DLA Piper has been named 'Game Changing Law Firm of the Past Ten Years' by the FT Innovative Lawyers awards, at a ceremony held in London's Natural History Museum attended by over 500 legal professionals.
Now celebrating its tenth year the FT Innovative Lawyers awards is the only ranking of its kind to focus solely on the innovation of legal organisations. The awards were accompanied by a special FT Innovative Lawyers report in which DLA Piper was described as:
"Pioneer of the Swiss verein structure, under which affiliates remain separate entities, the firm led in showing the profession how to achieve ambitious internationalisation without the pain of a full merger. It also led in listening to clients and positioning itself as a business-led law firm."
Sir Nigel Knowles, DLA Piper Global Co-Chairman, was also listed as an Innovative Individual. He was praised for taking a Yorkshire-based firm to one of the largest firms in the world in just 19 years through the use of the verein structure. The report states: "Sir Nigel's commitment to making the structure work meant that other firms have followed suit and the structure is now considered commonplace in the profession as a way to expand internationally."
In the Intellectual Property category the firm received standout recognition for the work that partners, Adam Cooke and Lisa Haile, carried out for the International Stem Cell Corporation in a case concerning the patenting of stem cell inventions.
The firm also received several commendations, including, in the Client Service category for its relationship with Heineken, in the Corporate and Commercial category for its role acting in Allied Minds' initial public offering and further commendation was given in the Finance category for the firm's role in acting for ING Bank in the financing of the Gherkin acquisition.