Allen & Overy takes top prize at Financial Times Innovative Lawyer Awards for record fifth time

Allen & Overy has been announced as the ‘Most Innovative Law Firm in Europe’ at the prestigious Financial Times Innovative Lawyer Awards.  Of the fifty firms that appear in the rankings, A&O is the only one to have topped the list five times.  The results were announced at the awards ceremony held at the Natural History Museum in London last night and are published in the FT’s Innovative Lawyers Report 2017. 

On this overall win, senior partner Wim Dejonghe comments: “Innovation is at the heart of our culture at A&O and we strive to embed it in everything we do, with our clients and for our clients. We are very proud that this award recognises our efforts and achievements in this arena across a broad spectrum of legal and business innovations.”  


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A&O was recognised for a raft of innovations both in client work and internally, including winning the Collaboration category for a partnership with Deloitte to create a machine learning product for the process aspects of large transactions. Of this win, Jane Townsend, head of A&O’s Legal Services Centre in Belfast who worked with Deloitte on the collaboration comments: “This is fantastic recognition of two organisations coming together to use their combined expertise to find new ways of working.” 

In addition, A&O’s Advanced Delivery solutions received a ‘Standout’ commendation, as did ‘i2’, a team of technologists who help A&O staff realise their ideas for improving the use of IT. A&O’s work for VEON on its joint ventures with CK Hutchison was ‘Highly Commended’, as was work advising investors to successfully seek redress under the Energy Charter Treaty. Work as part of the IMF-backed bailout of Ukraine, structuring and implementing the largest ever World Bank guarantee and the World Bank’s first trade finance programme was also recognised as ‘Highly Commended’. There were also two ‘Commended’ entries, one for work using a standstill agreement for Metinvest to prevent smaller creditors calling in debts against the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and one for A&O’s two-year charity partnership with health development agency Amref in Tanzania. In the individual categories partner and head of A&O’s global restructuring and insolvency practice, Mark Sterling, was shortlisted as Innovator of the Year for his work delivering innovative solutions for clients over a number of years.

Now in its eleventh year, the FT Innovative Lawyers Report is regarded as one of the top legal rankings in Europe and the accompanying awards the best researched in the market.   

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