Australia and New Zealand’s first Legal Innovation Index announced today that AdventBalance, Chen Palmer, Emil Ford, Gilbert + Tobin, King& Wood Mallesons, Marque, Maurice Blackburn, Pod Legal, Watermark and Westpac are the trans-Tasman Top 10 legal innovators.

Launched by LexisNexis and Janders Dean at the sixth annual Janders Dean Legal Knowledge & Innovation Conference in Sydney, the recipients have been recognised for a range of innovations that differentiate themselves from their peers and that deliver superior value to clients and increased competitiveness in a tighter and more demanding market specifically:

•    AdventBalance: Approach to internal communication and knowledge sharing

•    Chen Palmer: Pioneering nature of the firm’s ToolBox project and the unique approach to reverse mentoring

•    Emil Ford: Innovative implementation of processes allowing for high speed, low cost and high quality service provision.

•    Gilbert + Tobin: Innovative strengths-based approach to people management, and their diversity programs.

•    King & Wood Mallesons: All-round innovation and excellence with specific mention of learning and development and legal project management

•    Marque: Innovative culture and social responsibility

•    Maurice Blackburn: Showing innovation across all criteria including their CALC outreach program and their attention to corporate social responsibility

•    Pod Legal: Innovative branding, communication and expertise promotion

•    Watermark: Innovative approach to Intellectual Asset Management and Patent Mapping

•    Westpac: Innovative approach to in-house legal department management and specific areas including contract management

“Innovation will be the key driver in establishing competitiveness as the legal profession advances in Australia and New Zealand,” explains TJ Viljoen, CEO of LexisNexis Asia Pacific. “With increased automation of basic services and a massive shift in client service delivery and client expectations, companies must innovate to both attract new clients but also to protect their current business as the market contracts”.

“The reason we developed the Index is to set a benchmark that all legal firms and in-house counsel can aspire to,” adds Justin North, Director, Janders Dean. “Everyone recognises the industry is changing at a rapid pace but it sometimes takes public acknowledgment of the successful innovation that is already out there for other firms to take a closer look at their practices and think about where they can innovate.”

The judging panel for the Index comprised Peter Williams, Centre for the Edge at Deloitte; George Beaton, Beaton Research & Consulting; Denise Farmer, LexisNexis Pacific; Justin North, Janders Dean; Nicole McKenna, McKenna BDF; Angela Jacobsen, NZLawyer & New Zealand Law Awards; Alexandra Rose, The Benevolent Society and Jennifer Ireland, University of Western Sydney.