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Most innovative law firms in Private Client Work 2012

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Award level
Harbottle & LewisStand-outPre-conception agreements for UK non-traditional families78722Pioneered agreements to set out parents' responsibilities in a child's life. The work followed the firm's lead role in a groundbreaking Children's Act case that has helped bring the law in line with changing attitudes towards the family.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & FlomStand-outRelease of Ron Fuchs from a Georgian prison68721Using an imaginative combination of criminal, civil and commercial legal solutions, the firm secured the release of the Ron Fuchs, the Israeli businessman, from a Georgian prison, and successfully negotiated a substantial cash settlement against Georgia in favour of Mr Fuchs and his business partner.
Lawrence GrahamStand-outNew Bahamas wealth management structure57820Adapted good governance principles to create the Bahamas Executive Entity (BEE), a first-of-its-kind structure designed to carry out executive functions. International Protector Group, the international fiduciary services provider, has since introduced the BEE to Swiss-based trust advisers.
GarriguesHighly CommendedFamily Ties service67619Developed a mechanism and consulting service to help family-run businesses professionalise, allowing them to check the progress of their strategic plan against objective data. To date, the firm has delivered "roadmaps" to companies with a combined revenue of €1.2bn and 4,400 employees.
Mishcon de ReyaHighly CommendedReputation protection and enhancement77519With a unique blend of law and communications, the firm devised a proactive and open strategy to prevent bad publicity for a high-profile client where traditional public relations strategies had failed.
PLMJCommendedChallenging Portuguese inheritance legislation66618The first successful challenge to existing inheritance legislation in Portugal, using court orders to freeze the respondent's assets. The lawyers' strategy resulted in a €2m out-of-court settlement for their clients, and an expansion of the court's powers by enabling it to consider assets that had not been formally part of the deceased's estate.
EvershedsCommendedEnsuring the Lisec heirs received their full entitlement56617Using an aggressive strategy to challenge the conservative Austrian trusts law status quo, the firm achieved a rare dismissal of the board of a private Austrian trust to ensure Lisec heirs received their full entitlement.
Mishcon de ReyaCommendedProtecting the reputation of Coventry City Football Club66517Used the little-known tort of lawful means conspiracy to avoid costly defamation proceedings and protect the reputation of the English football club against a newspaper.
Mills & ReeveCommendedDivorce UK iPhone app56516Invented a free iPhone app that provides a "satnav" to the legal and financial processes involved in divorce, video advice from senior family lawyers and a court finder to help pinpoint the nearest court.
Tuca Zbarcea & AsociatiiCommendedWorld heritage site ownership dispute56516Ensured that the Putna Monastery, a world heritage site, triumphed in a controversial ownership dispute with the Romanian state. The firm's strategies were crucial to achieving an irrevocable judgment in the monastery's favour.
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