We were shortlisted for the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Awards 2019, held in London last night. These awards celebrate the most innovative law firms in Europe based on independent research, assessing law firms on their innovation both for clients and in their own businesses.

Our firm was recognised in the category ‘Innovation in the business of law: Strategy and changing behaviours’ for structuring our management responsibilities in the hands of a chief operating officer (COO) and managing partner, bringing in new management practices, training for lawyers and investment in technology. This year we were the only law firm from our region to have been nominated in this category. The Financial Times acknowledged Sorainen for “pursuing a strategy of integration and cultural unification that enables it to be the only law firm that operates as a single entity across the Baltics and Belarus”. 

Comments Sorainen managing partner Laimonas Skibarka: “This recognition demonstrates that our connected approach successfully supports innovation and puts our firm among leading innovators in the legal market in Europe. Operating as a single organisation across four countries allows us to connect ideas, expertise, services and teams in new ways that create added value for our clients.”

New management structure: COO and managing partner

In 2018 we were the first law firm in the Baltics and Belarus to appoint a chief operating officer (COO). Sorainen COO Leda Iržikevičienė took overall charge of Sorainen management together with managing partner Laimonas Skibarka. Handing over the firm’s steering wheel to a management professional who is not a lawyer helped us to spur change and innovative developments across the firm.

Comments Leda: “Innovation and openness to new ideas is an important part of the Sorainen culture. This mindset helps us to develop solutions ensuring effective management and smooth internal processes. Last year, in addition to new management structure, we introduced major changes in the knowledge management field and new technological solutions which enhance services to our clients. We are delighted that these innovations have achieved this recognition at European level.”

From professional support lawyers to new legal technology

Our recent successful innovations also include:

  • First professional support lawyers in the Baltics and Belarus. A new position – professional support lawyer ‒ was introduced for developing our legal know-how (document templates, precedents, practice notes etc). This helps to increase efficiency and quality of our work on client assignments.
  • Adoption of design thinking, agile methodologies and process mapping. These new methodologies have enabled us to overcome challenges related to assigning resources, implementing new initiatives and improving existing tools and processes.
  • Debriefings. The debriefing process was created and adopted by all our legal and tax teams, allowing for best practices to be raised, stored, shared and adopted firm-wide.
  • New legal technology and innovation process. A process was created to promote value-adding legal technologies and innovations in the firm. This has led to implementation of several new collaboration, document automation and artificial intelligence tools, such as MS Teams, Avokaado and Luminance.
  • Centres of Excellence. We introduced firm-wide centres of excellence, making it easier to assign lawyers with the exact set of skills and expertise to every specific case. That way our clients can take advantage of the best available resources in our different offices and teams.

About the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards

Now in their 13th year, the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards are widely regarded as one of the most prestigious in the market. The results are based on independent research carried out by RSG Consulting and robust journalism from the Financial Times. During the award ceremony, FT Innovative Lawyers report rankings are also revealed.