Ballard Spahr has won the Rethinking the Workplace Award at the Financial Times Most Innovative Lawyers North America awards, in a competition where its results have grown stronger year over year. The firm was also shortlisted for the “Most Digital Law Firm in North America” honor.

In bestowing the Rethinking the Workplace Award, the award judges commended Ballard Spahr’s use of its proprietary Ballard360 suite of tools as a solution to a workplace that became remote with little notice due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“In very short order, our firm moved 650 lawyers from an in-person environment to a remote one,” said Chief Client Value and Innovation Officer Melissa Prince. “We put our culture of innovation to use immediately and came up with client- and practice-specific tools to facilitate a smoother, easier transition without missing a beat.”

The firm’s Client Value and Innovation team realized that Ballard360, which was once used solely for external client use, had a broader application for internal collaboration. The team members worked quickly to elevate Ballard360 to a new role in which information and data normally stored in disparate systems could live in one central location. By creating a seamless and secure way to collaborate, the Client Value and Innovation team made sure attorneys across the firm—and particularly those in practice areas that saw an increase in work due to the pandemic—could continue to deliver Ballard Spahr’s noted level of service without interruption.

“Ballard Spahr views technology not as an end in itself, but as tools to address the needs of our clients,” said John Kerkorian, Ballard Spahr’s Strategic Planning Partner. “Especially during COVID-19, these efforts deepen collaboration and enhance the industry-leading client service and value that distinguishes us in the legal market.”

The Financial Times Most Innovative Lawyers North America awards are based on in-depth research—including hundreds of client interviews—into the services, methods, and products developed by law firms and in-house legal teams. Firms are ranked based on the innovation and value they bring to the practice of law and the delivery of legal services.

The Financial Times rankings are the latest in a series of national honors for the Client Value and Innovation program. The program has garnered national recognition in BTI's Legal Innovation and Technology Outlook Report, which ranked Ballard Spahr among the country’s most innovative law firms based on its strategic use of technology, its focus on emerging areas of practice, and its innovative approach to client issues.