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FT Innovative Lawyers Awards North America 2017

New York |
Speakers include:
Michael Skapinker

Michael Skapinker

Financial Times

Reena SenGupta

Reena SenGupta

RSG Consulting


Now in its eighth year of publication and covering the US, Canada, and Mexico, the FT North America Innovative Lawyers Report has become one of the top legal rankings in the region.

The FT Innovative Lawyers Report and Awards represent a unique analysis of the legal industry, assessing lawyers on their innovation both for clients and in their own businesses. We base both the report and awards on thorough research and robust journalism.

We celebrated the standout legal innovations of 2017 at an awards ceremony in New York on 11 December.

fallback Add to my Calendar 12/11/2017 18:45:0012/11/2017 23:45:00falseFT Innovative Lawyers Awards North America 2017Now in its eighth year of publication and covering the US, Canada, and Mexico, the FT North America Innovative Lawyers Report has become one of the top legal rankings in the region.The FT Innovative Lawyers Report and Awards represent a unique analysis of the legal industry, assessing lawyers on their innovation both for clients and in their own businesses. We base both the report and awards on thorough research and robust journalism.We celebrated the standout legal innovations of 2017 at an awards ceremony in New York on 11 December.FT-Innovative-Lawyers-Awards-North-America-201717aec2472fb71add137d8a850f1b359bMM/DD/YYYY

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Presented by (2)

Michael Skapinker

Michael Skapinker

Contributing Editor and Columnist
Financial Times

Michael Skapinker is an FT contributing editor and columnist on business and society. He is also executive editor of the FT-IE Corporate Learning Alliance, the FT’s executive education arm. Born in South Africa, he began his journalistic career in Greece. He joined the FT in London in 1986 and has held many positions, including FT Weekend editor, FT Special Reports editor and management editor.

He received the Work Foundation Members’ Award for his contribution to the understanding of working life in 2003 and was named WorkWorld Media Awards Columnist of the Year in 2008. At the Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards he was named Business Commentator of the Year (2012) and Business Ethics Commentator of the Year (2015).

Reena SenGupta

Reena SenGupta

Chief Executive Officer
RSG Consulting

Reena SenGupta is an expert analyst of the global legal profession. She founded RSG Consulting, an international legal strategy consultancy, in 2001. The company is the architect and research partner to the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Reports in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific. Last year marked the tenth anniversary of the report.

Reena’s experience analysing and commentating on the legal profession stretches over two decades, following stints at investment banks and running a small design business in the early 90s. She was Publishing Director and Editor of various publications at Chambers & Partners, the legal publisher and regularly contributes to the FT. Her experience and position at the forefront of the field, on a global level, is reflected in collaborations with institutions such as Harvard and Georgetown Universities.

2017 Winners




Innovation in the rule of law and access to justice

Hogan Lovells

Innovation in the rule of law and access to justice


  • Chubb
  • Nestlé Group

Innovation in collaboration


  • Buchwald Capital Advisers
  • Burford Capital
  • Stevens & Lee

Innovation in the business of law: Data, knowledge and intelligence

DLA Piper

Innovation in operations: Data, knowledge and intelligence


Innovation in the business of law: Technology

Perkins Coie

Innovation in operations: Technology


Innovation in the business of law: New business and service delivery models

Davis Wright Tremaine

Innovation in operations: New business and service delivery models

DXC Technology

Innovation in the business of law: New products and services

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

Innovation in operations: New products and services


Innovation in the business of law: Managing and developing talent

Paul Hastings

Innovation in operations: Managing and developing talent

Walmart Stores

Innovation in the business of law: Strategy and changing behaviours

Baker McKenzie

Innovation in operations: Strategy and changing behaviours

Mondelez International

Innovation in legal expertise: New markets and capital

Weil, Gotshal & Manges

Innovation in legal expertise: New markets and capital

International Finance Corporation

Innovation in legal expertise: Driving value

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

Innovation in legal expertise: Enabling business growth

Kirkland & Ellis

Innovation in legal expertise: Enabling business growth


Innovation in legal expertise: Litigation and Disputes

Hogan Lovells

Innovation in legal expertise: Litigation and Disputes


Innovation in legal expertise: Managing complexity and scale

Sullivan & Cromwell

Innovation in legal expertise: Managing complexity and scale


Most innovative general counsel

William Deckelman, DXC Technologies

Legal innovator of the year

Stephen Manning, Innovation Law Lab

Most innovative in-house legal team in North America


Most innovative law firm in North America

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe


2017 Shortlist

Law firms, legal service providers and in-house legal teams:

ACLU San Diego
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
Anheuser-Busch InBev
Baker McKenzie
Ballard Spahr
BMO Financial
Bristol Myers & Squibb 
BT Americas
Buchwald Capital Advisors
Burford Capital
Cravath, Swaine & Moore
Credit Suisse
Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.
Crowell & Moring
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg
Davis White Tremaine
DLA Piper
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Gowling WLG
Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner
Hogan Lovells
IBM Corporation
Innovation Law Lab
International Finance Corporation
Kasowitz Benson Torres
Kirkland & Ellis
Labaton Sucharow
Latham & Watkins
Lincoln Financial
Littler Mendelson
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Mayer Brown
Mondelez International
Morrison & Foerster
Nelson Mullins
Nestlé Group
Norton Rose Fulbright
O'Melveny & Myers
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt
Paul Hastings
Paul, Weiss
Perkins Coie
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan
Ropes & Gray
Seyfarth Shaw
Shearman & Sterling
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Squire Patton Boggs
Stevens & Lee 
Sullivan & Cromwell
The Coca-Cola Company
University of California
University of Pennsylvania Law School
Walmart Stores
Weil, Gotshal & Manges
White & Case
Williams Mullen
Winston & Strawn


Research Methodology

FT Innovative Lawyers Europe 2017 is a rankings report and awards for North America-based lawyers. Shortlists for the awards comprise the top ranked submissions in each section of the report.

The FT and its research partner RSG Consulting have devised a unique methodology to rank lawyers on innovation. Law firms, in-house legal teams and other legal service organizations are invited to submit their innovations. These are then fully researched through telephone interviews. No entry appears in the FT report or awards shortlists without a robust client or independent reference. Market experts are also called in to assess the submissions and the research.

Each entry is scored out of 10 points for originality, leadership and impact for a maximum score of 30. They are then benchmarked against each other to arrive at the final rankings and shortlists. Lawyers are ranked for delivering exceptional value to business.

The In-House Lawyers rankings and awards shortlists are drawn from nominations as well as submissions, but all entries require third party validation and commendation.


While the FT Innovative Lawyers awards are researched, a panel of judges is used to decide the winner of the Innovative Individual award from a shortlist of ten individuals who stood out in the research.


2017 Photos

To view photos from the 2017 event please click here




Up to 550 global legal professionals will attend this year.

Black tie

Awards fee does not include travel or accommodation costs.
For information on hotels nearby please visit here.

Photographs taken on the night will be available to view and download from our website two days after the event. 


Agenda - 11th Dec

  • 6:45pm
    Guest Arrival, Registration and Networking Champagne Reception
  • 7:30pm
    Welcome Remarks
  • 7:40pm
  • 9:00pm
    Awards Ceremony

    Presented by

    Reena SenGupta, CEO, RSG Consulting

  • 10:45pm
    Post-Event Networking Drinks
  • 11:30pm


Awards Dinner Individual Ticket x 1


Awards Dinner Individual Ticket x 2


Awards Dinner Individual Ticket x 3


Awards Dinner Individual Ticket x 4


Awards Dinner Individual Ticket x 5


Awards Dinner Individual Ticket x 6


Awards Dinner Individual Ticket x 7


Awards Dinner Individual Ticket x 8


Awards Dinner Individual Ticket x 9


Awards Dinner Table for 10


Awards Dinner Table for 11


Awards Dinner Table for 12




The New York Public Library
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Celeste Bartos Forum
Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street (entrance on 42nd Street)
New York City 10018

United States of America


Presented by (1)

Financial Times Live (FT Live) is the global conferences and events division of the Financial Times Group. Chaired by senior journalists from the Financial Times Group, the summits, conferences, awards and strategic forums organised by FT Live gather the world’s brightest minds and most influential decision-makers.

Exclusive on-stage interviews, stimulating presentations and lively panel debates – available on multiple content platforms – provide the cutting-edge insights, unique personalities and peer audience engagement that have the power to transform finance, business, politics, society and culture.

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing essential news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community, the FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of 840,000. Mobile is an increasingly important channel for the FT, driving more than half of total traffic.

Research Partner (1)

RSG Consulting is a research and strategy consultancy, founded in 2001. It specialises in working for professional service firms, with a special focus on ranking and assessing lawyers that dates back to the early 90s. RSG carries out commissioned and independent research on topics that include innovation, the development and future of the profession and emerging legal markets. It helps law firms and legal departments differentiate themselves, through innovation, brand or strategy projects. It came up with the idea behind the FT Innovative Lawyers programme and is the FT’s research partner on the reports and awards globally. All research is conducted by senior consultants, who are also regular public speakers at partners’ conferences, to in-house legal departments, and are business coaches. RSG created and curates the Innovative GC Club, offers innovation benchmarks to both private practice and in-house legal departments, and has created a unique development programme to help lawyers tap into their creativity. RSG’s CEO Reena SenGupta was responsible for creating the ranking methodologies that underpin the Chambers & Partners guides and turning the Chambers rankings into world-class assessments of law firms in the mid-nineties.

Lead Sponsor (1)

Elevate is the business of law provider of strategy, operations, technology and talent for legal departments and law firms. Our lawyers, strategy and change consultants, data analysts, process engineers, and technologists help legal teams transform the way they work. Ranked by Chambers & Partners as a top global legal service provider, by the ACC as a Value Champion, and by Inc. magazine as the #53 fastest growing private company of 2016, Elevate is a trusted provider to Global 1000 corporations and the law firms that serve them.

Partners (4)

As the pioneer and global standard for Digital Transaction Management (DTM) and eSignature, DocuSign® is changing how business gets done by empowering more than 300,000 companies and more than 200 million users in 188 countries to send, sign and manage agreements digitally. DocuSign eliminates printing, faxing, scanning and overnighting paper documents to transact business online quickly, easily and securely – anytime, anywhere, on any device – with trust and confidence. DocuSign enables individuals and organizations of every size, industry and geography to make every agreement digital to keep life and business moving forward.

HighQ works with leading law firms and in-house teams to transform the delivery of legal services. Our secure collaboration, project management and process automation platform empowers legal teams to drive transactional efficiencies, digitize legal services and deliver an engaging, end-to-end client experience. More than 50 percent of the top 100 global law firms and some of the largest in-house legal teams use HighQ’s platform for legal service innovation and digital transformation.

Our award winning Intelligent Legal Operations Platform is transforming the way that in-house legal departments work and provide services to their organizations on a global basis. Kim is a leading edge software company that applies artificial intelligence capabilities to knowledge automation. It’s highly adaptable platform is empowering knowledge workers at major organizations to take control of critical business processes, without the need for any form of custom coding, to improve decision making, speed and effectiveness.

QuisLex is an award-winning legal services provider that specializes in managed document review, contract management, compliance services, legal spend management and legal operations consulting. We employ operational excellence, Six Sigma based quality processes and ISO certified data security to support large-scale, complex legal projects for companies and law firms. Our full-time highly trained attorneys, process experts, statisticians and linguists, work closely with our clients to help reduce cost, mitigate risk and maximize efficiency. QuisLex is regularly acknowledged as a leader in the legal services industry, and is proud to be recognized by Chambers and Partners as a Band 1 Legal Process Outsourcing Provider, New York Law Journal as a Top Managed Document Review Services Provider, and the IACCM as its Outstanding Service Provider for contract management solutions. For more information, please visit

In-house Awards Sponsor (1)

White & Case is a truly global law firm, uniquely positioned to help our clients achieve their ambitions in today's G20 world.

As a pioneering international law firm, our cross-border experience and diverse team of local, US and English-qualified lawyers consistently deliver results for our clients.

In both established and emerging markets, our lawyers are integral, long-standing members of the community, giving our clients insights into the local business environment alongside our experience in multiple jurisdictions.

We work with some of the world's most respected and well-established banks and businesses, as well as start-up visionaries, governments and state-owned entities.

Contact Us

Caolan Howe
Media Partner and Press Enquiries
Financial Times