Linklaters, Ashurst, Pinsents and Taylor Wessing among contenders for Legal Week Innovation Awards

In-House Legal Department Innovation winner – Carillion

Linklaters, Ashurst, Pinsent Masons and Taylor Wessing are in the running to be recognised for breaking new ground in the delivery of legal services at this year’s Legal Week Innovation Awards.

The quartet are shortlisted in the showcase Future of Legal Services Innovation category at the awards, which are hosted by Legal Week in association with sister title The American Lawyer, and will take place on 26 May at The Brewery in the City of London.

The line-up for this category is completed by regional firms Ashfords and Harper James, the alternative business structure Lawyers Inc, which is growing a national network of legal advisers, and a joint project by Mills & Reeve, Bond Dickinson and Kennedys for their client AIG Europe. Last year’s winner was Wiggin, which founded a technology company that helps identify commercial-scale counterfeiters by gathering and analysing online data.

The awards, which are in their third year, set out to celebrate the contribution made by lawyers and non-fee-earning staff to the success of their businesses. They cover disciplines including BD, finance, IT, project management, operations, PR and recruitment.

The In-house Innovation category – secured last year by Carillion (pictured) – features Northern Trust, Bazalgette Tunnel Limited (trading as Tideway, which is building a 15-mile ‘super sewer’ under London), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Royal Mail, the board of the Pension Protection Fund, and Vodafone.

There is also an award for international innovation, which was shared last year by Dentons – for the launch of its own technology investment arm NextLaw Labs – and Cooley, which won recognition for its online resource centre for entrepreneurs in London, building on the US firm’s Silicon Valley experience.

Dentons features once again in this year’s shortlist, alongside Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Magnusson, Paul Hastings and Squire Patton Boggs, and offshore firms Conyers Dill & Pearman and Litwak & Partners.

The afternoon will culminate with the Outstanding Innovator Award, which was secured last year by Schillings COO and partner Christopher Mills, who was instrumental in reinventing the firm from a defamation boutique to a reputation defence business.

This year’s judging panel will feature Legal Week editor Georgina Stanley and The American Lawyer’s chief global correspondent, Chris Johnson, working alongside a panel of experts including Dame Janet Gaymer, non-executive member, House of Commons Commission; Peter Crisp, dean and CEO, BBP University Law School; writer and journalist Dominic Carman; and Jeremy Barton, general counsel at KPMG.

Click here to read the full shortlist.

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