A&O has been named as the ‘Most Innovative Law Firm in Europe’ for a record sixth time at the prestigious Financial Times Innovative Lawyer Awards. This is the second time A&O has won the accolade in consecutive years.
The results were announced at the awards ceremony held at the Natural History Museum in London on Thursday 4 October 2018 and are published in the FT’s Innovative Lawyers Report 2018.
Speaking about this record breaking win, senior partner Wim Dejonghe comments: “We strive to be innovative in all aspects of our business so that we can deliver the best service for our clients. To receive this award for a sixth time is testament to all the hard work everyone at A&O puts in to making sure we continue to lead the way in innovation.”
A&O also had success in other categories. Jonathan Brayne, founder and chairman of Fuse, was jointly recognised as the Legal Innovator of the year. Commenting on his accolade, Jonathan said: “Innovation demands two things: a brilliant idea and then the ability to implement that idea successfully in your organisation. My contribution has been to help implement, but that can’t happen without the spark. So the real winners of this award are my friends and colleagues at A&O who have provided the spark.”
Additionally, A&O received a ‘Standout’ commendation for their support of fintech start-up Nivaura on the world’s first fully automated end-to-end cryptocurrency bond issuance. The issue, which was conducted within the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s innovation programme “sandbox”, incurred only a fraction of the banking, clearing and advisory costs of a traditional bond as it eliminated the need for intermediary third parties and paves the way for smaller businesses to access the bond market.
The firm was considered ‘Standout’ for their legal technology strategy and ‘Highly Commended’ for their online legal service business, AOsphere, which provides cross border online legal data, and their tech innovation space, Fuse. In the Rule of Law and access to justice category, A&O rated as ‘Highly Commended’ for their defence of Romanian high court judge, Dr Camelia Bogdan, who, at great personal cost, imposed the first important corruption convictions against powerful businessmen and politicians.
A&O was also rated as ‘Standout’ in the new products and services categories for BrexitMatrix, – a cloud-based tool that embeds complex legal analysis and offers document automation, data management, workflow management, project management and data visualisations.
Now in its thirteenth year, the FT Innovative Lawyers Report is regarded as one of the top legal rankings in Europe and the accompanying awards the best researched in the market.