McGuireWoods was shortlisted in four award categories in Financial Times’ 2022 North America Innovative Lawyers Report, earning honors for groundbreaking client service, business and social responsibility initiatives.
FT’s 2022 report highlights pioneering work by law firms, in-house legal teams and individuals. Since 2016, McGuireWoods consistently has ranked among the top firms in the prestigious FT report.
The firm was shortlisted for New Services for MWAccel, a service launched in late 2021 that provides customized solutions to help corporate law departments enhance in-house operations and align their departments with their internal business clients. A collaboration between McGuireWoods and affiliate McGuireWoods Consulting, MWAccel leverages the skills and combined knowledge of lawyers, consultants and data scientists to help client legal departments develop business solutions across legal operations.
McGuireWoods also made the shortlist for Client Delivery for developing a customized, mobile-friendly litigation alert program that automates research about new court filings to provide lawyers with the information needed to pitch the firm’s services to clients. The project originated with the firm’s Practice Innovation Office and was developed through collaboration with lawyers and the firm’s marketing and technology staff.
The firm earned recognition in the Responsible Business category for its Appellate Justice Initiative, which is dedicated to protecting the rights of criminal defendants and effecting change in the criminal justice arena. The AJI comprises dozens of lawyers, paralegals and professional staff who volunteer their time to help defendants — especially those affected by racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Team members seek out important and emerging issues in constitutional and criminal law that unfairly penalize criminal defendants and volunteer to provide pro bono appellate representation to these incarcerated clients.
In addition, McGuireWoods was honored for Social Responsibility for publishing an in-depth study of zoning laws and housing segregation in Virginia. The two-part report documented how zoning was used as a tool to create segregated housing patterns and outlined specific reforms to eliminate discriminatory housing policies that perpetuate racial disparities. McGuireWoods real estate and zoning lawyers, land use planners and government relations consultants collaborated on the two-year study, led by McGuireWoods Consulting senior advisor James Dyke and real estate counsel Jonathan Rak.
“We are proud to be recognized for innovations that solve problems for clients, make the justice system more accessible and ensure our communities are stronger and more inclusive,” said McGuireWoods Chairman Jonathan Harmon.
To compile the North America Innovative Lawyers report, FT and research partner RSGi evaluated submissions from law firms, legal services providers and in-house legal teams and conducted interviews with clients, lawyers, executives and experts.