DLA Piper is pleased to announce it was ranked second by the Financial Times for both the Most Innovative and Most Digital law firm in the FT North America Innovative Lawyers 2020 report. The inaugural Most Digital award is based on the firm’s use of data and technology across all aspects of its client service and business. These impressive overall firm rankings are in addition to being commended in four individual categories.
DLA Piper’s pro bono work was included in the “Social justice and rule of law section” of the report. The Financial Times editors noted that the case studies included in the report “…reflect some of the best practice emerging” from law firms that “have harnessed the law to overturn inequities.”
DLA Piper was cited in this section for its: “1,400 hours of pro bono support to food banks and food distribution organisations since January.” This work included helping with employee safety, supply chains, food storage, applications to the Paycheck Protection Program and advising related to the use of National Guard troops in food distribution. The Financial Times also noted that the firm provides pro bono legal counsel to the UN's World Food Programme.
The firm’s digital health work during the COVID-19 pandemic was recognized in the “Multidisciplinary teams” category. From the outset of the pandemic, DLA Piper lawyers have continuously monitored federal and state governmental actions to alleviate regulatory obstacles to safe access to care and advised clients around how to use these new flexibilities to expediently set up remote healthcare service pathways, stymying the continued spread of the virus. Led by Kristi Kung, the editors noted that “the firm’s digital health practice consists of an eclectic mix of experts including a doctor, a biostatistician, a health economist and a former member of Congress, most of whom are also attorneys. These experts work together to advise clients in areas beyond legal advice…These different perspectives allowed the DLA Piper team to approach challenges multi-dimensionally and structure innovative solutions.”
The publication also recognized DLA Piper partner Edward “Smitty” Smith, deputy managing partner of the firm’s Washington, DC office, as an individual leader for his work advising T-Mobile on its acquisition of Sprint and for his help to “increase internet access across the US” – especially for children in low income and rural households.
Partner Daniel Garen was commended in the category “Digitising the practice of law” for the firm’s creation of the Compliance Atlas app, which: “allows clients to access compliance documents … on their mobile phone. The firm works with companies to tailor the app to their policies for a fixed fee. The app is then editable and owned by the company.”
For four years in a row, DLA Piper has been recognized by the Financial Times as one of the top legal innovators in North America.