How does the commercial legal profession need to change to improve, diversify and remain successful? If you know the answer – or have some ideas – then Legal Week needs your help.

As part of Legal Week’s new LegalWeek CONNECT event, which looks at how law firms should be reinventing aspects of their business, from technology to people, we are running a competition to find the best new ideas.

There’s a £5,000 prize for the winning team, with the competition open to anyone working in a law firm or in-house team who is not a partner, with law students also encouraged to apply. The deadline for entries is Friday 27 October.

The winning idea must address one or all aspects of the question: how can the legal profession change to better manage generational differences, inclusivity and diversity for future business success?

The idea, which must be unique, does not have to focus on legal advice and can instead deal with law firm management and operations, or education and training.

The winner will be chosen by a high-profile judging panel that includes Dr Sandie Okoro, senior vice-president and World Bank general counsel; former AB InBev chief legal officer Sabine Chalmers (pictured); EVP and chief business affairs and legal officer at PayPal, Louise Pentland; and Jeremy Barton, the general counsel of KPMG UK.

In addition to the prize money, the winning team will get a write-up on Legal Week and our sibling titles The American Lawyer and LegalTech News.

The project could involve a single law firm or in-house legal department, or address an industry-wide issue.

The deadline for entries is 27 October, with a shortlist of the top 10 ideas to be announced at the beginning of November. The winner will then be confirmed on 29 November as part of the LegalWeek CONNECT event.

A host of top names from law firms and the world of business will join a line-up including Rugby World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward and BBC presenter Naga Munchetty at the event, which will be followed by the British Legal Awards.

It features 10 keynote speakers including entrepreneur and investor Azeem Ibrahim, ethical hacker Jamie Woodruff, former TalkTalk CEO Baroness Harding of Winscombe, Wired editor-in-chief Greg Williams and former Ratners Group CEO Gerald Ratner.

More than 80 global law firm leaders and general counsel have been involved in creating the event, with 14 signed up as ambassadors. These include Berwin Leighton Paisner managing partner Lisa Mayhew, Ashurst managing partner Paul Jenkins, Macfarlanes senior partner Charles Martin, White & Case London head Oliver Brettle and Dentons global chief executive Elliott Portnoy.

For details of how to enter the LegalTalent challenge, click here.

To register for Legal Week Connect, please visit

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