We are now accepting entries for the third annual Financial Times Intelligent Business report 2020. The report will continue to explore the convergence of legal and professional services with data and technology, but with a specific focus on how they have helped businesses respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Submissions can be made by both businesses and their solution-providers, such as the Big Four accounting firms, law companies, legal technology companies and other providers, partnerships and alliances. (Law firm initiatives in these areas are covered in the FT’s sister Innovative Lawyers reports and should not be submitted to this report.)

The initiatives submitted should have created impactful business outcomes that can be measured and evidenced.

The FT Intelligent Business report will be underpinned by research by RSG Consulting and commentary from FT journalists. Its publication will be accompanied by a one-day virtual forum and awards event on November 19, 2020.

The rankings 

The categories that will comprise the rankings, awards and editorial for the FT special report are: 

Financial Services

The financial services sector is rapidly evolving with new technology-led products and business models. Fintech companies and challenger banks are now household names and unexpected market entrants from other sectors are moving into financial services. 
We are looking for: case studies from businesses that have entered the financial services sector from other industries, and examples from established financial services companies that are combining technology, data and professional services to provide new or improved services to clients. 

Public Sector

The public sector is under constant pressure to costs and improve service levels. In the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, many have had to digitise their offering or cope with a surge in demand.
We are looking for: Examples of how public services have used technology and data to maintain operations and/or cope with an increase in demand during the pandemic.


Contact tracing is a vital part of managing the spread of Covid-19. Business in automotive, manufacturing, and other sectors have also redeployed their expertise, tools and resources to help manufacture ventilators and other medical and personal protective equipment. 
We are looking for: Examples of different contact tracing solutions and digital solutions for the storage of healthcare records. Businesses that have adapted to offer healthcare equipment or services to help during the crisis. 


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) has estimated that companies lose 9 per cent from their bottom line through ineffective contract management. Better management of contracts can be an important driver of economic value and sustainable relationships for business.  
We are looking for: Examples of companies who are using technology and data to change the way they approach the contracting lifecycle not only to stop value being lost, but also to generate new value for their businesses. 

Intellectual Property

Many companies’ most value assets are now held intellectual property, but they remain challenging to manage and value. As industry sectors evolve and converge, businesses are rapidly having to change their approaches to managing, valuing and monetising their IP. 
We are looking for: Examples of how businesses are using technology and data to better capture, protect, manage and leverage their IP; and how this allows businesses to take different strategic approaches to generating value.  

Supply Chain

Covid-19 disrupted global supply chains, and businesses had to move quickly to protect them. Transparency and visibility have been critical to managing changes in supply and demand as well as to responding in a rapidly changing, global situation.
We are looking for: Examples of how companies have used technology and data to minimise supply chain risk, support their supply chains and manage disruption during the pandemic.

Data — risk management

The Covid-19 pandemic has put risk and crisis management among chief executives’ top priorities. The use of data has become critical to help calibrate risk levels and make strategic plans to mitigate crisis.
We are looking for: Examples from businesses that have taken a data-driven approach to risk and crisis management in the wake of Covid-19.


We are looking for: the top 10 legal business technologists and the top 10 market shapers

Top legal technology companies


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. 

  • How the business case for the solution was built and validated. 

  • 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; have an impact on internal users; benefit clients 

    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 submissions form, found here.
Please contact ftresearch@rsgconsulting.com with any queries.
Each submission should be attached as a separate document, named using the following format: “company name — category — short submission title”.
Video content, images or submissions in other formats are also welcome. 

The forum event — November 19, 2020
Shortlisted and ranked entrants to the FT special report will be invited to share their case studies and ideas in more detail during this virtual forum. 
Delegates will include senior executives from leading companies, including chief legal officers, chief information officers, chief technology officers, heads of sales and senior executives from the solution providers. 

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 online event please contact Abigail Lewis at abigail.lewis@ft.com

September 24, 2020
— deadline for submissions 
October 2020 — shortlists revealed 
November 19, 2020 — FT Intelligent Business Virtual Forum
November 20, 2020 — FT Intelligent Business report is published on FT.com

Conditions of entry 

There is no fee for entering submissions to FT Intelligent Business 2020. 
The researchers reserve the right to move entries from one category to another if they feel it appropriate. The researchers’ decisions are final, and no correspondence will be entered into. 
The FT and RSG Consulting accept no responsibility for the loss or damage of material submitted. The FT reserves the right to publish the names of the firm or lawyers 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 FT Innovative Lawyers 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 trademark. 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 2020 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 Intelligent Business 2020. 
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 firm or organisation. The submitter warrants that it has obtained all necessary consents required under applicable data protection and privacy laws to allow the sharing of any personal data contained in the submission with the FT. 
Contact information will only be used for the purposes of assessing each submission and will be processed in accordance with our privacy policy.

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