Baker McKenzie has been recognized as one of the most innovative law firms in Asia Pacific and ranked among the top five firms in the Financial Times (FT) Law Firm Index, Asia Pacific 2024. The Firm placed joint second in the index scoring for "People," where law firms are assessed based on their diversity and inclusion, wellbeing strategies, and investment in skills for lawyers and for business services people. 

In addition, Baker McKenzie was named a "Highly Commended" Firm in the "Fintech and digital assets" category in the FT Innovative Lawyers Asia Pacific 2024 Awards for acting on the world's first cross-border repo and natively issued digital bond fully executed and settled on a public blockchain (read more in the Firm's press release). 

As part of the FT Innovative Lawyers Asia Pacific 2024 Report, Partner and Chief Innovation Officer Ben Allgrove spoke with the FT about Baker McKenzie's AI approach, noting that the Firm is focusing its AI experimentation on discrete, client-specific tasks where the data is known to be solid before making big bets on particular AI models. Ben added: "Different foundation models of generative AI show materially different performance and cost. Where the balance lies between them is what we need to work out in years to come."

Another area that is also of growing focus for businesses is ESG, where the issues are becoming increasingly complex, and often, stakeholders’ interests are not aligned. As a result, law firms are under growing pressure to come up with a creative way to tackle the challenge. The FT noted that Baker McKenzie has been devising a power purchase agreement to satisfy the different commercial interests of a renewable power producer and the buyer of the power, known as an off-taker. The challenge was to reconcile the desire of the developer to maximize revenue across the project with the needs of an off-taker that had committed to buying the solar power.

Aylin Cunsolo, a partner in the Firm’s Energy, Mining and Infrastructure Industry Group in Melbourne who was shortlisted for "Innovative Practitioner" in the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards, explained: "The mechanism that we came up with was for the project developer to have full flexibility and control over dispatch [of power], but there was also a complex revenue-sharing regime that we developed with our clients that [in effect] made sure that the off-taker was no worse off in that circumstance."

FT Innovative Lawyers Asia Pacific 2024 is a ranking, report and awards scheme for lawyers based in the region, produced by the FT and its research partner, RSGI. 

FT Law Firm index provides a ranking and a holistic assessment of a law firm's success. Participating firms were assessed on their submissions and on a separate questionnaire, and ranked on four criteria — Innovation, Digital, People, and Social responsibility.
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