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International law firm Ashurst has been named the Most Innovative Law Firm (Internationally Headquartered Law Firms) at the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Awards Asia Pacific 2018, held on 7 June in Hong Kong.

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The FT Innovative Lawyers Report is one of the top legal rankings across the Asia Pacific,  and its corresponding awards are widely regarded as the best researched in the market, celebrating the most innovative legal work from law firms and in-house legal teams operating across the region. 
Paul Jenkins, managing partner, commented:
"Being recognised as a leader in innovation is a great achievement. Innovation is at the heart of our culture at Ashurst and we are committed to embedding it in everything we do, with our clients and for our clients. The global legal services market is undergoing fundamental change which makes it an exciting time to be in the profession. We have no doubt that innovation will continue to play an integral role in shaping the future of the industry."
The firm also won the award for Innovation in Legal Expertise: Driving Value for its work in devising a new master insurance programme for the Australian Department of Defence Force's maritime acquisition and sustainment projects. The Ashurst team was led by insurance partner Rehana Box. 
Commenting, Rehana Box said:
"We are delighted to have received this market recognition of our achievements. We saw a way that our client, the Commonwealth Government, could better manage risk in Defence maritime projects and achieve significant cost savings in the process. Our client entrusted to us to turn our idea into a reality as a new principal led insurance programme for maritime build and sustainment contractor risks, being the largest marine insurance facility ever placed in the London marine insurance market.  This award is a reflection of the trust our clients place in us and our dedication to using our skills to help our clients do things better."
Global head of finance, funds and restructuring and co-head of innovation, Jamie Ng, added: 
"Initiatives such as Project 90, Integrity Due Diligence and developing an automated transaction bible process, are just a few examples of  how we continue to operate at the forefront of the market in terms of innovation. These awards are a testament to our focus on delivering innovative solutions to our clients, and a reflection of the fantastic people we have at Ashurst who contribute to and drive these innovative and transformative projects."
In addition, the firm received the following accolades:
  • Standout for Technology and Data - Re-engineered and automated the process for creating transaction bibles, the pack of signed documents sent to a client after a deal closes, slashing the time from seven hours to 10 minutes. A new index integrates with the firm's document management system and enables support staff to create the bibles, saving approximately A$1m a year.
  • Highly Commended for Legal Expertise: Managing complexity & scale (International) - Acted as project manager in multiple concurrent transactions for Crown Resorts, including the sale of its interest in Melco Resorts, a casino in Macau. The proceeds were used in capital management initiatives to ensure a strong asset valuation.
  • Highly Commended for Business of Law: New Products & Services - The firm's Integrity Due Diligence service uses a team of lawyers, risk and financial crime specialists to help clients manage risk reporting requirements in an accessible way.
  • Highly Commended for Business of Law: Australia – Implemented a 90-day programme to encourage lawyers, support staff, and project managers to work together solving business problems over a sustained period of time. Outcomes included improved efficiency across the firm, saving an estimated A$1m a year.
  • Commended for Legal Expertise: Enabling business growth - Lawyers combined an existing financial arrangement with a more flexible covenant structure to allow the client to make a A$200m debt investment in clean energy initiatives across its portfolio of shopping centres.
  • Commended Legal Expertise: Dispute resolution - Negotiated a pre-litigation, third-party funding package enabling liquidators to reach early settlement and make recoveries based on claims against former directors of BBY, the collapsed Australian brokerage, for insolvent trading and against the auditors for negligence.
  • Commended Legal Expertise: Accessing new markets & capital (International) - Advised National Australia Bank, which acted as the swap provider on the first covered bond issuance by the Bank of Queensland under new legislation. The transaction sets a precedent for lower rated banks and reduces systematic risks in the event of issuer default.

Innovation at Ashurst

At Ashurst, we take a broad view of what innovation means. We embrace change and strive for continuous improvement in all that we do. To learn more about the diverse ways in which we are innovating to improve outcomes for our clients, business and people, visit out Innovation page.

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