FTIL 2021

The First Innovative Lawyers Global Award
The Collaborative Innovation Award

We are inviting leading organisations to collaborate to develop innovations that will improve the global legal industry.

FTIL 2021

The First Ever Global Award
FTIL Collaborative Innovation Award

We are inviting leading organisations to collaborate to develop innovations that will improve the global legal industry.


Designed to encourage legal ecosystem innovation and bring everyone together

Our contribution

For 16 years, the FT & RSGI have recognised innovation in the legal industry. Now, we are introducing a new award to foster industry-wide innovation and collaboration, where we also leverage the Innovative Lawyers community of innovators to facilitate new connections. In a significant step away from previous Innovative Lawyers awards that recognised  innovation completed in the prior year, the new award specifically rewards forward-looking projects with an emphasis on ecosystem-scale innovation.

Collaboration to improve the global legal industry

Industry-wide challenges such as the lack of simplicity, accessibility and speed require diverse teams. Our new global award will encourage law firms, corporate legal departments, law companies and technology firms to come together to address collective action problems.

Ideas should cover tech-enabled solutions to systemic problems that require the engagement of three or more different stakeholders.

More than an award

The new, FT Collaborative Innovation award is more than just the first ever global Innovative Lawyers award. It is a call-to-action for forward-thinking organisations to lead legal innovation at an ecosystem level. It is for organisations and individuals who want to leave a mark and be recognised for their global leadership.

Participants will have the unique opportunity to leverage the Innovative Lawyers global community of over 500 law firms, 750+ corporate legal functions, all the legal technology companies, law companies and other professional service firms operating in the legal sector. Additionally, RSGI, the FT’s research partner, will actively help facilitate connections to potential collaborators globally.

Successful projects that make the regional finals will be covered in the FT and remain on FT.com for the duration of 2021, which will amplify – and multiply – participants’ success, as well as ecosystem impact. It is a one-off opportunity for the legal industry to co-create systemic and widespread change.

FTIL 2021

Award Categories

Business of Law

E.g: document automation; contract management, learning and development; law firm or corporate legal function management etc

Legal Practice Area

E.g: Private equity, M&A, Litigation, Intellectual Property, Finance etc

Industry Sector

E.g: real estate, financial services, healthcare, pharma, FMSG etc

Business/Social Challenge

E.g: cyber-security, sustainability, compliance, access to justice

Entries will be given points on the following criteria

Breadth of collaboration

How many different stakeholders were involved from law firms, corporate legal teams, law companies, technology or legal tech providers

Cognitive diversity

How cognitively diverse were the teams and how was this shown through the process? Points will be awarded for teams that field people from different organisations, industries, professions and/or generations with different skills.


How user-focused was both the process to come up with the solution and the solution itself.


Solutions should leverage data and established and emerging technologies.

Potential industry impact

Submissions should also estimate the potential impact on industry-wide practice.

Speed and efficiency

Points will be awarded for teams who can get their idea to a prototype or minimum viable product quickly. The current record for a participating law firm and in-house legal team is three weeks.

First ever Innovative Lawyers Global Award that runs along the Innovative Lawyers calendar.

There are 5 rounds, where finalists FROM ANY REGION will be announced at an Innovative Lawyers event and feature on FT.com.

Round 1

Innovative Lawyers APAC

13 May 2021

Heat deadline:
16 April 2021

Round 2

Innovative Lawyers/RSGI Global Summit

15 June 2021

Heat deadline: 7 June 2021

Round 3

Innovative Lawyers Europe

14 October 2021

Heat deadline: 14 September 2021

June 2022
Innovative Lawyers Collaborative Innovation Awards

The Innovative Lawyers Collaborative Innovation award is designed to break down boundaries between:
— organisations (competitors and peers)
— different players in the legal industry
— different jurisdictions
— different skillsets and approaches

The FTIL Collaborative Innovation award is designed to break down boundaries between:

We are looking to create information overflow and recombinant innovation. In the 1970s, innovation boomed in Silicon Valley due to the horizontal social connections between different tech entrepreneurs. The more an idea could be socialised, the more likely it was to work. The Home Brew Computer Club, for example, is famous for introducing Steve Wozniack and Steve Jobs, the founders of Apple to each other. The FT Collaborative Innovation Award will seek to provide a platform for individuals or organisations with industry-changing ideas to come together to develop them into implementable plans, prototypes and minimum viable products.

As important as the idea is the way people work. Points in this award will be given to broad sets of collaborators that can show how they have harnessed cognitive diversity, design-thinking that puts the consumer of legal services first and digital technologies to deliver potentially industry-wide impact.

How to participate

Any organisation or individual working in the legal industry in any part of the world can participate, including people working in law firms, corporate legal teams, legal technology companies, and other legal service providers.


REGISTER: Register your organisation using the online form

Click here to register


JOIN: Successful registrants will receive an invitation to join the collaboration platform

We will send you an invitation shortly.


LAUNCH: Launch a project and begin the collaborative innovation process

Launch a project and begin the collaborative innovation process.


COLLABORATE: Invite collaborating organisations to join the project

Collaborate across law firms, corporate legal teams and technology providers to develop the project. RSGI can help facilitate connections into the Innovative Lawyers community who may have an interest in joining your collaboration project.



Develop your project focusing on usability, design, cognitive diversity, digital, and potential industry impact.


SUBMIT: Submit your project for regional and global awards consideration

Submit your project to the FT Innovative Lawyers regional finals. You will also be invited to submit your project for the Global FT Collaborative Innovation Award by 31 March 2022. A special event on 20 June 2022 will feature the most noteworthy projects from around the world, and global winners in different categories will be announced.

RSGI will lead weekly workshops with design and technology experts to help you to accelerate the development of your collaborative innovation project.


The Financial Times has true global reach, with nearly 2 million people reading it each day. With the highest reach of C-Suites in Europe and the fourth highest globally, the Financial Times has the ability to reach your targeted audience more than any other media company.

On a monthly basis, the FT brand reaches 26.6 million readers across all platforms (monthly average across print and digital) Source: FT Monthly Global Reach 2018 assured by PwC

FT InfographicsFT InfographicsFT InfographicsFT Infographics

RSGI is a strategy consulting, research and content generation business for the legal industry and professional service firms. It has a unique position in the legal market globally as a connector and its networks of lawyers are unrivalled. All its work is underpinned by robust research and it has been the author of many thought-leadership studies for clients over the past 20 years. It has a track record of organising stand-out events of all types including conferences and training sessions, both in person and digitally.

RSGI came up with the idea to rank lawyers on innovation in the early noughties, which became the FT Innovative Lawyers programme, to which it acts as research and content partner. With a mission to accelerate and drive change in the legal industry, RSGI also works in emerging markets such as India to help drive up standards of professionalism and client care.