Bond Dickinson has been recognised as one of Europe's most innovative law firms in the FT Innovative Lawyers Report, ranking 14th in the FT 50: Most Innovative Law Firms and Legal Services Providers 2017.

The FT Innovative Lawyers Report was compiled by the FT, alongside its research partner RSG Consulting, who have assessed legal innovation through interviews, extensive research and analysis including robust client, independent, and expert references.

Findings of the report were celebrated yesterday (4 October) at an award ceremony which recognised and showcased law firms and in-house legal departments who are leading the way on innovation for clients and their own businesses. More than 1,000 submissions and nominations were received at this year's awards.

Bond Dickinson was praised across three categories including: Collaboration, Managing Talent and Rule of Law:

  • Collaboration: Bond Dickinson was Highly Commended for working in tandem with rival firms Kennedys and Mills & Reeve in order to support major insurer AIG Europe Ltd, enhancing AIG's leading insurance product for the SME markets, by giving its policyholders access to a range of commercial legal advice
  • Managing Talent: Bond Dickinson was Highly Commended for its award-winning apprenticeship scheme, which provides an alternative route in the legal profession and has increased retention rates for its paralegal staff
  • Rule of Law: Bond Dickinson was Commended for its CSR efforts, partnering with the University of Greenwich Legal Advice Centre, developing a pro bono small business advice clinic to help unemployed aspiring entrepreneurs set up their own business.

Nigel Emmerson, Head of Innovation, said: "We are delighted to have been recognised for our innovation drive and praised for projects where we have demonstrated novelty and initiative. We firmly believe that the legal sector needs to embrace innovation in order to remain competitive, relevant and progressive, which is why we set up our Innovation Group to help identify potential innovation opportunities and coordinate initiatives and projects across the firm. The relentless pace of innovation however means that we need to keep challenging ourselves to think differently about how we can deliver the most value to our clients and our people."

Earlier this year, Bond Dickinson was ranked in the Top 5 firms for innovation in the Best Legal Adviser Report for 2016-2017. The report also revealed that innovation in law firms has become of paramount importance to clients – in 2015 only 28% said it was important whereas in 2016 this rose to 62%. Bond Dickinson was ranked in the Top for both Overall Innovation and Alternative Low Cost Centres.

Combining with US firm Womble Carlyle, Bond Dickinson are consolidating their national reputation and regional heritage under one powerful transatlantic brand. Womble Bond Dickinson will have more than 420 partners and 1,000 lawyers across 8 offices in the UK and 16 offices in the US. This combination will enable the firm to provide an enviable transatlantic platform for further local, regional and international growth putting Womble Bond Dickinson in the UK's top 20 and in the top 80 in the US listings.