coincide with publication of the rankings in October 2013. Those interested in taking tables at the event should contact Aneliese Seaman, FT Conferences and Events, on +44 (0)20 7775 4288 or aneliese.seaman@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 categories of available awards according to research results.

■ Please note that 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

1. Legal expertise: corporate

2. Legal expertise: finance

3. Legal expertise: dispute resolution

4. Legal expertise: private wealth

5. Client service

6. Corporate strategy

7. International expansion (drawn from submission to corporate strategy)

8. Value resourcing

9. Legal industry pioneers

10. Innovative in-house legal team

11. Innovative General Counsel

12. Innovative Individual

13. Most innovative European law firm (outside the UK)

14. Most innovative European law firm

15. Outstanding achievement award


■ 12 April 2013 – deadline for submissions

■ October 2013 – publication of the FT Innovative Lawyers report in the FT and awards ceremony in London

How to submit entries

■ All submissions must be made through the online entry form. Once submitted you will be able to access and modify your submissions any time until 12 April 2013.

■ Electronic copies of all submissions must also be emailed to ftresearch@rsgconsulting.com. Please label documents clearly with the name of the submitting organisation and category to which the submission is being made.

■ Attachments and additional material should be (to a maximum 20Mb) clearly labelled with the name of the submitting organisation and the category to which the submission relates, or posted to RSG Consulting, 103 Sclater Street, London E1 6HR, UK.

■ Video content, images or submissions in other formats are also welcome. Please complete the submissions form for the entry and mark the appropriate box to indicate that additional material is being sent.

Submission format

■ All submissions must provide the following details and address the originality, rationale and impact criteria as set out below.

1. Description of the innovation: including key dates, parties involved and other relevant background.

2. Originality: Why is the work or initiative innovative? Which elements are most original?

3. Rationale: Why was this specific approach taken? What was the thinking process behind the solution? What market changes does it respond to?

4. Impact: What was the impact of the innovation for the client, firm or key stakeholders? How can its success be measured? Where did the lawyers deliver the most value?

5. Referees: All submissions must include contact details for an internal and external reference who can be contacted to discuss the details of the innovation on a confidential basis

Nominations are also invited for the following report and award categories:

• Innovative Individual

• Legal Industry Pioneers

• In-house Legal Team

• Innovative General Counsel

• Special Achievement Award.

Rules for submitting

■ Time period: the 2013 ranking will assess innovations from 1 January 2011.

■ 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 to FT Innovative Lawyers 2013.

■ 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 fully researched and will be assessed on their own merits, through extensive interviews with referees. The RSG Consulting research team also uses circles of independent experts in the assessment process. Entries will be judged 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 and client or external referees must be included on every submission.

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

■ All submissions are assessed by specialist legal market research company RSG Consulting, which uses a process of interviews with clients, submitting lawyers and experts. The submissions are then scored against a bespoke ranking methodology, devised to assess innovation in law firms. The three key indicators used are originality, rationale and impact. Each indicator carries a total of 10 points. The submissions in each category are benchmarked against each other in the scoring process. The top ranked innovations therefore represent the best out of all the submissions received.

FT Law 50

■ We have simplified the assessment criteria for the FT Law 50 ranking. In 2013, law firms will now be ranked solely by the total score for all RANKED entries in the following categories of the report:

1. Legal expertise: corporate

2. Legal expertise: finance

3. Legal expertise: dispute resolution

4. Legal Expertise: private wealth

5. Client service

6. Corporate strategy

7. Value resourcing

■ Ranked scores are the only metric which will be used to compile the final FT Law 50. This is the same method which has been used to compile the FT Innovative Lawyers US FT Law 25 in 2011 and 2012.

Conditions of entry

■ There is no fee for entering submissions to FT Innovative Lawyers 2013.

■ 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 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 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 2013 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 7033 9898, ftresearch@rsgconsulting.com

■ For editorial enquiries please contact Rohit Jaggi at the FT on +44 (0)20 7873 3714, 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

■ For enquires about the awards event please contact Aneliese Seaman, FT Conferences and Events, on +44 (0)20 7775 4288 or aneliese.seaman@ft.com

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