Law Firm Innovation of the Year: gunnercooke

Law Firm Innovation of the Year: gunnercooke

December 14, 2012

Legal Week
14 Dec 2012

Darryl Awards

It was a challenge even to be short-listed for this competitive award. Among those to stand out was Mishcon de Reya, which was commended for a ground-breaking approach to branding that has seen the firm totally rethink its business development and marketing with a series of ambitious ventures.

Wiggin was also noted for its work in successfully campaigning to usher in a tax break to bring television drama production back to the UK, as was DAC Beachcroft’s Claims Validation Team, which deploys behavioural analysis to handle and investigate insurance claims.

Also strongly tipped was the work of Keoghs, which applied a structured, conciliatory approach to drastically speed up the handling of mesothelioma claims, a highly sensitive area of work. The firm’s approach cut the normal claims cycle from about 12-15 months to an average of just 82 days.

Keoghs’ approach has been tipped as becoming an industry standard to deal with mesothelioma claims. Commented one judge: “Brilliant, very practical and humane. Gave clients on both sides what they want.”

Against this strong field, the corporate boutique gunnercooke emerged as the winner for its innovative approach to rethinking the law firm model.

The firm, which was launched in September 2010 by Darryl Cooke (pictured, left), is based around an entirely fixed-fee system with no time recording. Other innovations see the firm maintaining an advisory board of legal heads to help sharpen its client focus.

Furthermore, the firm is based around a partner-driven service, with gunnercooke effectively buying technical services from established consultants for specific projects.

The approach is designed to produce huge cost savings for clients while still providing access to highly experienced deal lawyers.

The nine-partner practice was commended for its ambition in comprehensively rethinking the approach of a traditional law firm. As one judge observed: “They rebuilt the model from scratch.”

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