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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 founded RSG Consulting in 2001 to provide research and consultancy to law firms and in-house counsel. With nearly 30 years’ experience of business and the City, she is known as one of the leading analysts of the legal profession. As editor and publishing director of Chambers & Partners Publishing in the mid-nineties, she devised the research methodology behind the Chambers’ guides to the legal profession and launched the first Chambers Student and Chambers Global guides. In 2005, Ms SenGupta came up with the idea of ranking lawyers on innovation, which has become the FT Innovative Lawyers reports and awards. She is a long-time contributor to the Financial Times and helped to establish the paper’s Law & Business page in 2001.

Ms SenGupta has experience of both big and small businesses and spent the early nineties working in investment banking in London and rescuing a family-owned graphic design business out of recession. A journalist, entrepreneur and now senior consultant, Ms SenGupta is responsible for coming up with the ideas for a number of ground-breaking projects for both clients and RSG Consulting. Among these are the RSG India Report and the Innovative GC Club. She is a regular public speaker on innovation and the legal profession, is a graduate of the Meyler Campbell Elements coaching programme and an Asian Woman of Achievement.

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. In 2016 the FT passed a significant milestone in its digital transformation as digital and services revenues overtook print revenues for the first time. The FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of more than 910,000 and makes 60% of revenues from its journalism.

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 a global law company, providing consulting, technology and services to law departments and law firms. The company’s team of lawyers, engineers, consultants and business experts extend and enable the resources and capabilities of customers worldwide. Elevate is the most-used law company according to the 2017 State of the Industry Survey published by the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) and has been ranked as a top global legal services provider by Chambers & Partners for five years in a row.

Partners (4)

DocuSign helps organizations connect and automate how they prepare, sign, act-on, and manage agreements. As part of our cloud-based System of Agreement Platform, DocuSign offers eSignature – the world’s #1 way to sign electronically on practically any device, from almost anywhere, at any time. Today, more than 425,000 customers and hundreds of millions of users in over 180 countries use DocuSign to accelerate the process of doing business and to simplify people’s lives.

HighQ empowers leading law firms and corporate legal teams to transform the way they work and deliver legal services. We unite internal and external teams with social collaboration, secure file sharing, digital transaction management and more, improving data security, efficiency and productivity.

We provide ‘Legal input. Business output.’ to the in-house legal, risk, contract, compliance and related functions. Via our three service lines – managed services, projects and licensed technology – we help in-house teams evolve their operating model so that the right work is done by the right people at the right price, whether the work is undertaken internally or externally. We license our service delivery and workflow platform to in-house teams of all sizes. This proven technology automates processes, helps team members make better and quicker decisions and is underpinned by comprehensive reporting and dashboards.

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. Our full-time highly trained attorneys, process experts, legal technologists, statisticians and linguists work closely with our clients to 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 the Financial Times as an FT Intelligent Business 35, ACC as an ACC Value Champion, 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. To learn more, 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