Ropes & Gray Honored for Innovation by Financial Times

Practices: Litigation, Health Care, Intellectual Property Tags: Diversity

Ropes & Gray was named one of the five most innovative law firms in North America at the prestigious Financial Times “Innovative Lawyers” awards on December 9 in New York,  an annual contest that honors elite law firms, companies and legal service providers. At the awards, health care partner Mark Barnes was honored with the “Legal Innovator of the Year” award, given to one exceptional lawyer.

In addition to being named a top-five firm for innovation, Ropes & Gray ranked in the top five for legal expertise, a recognition of our innovative work with clients on their most complex business issues.

Acting as trusted business advisors to global clients, Ropes & Gray’s attorneys led the way in 2019 across corporate transactions, private equity, M&A, asset management, life sciences, intellectual property, health care, technology and litigation. The Financial Times has honored Ropes & Gray as an innovative law firm for eight straight years.

Health care partner Mark Barnes received the “Legal Innovator of the Year” award for his leadership in health care and life sciences, including his role in founding a nonprofit to help the scientific community benefit from the sharing of clinical trial data.

In noting the FT judges’ praise for the originality of Mark’s work, the publication wrote, “At a time of heightened public concern over the sharing of personal data, not to mention questions over the value for money provided by either lawyers or U.S. healthcare institutions, Mark Barnes stands out as a true innovator.”

This year, the firm received recognition across its practices:

  • A litigation team serving as lead defense counsel to Metropolitan West Asset Management rebutted claims that the advisory fees MetWest charged its flagship mutual fund, the Total Return Bond Fund, were excessive. The landmark decision for asset managers stands as the most thorough dismantling to date by any court of the core plaintiff theory that mutual fund advisory fees should be compared to fees charged to other types of clients.
  • A cross-disciplinary team of attorneys helped Bain Capital partner with Pfizer to create a new biopharmaceutical company, Cerevel Therapeutics. The sophisticated nature of the transaction required collaboration between corporate practices, and knowledge of the underlying science supporting Cerevel’s treatments.
  • A team of health care attorneys created a first-in-the nation value-based health care contract for Medicaid funding for the Children’s Law Center, a legal services provider. The arrangement provides compensation to the CLC for the legal remediation of underlying housing conditions that have an impact on children’s health.
  • Our intellectual property attorneys created innovative policies and contracts to protect intellectual property shared over a blockchain, consistent with open-source ideals, collaborating with Protocol Labs, one of the largest cryptocurrency projects. Attorney Marta Belcher was commended for her contributions on this matter.

Ropes & Gray also received recognition for two of its innovative diversity and inclusion initiatives:

  • The firm’s paralegal program received an award for its innovative structure. The two-year program identifies potential attorneys as undergraduates, focuses on career development while they are at the firm as paralegals, and then invites them back as associates if qualified.
  • The firm produced a first-of-its-kind report on LGBT+ self-identification, which enables employees to share sexual orientation and gender identity data with their employer. Developed with Out Leadership, an organization focused on advancing LGBT+ equality, the report examines the benefits, best practices and challenges of implementing LGBT+ self-ID. 
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