woman engineer looking at various information in screen of futuristic interface.

We are pleased to announce a new ranking, report and awards from the FT’s Innovative Lawyers series that will highlight effective ways to solve the commercial and legal challenges that affect business operations.

This new initiative will look at how companies and their service providers have turned challenges into opportunities to gain a competitive edge.

We seek to cover the other professional services firms who are coming into the legal sector, such as the Big Four accountancy firms — as well as large, established technology companies; smaller, newer tech businesses; and the “new law” ventures, which are meeting enterprise-wide challenges that might previously have been handled by law firms.

The Financial Times Intelligent Business report and forum in November will include rankings of the most effective approaches to these challenges, underpinned by robust research from RSG Consulting, and commentary from FT journalists. Its publication will be accompanied by a one-day forum and awards in San Francisco on November 14, 2018 for companies and their service providers.

The rankings

Companies and their service providers are invited to submit their solutions to eight broad challenges:

• Speed to market

The legal process too often obstructs the sales cycle because of the time required to assess risk, negotiate terms and sign contracts. The goodwill of a deal can be lost because of overcautious lawyers. Many “new law” providers are helping to unlock business value and turn legal teams into enablers of competitive advantage.
We are looking for: examples from companies and their service providers where the removal of inefficient, or even just standard, ways of conducting legal processes has meant the company hasbeen able to raise revenues or profitability.

• Contracts

For many companies, contracts are key commercial assets and the cornerstone of their business. Too often they are inefficiently managed. The International Association of Commercial Contract Managers (IACCM) estimates that companies lose 10 per cent from their bottom line through ineffective contract management. Now a plethora of contract management systems and technologies is attempting to tackle the problem.
We are looking for: examples of companies that have made a tangible improvement to their businesses through better contract management.

• Supply chain

Poor management of supply chain risk can be costly for revenue and reputation. Some companies are developing ways to manage these risks better by tapping into different suppliers that are marshalling a range of expertise to bring in new answers to problems. For example, in a recent legal competition, a young group of lawyers and technologists came up with an “internet of things” innovation that placed temperature-sensitive cameras into garment factories to monitor working conditions in real time.
We are looking for: new solutions that minimise the supply chain risks and/or provide remedies when breaches occur.

• Litigation

A perennial challenge for companies, litigation is both costly and time-consuming. Some companies are trying to turn trials into positive experiences. Litigation funding, for example, has been growing fast over the past decade.
We are looking for: companies that have their litigation costs under control, and also creating stronger profit and loss accounts, and the suppliers that are helping them do that.

• Data

With new regulations such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) coming into force, managing data is both a compliance challenge and a business opportunity. The area of legal data is neglected in most companies and in many cases, poorly defined. However, new suppliers are enabling businesses to assess, interrogate and manage their legal and commercial data with surprising results.
We are looking for: organisations that have developed genuine data strategies that are delivering positive value or in some way changing how business is conducted.

• Managing the cost of legal services

Managing legal expenditure and enforcing legal service agreements are often time-consuming, wasteful tasks for corporate law departments. Legal expenditure in general is often seen as a necessary but painful overhead. However, many companies are using new technologies and processes to take control of legal spending, supported by a crop of emerging suppliers that are devising products to control such expenditure.
We are looking for: entries from companies and suppliers that are taking either a wholly different approach to legal expenditure or can show they have cut costs while maintaining value.

• Cyber security and privacy

A growing sense among corporate leaders that cyber security attacks are inevitable, as well as new privacy laws in Europe, present an increasingly complex challenge for international companies.
We are looking for: case studies that show how companies and their service providers are managing these risks and even turning them into advantages.

• Collaboration

More businesses are trying to ensure that different corporate functions work together to achieve smoother operations and growth.
We are looking for: examples of internal corporate collaboration that have originated from within the company or been enabled through a supplier (be it tech company, consulting firm or other business) and that have tangibly enhanced the performance of the business.

Methodology to assess submissions
As for the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers reports, we will take a case-study approach to assessing companies and their suppliers, with an emphasis on results. Suppliers and corporate functions (legal, sales, HR, finance, IT and operations) can submit up to three case studies that detail how they have tried to tackle the listed challenges.

Submissions will need to detail:

  • The scope of the challenge.
  • A description of the solution and how it was implemented.
  • The impact of the solution, such as the degree to which it has been able to: reduce costs; increase revenues; increase the speed of commercial transactions; increase share price; reduce the risk exposure.

The submission must include details of an internal reference and the client, both of whom will be interviewed. Submissions will be benchmarked against each other and assessed on the strength of the client reference.

Who should make submissions
Companies and service providers including, but not limited to, technology companies; professional service firms; and other “new law” businesses.

How to submit entries

All submissions must be made via the online submission form, found here.

Each submission should be uploaded as a separate document, named using the following format: “CHALLENGE — company name — short submission title”.

Video content, images or submissions in other formats are also welcome.

Shortlisted and ranked entrants to the FT special report will be invited to share their case studies and ideas in more detail at a one-day forum in San Francisco.

Delegates will include the C-suite from leading companies, including chief legal officers, chief information officers, chief technology officers, heads of sales and senior executives from the service providers.

Conditions of entry

There is no fee for entries to FT Intelligent Business 2018.

The researchers reserve the right to move entries from one category to another if they feel it appropriate. The researchers’ decisions are final and they will not enter into any correspondence.

The FT and RSG Consulting accept no responsibility for loss or damage of material submitted.

The FT and RSG Consulting reserve the right to publish the names of the company or individuals contained in the shortlist of outstanding entries, details and description of all entries and details of winners. All entrants grant the FT a perpetual, non-exclusive licence to publish details and descriptions of entries as referred to, and also agree to participate in publicity reasonably requested by the FT regarding their entry. The FT acknowledges that copyright in all entries remains vested with the entrants.

If you are shortlisted for, or win, an award, then the FT may at its discretion allow you to use the relevant logo on your marketing materials. You acknowledge that FT is the owner of the logo and all related goodwill and agree that your use of the logo must be in accordance with any applicable FT branding guidelines in force from time to time or any instructions from the FT, that you will not use it as part of a composite mark or logo, and you will not use it in a manner which causes or is likely to cause confusion or a misleading association between your business and the FT, or damage to FT’s goodwill or reputation, or to the validity of any FT trade mark. FT may terminate your right to use the logo at any time.

Please do not include any confidential information in your entry that you do not wish to enter the public domain because the FT is unable to guarantee that such information will not be published as set out above. Any inclusion of confidential information in an entry is at the entrant’s sole risk and responsibility and in knowledge of the FT’s request not to do so.

The FT reserves the right to cancel, postpone or suspend FT Intelligent Business 2018 at any time and to exclude any entries which it considers are inappropriate or do not comply with these terms and conditions. False or deceptive entries will render the entrant ineligible and such entries will be discarded.

The FT and RSG Consulting cannot accept responsibility for, or liability arising from, entrants taking part in the awards. To the fullest extent permissible by law, the FT and RSG Consulting exclude liability for all loss, damage or claim arising as a result of your entry to FT Innovative Lawyers: Intelligent Business 2018.

These terms and conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law. Disputes arising in connection with the awards shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

By submitting an entry, entrants will be deemed to have read, understood and agreed to these terms and conditions on behalf of their company or organisation.

As part of submitting to the report we require you to provide contact information for references for each submission. This data is classed as personal data under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). By submitting to the report, you confirm that you have obtained the necessary permissions or consents to provide any personal data contained in your submission to us under GDPR.

Contact details

For research questions, please contact RSG Consulting on +44 (0) 20 7831 0300, ftresearch@rsgconsulting.com

For editorial inquiries please contact Harriet Arnold, Special Reports assistant editor, at harriet.arnold@ft.com (please include “Intelligent Business” in subject line of any email)

For advertising opportunities or other research sponsorship opportunities please contact Robert Grange, global franchise development director at the FT, at robert.grange@ft.com or +44 (0) 20 7873 4418

For enquires about the launch event please contact Reda Sebbata, FT Live Conferences and Events, reda.sebbata@ft.com or on +44 (0) 20 7873 4648


  • October 2018 — shortlists revealed
  • November 14, 2018 — Intelligent Business Forum, San Francisco
  • November 15, 2018 — Intelligent Business report is published in print and on FT.com
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2024. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section

Follow the topics in this article


Comments have not been enabled for this article.