Dentons, DLA Piper and Royal Mail Group were among the winners at the third annual Legal Week Innovation Awards, held in London this afternoon (26 May).
The awards, which this year were hosted by comedian Andrew Ryan, aim to recognise the individuals and teams at law firms and other legal service suppliers who are helping to drive their businesses forward with innovation and new thinking.
Dentons took home the International Law Firm Innovation Award for its efforts to build the world’s largest free-to-use lawyer referral programme, Nextlaw Global Referral Network. Since launching in October last year, the network has attracted more than 400 member firms in 175 countries, giving clients access to more than 21,000 lawyers across the international firm’s network.
DLA Piper landed the prize for Client Management Innovation with its WIN initiative, a comprehensive training programme for in-house lawyers. WIN – which operates in 28 cities globally – comprises events, tools, forums and networking opportunities designed to develop and improve the technical, personal and commercial skills needed to work in-house. One judge described it as “easily the best example of how law firms can engage with their clients”.
Hogan Lovells took the award for CSR Innovation for its partnership with the Royal British Legion to offer pro bono legal representation to veterans in war pensions tribunals, as well as the families of those who died during service.
The partnership – described by one judge as “a detailed and far-reaching initiative making a real difference” – has included representing four families at an inquest into the death of five service personnel killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
The coveted award for Outstanding Legal Innovator was given to Raphael Mokades of diversity-focused recruitment agency Rare. Mokades, who set up the agency more than a decade ago, recently launched a new contextual recruitment tool that helps businesses identify talented graduates from untapped backgrounds. So far, more than 20 law firms have signed up, including the entire magic circle.
The winner of the PR & Communications Innovation Award was Mishcon de Reya, for its handling of the media furore around high profile client Gina Miller’s Article 50 legal challenge. Faced with worldwide media interest that was often hostile, the firm’s PR team worked closely with Miller and the firm’s lawyers to draft statements and carefully manage when to involve journalists and when to push back on coverage.
Pinsent Masons was recognised with the Diversity Innovation Award after impressing the judging panel with the firm’s efforts to boost gender diversity among its ranks. The firm’s Project Sky programme, which was launched in 2013 in an effort to remove barriers that hinder the progression of female lawyers, has seen the firm achieve a 25% female partnership, up from 19% at the start of the programme.
The award for In-house Legal Department Innovation Award was won by Royal Mail Group, while other law firm winners included Morrison & Foerster, Macfarlanes and Berwin Leighton Paisner.
Legal Innovation Awards winners in full
Supplier Innovation Award (Technology) Winner – Intapp Highly commended – DealScoper and Tonic Works
Supplier Innovation Award (Services) Winner – Decipher Highly commended – LawBid and Signal Media
Training Innovation Award Winner – Berwin Leighton Paisner Highly commended – Reed Smith
Diversity Innovation Award Winner – Pinsent Masons Highly commended – Bird & Bird
Human Resource Innovation Award Winner – Macfarlanes Highly commended – Hogan Lovells
CSR Innovation Award Winner – Hogan Lovells Highly commended – Allen & Overy and Dechert
Knowledge Management Innovation Award Winner – Vodafone Global Enterprise Highly commended – Gowling WLG
Client Management Innovation Award Winner – DLA Piper Highly commended – BLM
PR & Communications Innovation Award Winner – Mishcon de Reya Highly commended – Mayer Brown
Business Development Innovation Award Winner – CCA ONTIER Highly commended – Ashfords and Morrison & Foerster
Marketing Innovation Award Winner – Morrison & Foerster
In-house Legal Department Innovation Award Winner – Royal Mail Group Highly commended – Northern Trust
ABS Innovation Award Winner – Ignition Law Highly commended – Lawyers Inc.
International Law Firm Innovation Award Winner – Dentons Highly commended – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Squire Patton Boggs
Future of Legal Services Innovation Award Winner – My Home Move Highly commended – Linklaters
Outstanding Innovator Award Raphael Mokades, Rare