FT Innovative Lawyers Awards: Allen & Overy wins most innovative law firm in Europe

In what was a very successful night for Magic Circle law firms Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters, Allen & Overy last night (4 October) won the prized ‘most innovative law firm in Europe’ award at the FT Innovative Lawyers 2018, as A&O partner Jonathan Brayne also jointly won legal innovator of the year.
Brayne – who is the chairman of A&O’s legal tech accelerator Fuse but was quick to thank colleagues including Fuse head Shruti Ajitsaria – won jointly with Julia Salasky, founder of A2J startup CrowdJustice. Cuatrecasas won European law firm in Europe outside of the UK. It also received recognition for its innovation programme Cuatrecasas Ventures.
A&L Goodbody won most innovative law firm in Ireland, while Mason Hayes & Curran won the innovation in legal expertise category for its work in streamlining Ireland’s conveyancing process.
Freshfields won the innovation in the business of law, technology category for its work on Volkswagon’s diesel emission  litigation in which it has developed a platform combining HotDocs, Neota Logic and Kira Systems. The Magic Circle firm also received an award for work on an associate intrapreneurship programme involving 788 associates and the launch of “numerous apps”. A&O received recognition for its fintech startup Nivaura, while in new products and services Baker & McKenzie was recognised for its Compliance Cockpit tool.
The awards this year made sure that for most private practice awards there was a corresponding in-house award and there were repeat shortlistings for the teams at Aviva, Blackstone Real Estate, The Carlyle Group, ING Bank and Veon. In the end it was Amsterdam-headquartered telecom services company VEON that bagged both the most innovative in-house legal team in Europe and most innovative general counsel in Europe, which went to group GC Scott Dresser.
Click here to see a video with the winners.
In-house winners:
Managing and developing talent: Dell EMC
Accessing new markets and capital: UBS
New products and services: Aviva
Technology: Nasdaq (for developing a new tool which uses machine learning to monitor the increasing volumes of data generated by financial trading activity to identify and combat crime.)
New business and service delivery models: The Carlyle Group
Data, knowledge and intelligence: Wartsila Corporation
Creating a new standard: Aviva
Enabling business growth: International Finance Corporation
Strategy and changing behaviours: ING Bank
Managing complexity and scale: Blackstone Real Estate
Most innovative GC in Europe: VEON group GC Scott Dresser
Most innovative in-house legal team in Europe: VEON