The Financial Times (FT) named global law firm White & Case LLP the "Most Innovative" law firm in North America for 2020 in its 11th annual North America Innovative Lawyers report, published on December 10. White & Case was also named the number one "Most Rounded Performer" in the report.
"Most Innovative" marks White & Case as the firm that performed best "both in terms of their rounded performance in 2020 and in their use of data and technology across all aspects of their business," while the "Most Rounded" designation marks White & Case as the firm with "the most robust, resilient and responsible approach" to its business in 2020, according to FT.
"In 2020, these awards amply demonstrate our ability to be creative and innovative for clients, and in the way we operate as a business," said partner David Koschik, White & Case Vice Chair and a member of the firm's Executive Committee.
White & Case's overall top ranking in FT's report was the result of the firm's high placement in numerous categories, including wins in the "Client relationship management" and "Social justice and rule of law" categories, and a third place finish in the "Most digital" category.
In its report, FT observed, "The overall winning law firm in the Innovative Lawyers awards this year, White & Case, showed its commitment both to clients' evolving needs and making a social impact. On the former, it has been re-engineering its relationship with long-term client Deutsche Bank. In this, it has moved from a partner-led, transaction-focused approach to one that now involves more of the whole firm, aligning it better with the bank's products and services. More transparency, real-time reporting and new cost structures, driven by the firm's project technology team, have won it more work, despite Covid slowing down some activities."
"As for social responsibility," FT continued, "White & Case set out the legal strategy that won a novel class action case for 30,000 children in Michigan who had been exposed to lead poisoning. The firm's success enabled the children to have access to special educational resources. White & Case's legal technology team played an important role, helping the lawyers assess thousands of documents, and its audiovisual team created powerful deposition videos for the trial."
According to FT, the rankings are based primarily on submissions received, but also include fresh research, surveys and other qualitative research methods to uncover legal innovation. Research was conducted by RSG Consulting, which considered 247 submissions and nominations from 71 law firms and 35 in-house legal teams.