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Herbert Smith Freehills has been recognised in the 2017 Janders Dean and LexisNexis Legal Innovation Index for the third consecutive year. The awards were announced last night at a ceremony in Sydney.

The prestigious award recognises Herbert Smith Freehills’ success in fostering a culture of innovation and utilising cutting–edge technology to enhance collaboration and achieve outstanding results for clients.

One example of the firm’s innovative culture recognised by the award was its recent campaign to crowd-source innovative ideas from lawyers and business services professionals across its global network.

Using The Vision Lab, an online tool powered by artificial intelligence, participants were able to submit and vote on innovative ideas. Over 1,485 partners and staff submitted 419 ideas that received over 57,000 votes. The top three ideas are now being developed.

Herbert Smith Freehills’ Chief Operating Officer, Nicole Bamforth, said: “Innovation is a key part of our global strategy and we are relentlessly focussed on embedding a culture of innovation right across our firm.

“We want to transform the way we think and work in order to deliver the best outcomes for our clients. A key part of this is tapping into our most powerful asset: our people.

“By using technology and working collaboratively to crowd-source ideas, we’ve been able to unlock creativity and leverage the diverse array of expertise and knowledge right across the firm. This has empowered our people and connected them more closely to the future success of our business.”

The award also recognised a recent project undertaken by Herbert Smith Freehills solicitor Samantha Loff as part of the  firm’s first pro bono digital innovation secondment. In collaboration with Justice Connect and Neota Logic, Samantha helped to develop Australia’s first web app that helps not-for-profit organisations to understand their income tax status.

Sue Gilchrist, Regional Managing Partner, Australia & Asia, commented on the significance of the award, saying: “We are proud to be recognised by the Legal Innovation Index for the third consecutive year. The award is welcome recognition of the fact that we don’t just talk about innovation, we practise it every day, across all aspects of our business for the benefit of our clients.”

Janders Dean launched the Australian and New Zealand annual Legal Innovation Index for the legal industry in 2013 with the support and sponsorship of LexisNexis. Now in its fifth successful year, the 2017 Legal Innovation Index seeks to provide national recognition to the most innovative firms and legal teams in Australia and New Zealand.