Financial Times Recognizes Paul Hastings’ Meg Sullivan, Firm for Innovation in North America

December 11, 2019

Firm recognized as a Top Ten Most Innovative Firm Overall, for Legal Expertise,

and for innovation in six sub-categories


New York – Paul Hastings LLP, a leading global law firm, announced today that Meg Sullivan, the firm’s Chief Business Development, Marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility Officer took home top honors as “Legal Intrapreneur” at the Financial Times’ annual Innovative Lawyers North America Awards, presented in New York on December 9. “Legal Intrapreneurs” are individuals recognized for developing new ideas and who shape the culture of law firms and legal teams.

As the inaugural law firm recipient of the award, Sullivan was hailed for her success effecting change from within the firm. “After joining Paul Hastings to head the US firm’s marketing and business development operations, she worked to turn sustainability and diversity into growth opportunities before they became fashionable in the wider business community,” noted the FT.

Paul Hastings was once again recognized as a Top Ten Most Innovative Law Firm in both the “Overall” and “Legal Expertise” categories. This marks the firm’s tenth consecutive year in the Top Ten for innovation. In addition to the Overall category, the firm was shortlisted in the Financial Times’ report for innovation in multiple categories:

Legal Expertise:

Managing Complexity and Scale:

  • for helping clients Citigroup, HSBC, and JPMorgan prepare a tender offer for the Mexican government to buy back $1.8 billion debt and prevent its default on $6 billion in loans after the cancellation of a new airport near Mexico City (highly commended);

  • creating an agreement to allow client Canopy Growth, a Canadian cannabis producer, acquire Acreage Holdings, a US cannabis company. The deal was struck despite cannabis being illegal federally in the United States. If cannabis is legalised by the end of 2026, the deal is set to give its client a dominant market position (commended).

 Accessing New Markets and Capital:

  • for helping Earnin, a mobile software company that allows users to withdraw a portion of their wages before payday, raise $125 million and navigate regulations to enable the company to offer an alternative to payday loans. (commended)

Business of Law:

  • Technology and Data: for cutting the time to draft a letter from 4.5 hours to 1.5 minutes, thanks to an A.I. tool that identifies relevant precedents and terms for commitment letters in debt finance and capital market transactions (commended);

  • Talent, Strategy and Changing Behaviours: for piloting an apprenticeship-style program for law school graduates who are not in traditional associate roles and providing experience in a range of practice areas and additional training in technology and knowledge management (commended).

Rule of Law and Access to Justice: for securing a hearing for Lamont McKoy to overturn his wrongful conviction for murder. Based on the firm’s assessment of the trial evidence, Paul Hastings obtained additional discovery of evidence from the prosecution. This discovery revealed key evidence demonstrating McKoy’s innocence was wrongfully withheld from the defense for almost thirty years, thereby violating McKoy’s constitutional rights and warranting an overturn of his conviction. (commended).

These results come on the heels of Paul Hastings winning the award for "Managing Complexity and Scale" at the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Awards 2019 in Europe by the Financial Times. In the accompanying report, the firm ranked third among European law firms for Legal Expertise, recognized as a "Standout" in two categories, "Highly Commended" in two more, and "Commended" in a fifth category.

The Financial Times’ report is one of the top legal rankings in North America and highly regarded around the world. Over the past decade, it has measured legal innovation in more than 50 international jurisdictions from over 400 law firms and over 400 company in-house legal departments.

At Paul Hastings, our purpose is clear — to help our clients and people navigate new paths to growth. With a strong presence throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the U.S., Paul Hastings is recognized as one of the world’s most innovative global law firms.

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