Outstanding Innovator – Christopher Mills, SchillingsSchillings’ chief operating officer, Christopher Mills, clinched the Outstanding Innovator award for his role in transforming the firm from a defamation boutique into a reputation defence business, having recognised how the internet and social media is rapidly changing the backdrop to the market in which the firm operates.

Where the job would have traditionally involved stamping out fires sparked by stories in the Sunday tabloids, Schillings now has to contend with an online world where rumours can spread instantaneously and globally, requiring a different approach to tackling reputation damage and protecting clients’ privacy.

Instead of responding to one-off events, Schillings now works with clients to plan for and anticipate potential problems, developing a strategy to minimise any fallout by drawing on specialists in law, intelligence, cyber security and risk consulting. That could extend to, for instance, helping clients navigate regulatory changes in their particular industry. Mills has been central to these expansion efforts, leading the development and repositioning of the firm, and picking up a number of awards in the process.

“His role as a non-lawyer partner in the firm’s ABS and his achievements reflect the growing importance of non-lawyer managers inside firms,” said Legal Week editor Georgina Stanley.

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