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Most innovative law firms 2016: Innovation in culture, brand and strategy

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Total Innovation Score
Originality
Rationale
Impact
Description
StandoutSchillings26899It is not easy for a law firm to reinvent itself: the professional values and status of being a lawyer are deeply ingrained. However, Schillings has had to change as part of its strategy to become a multidisciplinary partnership, focusing on reputation risk. By 2017, half its staff will be non-lawyers. It has broken down its goals into small steps, which staff take after consulting a book of tenets. The firm has also moved to flexible working, where no one has a designated desk or office. The result is a new-style legal, technology and risk business.
StandoutKing & Wood Mallesons24897Used the Hu Trust Model, a corporate framework, to enhance lawyers' understanding of the firm's brand and develop client relationships.
StandoutBerwin Leighton Paisner23887Systematically mapped out how the firm's practice groups work together; this has increased profitability by client and collaboration between lawyers.
StandoutMcCann FitzGerald23788Comprehensively refreshed the firm’s strategy, based on 160 interviews with clients, focusing on concrete actions rather than early press releases.
Highly commendedA&L Goodbody22688Increased transparency and communication levels through an extensive feedback programme with graduates, employees and clients.
Highly commendedAllen & Overy22688Implemented a new measurement framework to test whether its adoption of certain values for which it wanted to be known — “advanced thinking” and innovation — were reflected in internal and external perceptions of the firm five years on.
Highly commendedDWF22787Got its lawyers to co-design technological solutions with experts and then quickly test them. This means that the firm, in connection with a legal start-up, has trained its lawyers and clients to be more tech-savvy.
Highly commendedPinsent Masons22787Improved its approach to client relationship management from junior lawyer upwards; now each client has a formal business plan that cuts across all parts of the firm.
Highly commendedShoosmiths22877Held an unusual roadshow to popularise the firm's strategy of collaboration by asking staff to work together to create brand strategies for controversial individuals such as Donald Trump and companies such as Ashley Madison, the online dating site.
Highly commendedVdA22886Implemented a strategic review that involved every member of the firm, starting with a poll of individuals’ perceptions of the company and ending with clear goals for everyone.
CommendedDentons21786Created a crowdsourcing project to engage 1,700 lawyers and staff across the firm's European offices to design a new intranet.
CommendedPLMJ21786An employee engagement programme to enhance cross-selling and break down cultural barriers across international offices, using an unusual format that involved passports, indigenous cuisine and interactive sessions.
CommendedPwC Tax & Legal Services21777New joiners attend three workshops where they are taught to think creatively about solutions to business challenges and become more innovative.
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