LexisNexis and Janders Dean announce the 2016 Legal Innovation Index Winners
Australasia News

LexisNexis logoCollaboration across law firms, clients and professional service firms has seen a rise in the power and impact of legal innovation this year in Australia and New Zealand, as evidenced by the 2016 Legal Innovation Index announced last night by LexisNexis® and Janders Dean.

Facing stiff competition with a 100 per cent increase in entries this year across organisations, individuals and academics, the 2016 Legal Innovation Index highlights a rise in the embrace of innovative thinking and design, as well as, the realisation of many projects that have been implemented in the past six to 12 months. 

“What we love about this year’s entries is the amount of collaboration between firms, their clients and other specialist law, professional service or technology organisations”, explains Joanne Beckett, Managing Director of LexisNexis Australia. “To see the industry set aside competition and work together for the benefit of the client is very innovative for this sector and a sign that the ‘age of the client’ has come to the fore in Australia”. 

The winning organisations who receive a place on the 2016 Legal Innovation Index are:

  • Allens - Allens has developed Allens Arrow – an integrated and bespoke service to help clients undertake major document production more efficiently and cost effectively through a collaborative team of various specialists.
  • Corrs Chambers Westgarth - Corrs Chambers Westgarth has built Corrs Collaborate, a business enabler developed on a SaaS platform that provides clients with intelligent, automated workflows and services using smart logic to forecast, manage and automate processes that are integrated seamlessly into their in-house legal practices and value supply chains.
  • Gilbert + Tobin - Gilbert + Tobin has created a development program to teach its lawyers and clients to code with 60 of its lawyers learning to design and build a web app, in an Australian first. The company also held a legal ‘Hackathon’ with client Westpac and start up law firm LegalVision to develop working prototypes to automate or refine significant legal and process issues.
  • Herbert Smith Freeholds - Herbert Smith Freehills’ ‘Re-Imagine Legal’ approach and methodology reviews, through a collaborative framework with the client, how legal services can be provided to the business in a different way, aligned to the business strategy and goals. 
  • Pin sent Masons - Pinsent Masons have created the Cerico platform, a compliance solutions and technology business that automates many compliance controls, audits and supplier management for multinational organisations.
  • Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) - RACQ Corporate Legal team has developed an interactive workflow system called ServiceNow, a referral and management system for all legal matters that reduces time inefficiencies through traditional method of instructions and has significantly improved transparency, communication and effective time, capacity and document management.


The winning individuals are:

  • Professor Des Butler - Professor Butler from the Faculty of Law at Queensland University of Technology has created or led the creation of 19 innovations and technology-based projects to enhance the learning of law.
  • Anne-Marie Cade - Anne-Marie Cade launched Divorce Right to make the divorce process more amicable, easier, smoother and kinder using web based technology to automate paperwork and engage a community of professionals. 
  • Katie Miller - As President of the Law institute of Victoria, Katie studied innovators around the world and developed guidance and tools for Victorian lawyers – of all sizes – to adapt, survive and thrive in the changing legal landscape. At the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office, she created the role of Innovation Counsel to create innovation opportunities in the procurement and use of legal services.
  • Claire Smith & Shae McCartney - A joint entry by Claire Smith and Shae McCartney from Clayton Utz sees them being awarded for creating the CU SAFE app – a Serious Accident, Fatality, and Environmental Incident Response Guide to help organisations respond quickly and decisively to serious safety or environmental incidents throughout Australia.
  • Amelia Thorpe - Amelia Thorpe, Senior Lecturer at UNSW Law, has introduced a series of innovations in teaching through experiential approaches encouraging law students to see themselves as active participants in the dynamic fields of planning and environmental law.
  • Claire Wivell Plater - Claire Wivell Plater of the Fold Legal tailors a Costs Agreement with each of her fintech clients that sees her take an Advisory Board appointment, an equity stake in the business and offer discounted rates for legal and regulatory advice for the startups in the fintech and financial services sector.
  • Demetrio Zema - Demetrio Zema is the founder of Law Squared, a new-gen legal offering focused on servicing the needs of entrepreneurs and start-ups through a fixed fee, outcome-based collaborative service while providing a remote, supportive, holistic environment for staff resulting in excellent employee and client satisfaction.

The prestigious panel of judges included:

  • Sue Anderson, Innovation & Service Design Thought Leader
  • Caroline Grimshaw Hill, Editor-in-Chief, Legal IT Insider
  • Melanie Thomas, Legal Counsel, Telstra
  • Sandra Mau, CEO, Trademark Vision
  • Navroop Pandher, Customer Experience & Operations Manager, Lex Machina
  • Brennan Ong, Managing Director, LawAdvisor
  • Matthew Paterson, Legal Operations Manager, Vodafone Global Enterprise
  • Whit Lee, Executive Director, Strategy & Customer Research, LexisNexis
  • Justin North, Founder, Janders Dean

“Again the Legal Innovation Index continues to blow us away each year with the wide range of creativity and design emanating from all areas,” adds Justin North, Director, Janders Dean. “While we expect that from NewLaw firms, this year’s in-house counsel, the top end of town and academia have really stepped up to the plate and are delivering some fantastic thinking. Australia should be very proud of how it is not only handling change in legal practice but smashing it out of the ballpark”.


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