WSG Members Featured in Financial Times Innovative as Top Innovative Lawyers
WSG member firms Colbalt, Ellex, Garrigues, PLMJ and Shoosmiths were recently recognized as top firms for innovation in the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers 2022 Report for Europe.
The report explores key trends and transformations taking place in the legal sector with an index of firms and articles and is the most widely respected published assessments for innovation in the law.
Creating New Standards
The firm helped develop Latvia’s new corporate governance code, which is one of the first codes in Europe drafted with the view that it should apply to listed, state-owned and private companies.
Digital Legal Services
In collaboration with consulting firm Gooliver, the firm launched a digital tool in 2022 to help handle annual assessments of money laundering and terrorism financing risk required by Lithuanian regulators.
The firm is helping Estonia-based telemedicine platform Viveo Health provide Ukrainians with free online medical consultations from volunteers around the world. More than 3,000 patients have been assisted.
Creating New Standards
The firm represented athlete Maris Grenins before the Latvian Supreme Court, which ruled that successful competitors in the Deaflympics — an Olympic Committee-sanctioned event — are entitled to the same cash awards from the state as granted to medal winners at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Sustainable Business of Law
The firm rolled out ESG training on best practice to ensure lawyers are prepared for answering client questions, including the use of a video game as part of the format. Some 700 people have attended training webinars and 250 have completed enough training to reach the firm’s accreditation of “ESG ambassador” to the organization.
The launch of Garrigues Sustainable in 2021 offers clients business law advice, and technical and environmental analysis, spanning 12 service lines relating to environmental, social and governance (ESG) challenges. Legal and non-legal services make up a holistic package delivered by the firm’s lawyers alongside economists, engineers, chemists and biologists from its consulting arm, G-advisory.
In addition, Rosa Zarza, Partner in charge of the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Department, ranked among the top ten European intrapreneurs for her work as coordinator of Garrigues Sustainable and head of the firm’s ESG Committee.
Carolina Pina, Partner with the Intellectual Property Department, was also recognized as one of the top ten most innovative European lawyers (individual practitioner category) for her contribution to building a legal market for the new economy.
The firm ran a campaign to increase take-up of its legal tech tools by all its practice groups. A committee also gathered feedback across the firm to help identify how best to invest in tech over the next few years.
Long Term Strategies for Success
The firm and impact investor group Maze helped Start Campus to win local support for construction of a data centre on the site of a redundant power station south of Lisbon in Portugal.
The firm assisted with the creation of Ephemeral Ethernal, a Portuguese trading platform in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) backed by Vhils, the graffiti artist.
Led by chair Peter Duff, the firm plans to reach net zero carbon status by 2025 and is treating carbon offsetting as a last resort, preferring to implement direct policies to reduce emissions by minimizing the use of business flights taken by staff.
Designing the Client Experience
Shoosmiths8 Connected Services, launched in March 2021, brings together eight different areas of the firm’s work and includes an innovation lab. As part of the firm’s legal services structure, lawyers are motivated to join in.
David Jackson, Chief Executive, was recognized for his commitment to changing how Shoosmiths delivers legal services and launching Shoosmiths8 in 2021.
The first two privately run “nitrate neutrality” schemes in the UK, at Meon Springs and Roke Manor Farm, sell nitrate credits to real estate developers to mitigate the environmental impact of new residential housing developments. The firm created covenants in the land use agreements and is presenting the concept nationally.
The firm launched a “one-stop” service for non-legal compliance work that provides regulatory and business consulting to financial services clients.
To access the full Financial Times Innovative Lawyers 2022 Report for Europe, click here.