Financial Times Names Orrick the No. 2 Most Innovative Law Firm and No. 1 Most Digital

3 minute read | December.05.2023

  • Financial Times has named Orrick the No. 2 Most Innovative Law Firm and the No. 1 Most Digital Firm in its 2023 North America Innovative Lawyers Report.
  • It is our eighth consecutive year being ranked among the top three firms for innovation.
  • Leah Sanzari is recognized among nine 2023 Innovative Lawyers in Deals & Financing nationwide for her trailblazing work creating new esoteric asset markets.
  • Katy Ryan is recognized among seven 2023 Change Makers for her leadership of APPROVED – an Orrick regtech solution for the messy problem of 50-state and federal bank licensing compliance for fintechs and financial institutions.
  • Teresa Hill and Lana Le Hir are recognized for pioneering Energy Transition through their work securing renewable power for Microsoft's data centers.
  • Siobhan Handley’s reimagination of how we develop law school graduates is a standout in the People & Skills Development category.
  • Our bespoke AI-driven solution for data governance, spearheaded by Wendy Butler Curtis, is the winner of Innovation in Knowledge & Data.

Here’s more on each of these innovations:

Pioneering New Esoteric Asset Markets

Leah Sanzari is honored among Innovative Lawyers in Deals & Financing for recognizing an opportunity to broaden the use of the 4(a)(2) private placement ABS market to help companies in industries being disrupted to access capital. Collaborating with investor clients and her Orrick team, she developed the first securitization to finance oil and gas working interests in 2019, unlocking what has become a nearly $4B market, and creating markets for petroleum transportation, reality TV rights and other novel securitizations.

Simplifying Complex Fintech and Financial Institution Compliance Needs

Katy Ryan is recognized among 2023 Change Makers for her leadership of APPROVED: Orrick’s banking regulatory compliance solution for fintechs and other financial institutions. In response to our clients’ frustration with the licensing compliance process, Katy and her team created a solution, APPROVED, which delivers professional licensing solutions on a project-based pricing model that offers cost certainty, as well as a dedicated regtech – called Mogy – that supports the efficiency and accuracy of in-house compliance capabilities. More than 50 clients utilize APPROVED today its use continues to grow.

Leading In Energy Transition

Our team led by Teresa Hill with Lana Le Hir is honored as Innovative Lawyers in Energy Transition for helping Microsoft meet its goal of ensuring its new datacenter in the Pacific Northwest has 100 percent of its electricity consumption, 100 percent of the time, matched by zero carbon energy purchases -- supporting the company’s market-leading goal to be carbon negative by 2030. The Orrick team crafted a first-of-its-kind solution to solve renewable energy challenges, demonstrating that 100% carbon-free energy at scale is viable and setting a new standard as more companies look to follow in Microsoft’s footsteps. Li Shen also contributed to this work.

Reimagining the Associate Experience

The Residency @Orrick, our reimagining of the first-year associate experience, is a standout for Innovation in People & Skills Development. Recognizing that we need to adapt the way we onboard new talent to the new workplace, our team led by Siobhan Handley and including Kelly Cullen and Mark Hussa developed The Residency @Orrick, a concept inspired by the medical profession, to provide first-year associates with a mix of client work, thought leadership, coaching and other curated development experiences. The program has created a vastly improved associate experience and prepares our team to add value for our clients.

Deploying AI to Solve Data Governance Challenges

Orrick’s partnership with Italian venture firm PiCampus to develop an AI-driven solution for data governance is the winner for Innovation in Knowledge & Data. Recognizing an overly cumbersome data pool, Wendy Curtis, Daryl Shetterly, Brandon Cork and team collaborated with PiCampus and their Pi School to develop an AI-driven solution that has allowed us to improve the depth, accuracy and utilization of our data.