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OCTOBER 10, 2016 – Davis Wright Tremaine was top-ranked in the category of "Innovation in Resourcing and Efficiency" by The Financial Times in its 2016 Innovative Lawyers Report.

The recognition was for the firm’s successful collaboration with the European law firm Addleshaw Goddard and Microsoft’s in-house legal team to create a data-driven, highly efficient, lower-cost model for handling Microsoft’s procurement contracts globally.

The FT Innovative Lawyers Report is one of the top legal rankings in Europe and the accompanying awards are widely regarded as the best researched in the market.

This is the third recognition this year for this project. Microsoft was honored with a "Value Champion" Award from the Association of Corporate Counsel and Davis Wright Tremaine was named "Innovative Law Firm of the Year" by the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA), recognizing projects that included this one.

Davis Wright’s innovation initiative is led by DWT De Novo, a cross-functional team of lawyers, technologists, legal solutions architects, and data analysts, who partner with the firm’s attorneys and clients to develop solutions that add new value to the legal function.

The team has been particularly effective at improving the management of high volumes of work, delivering cost savings and business insights while relieving administrative burdens on outside counsel.

Last year, DWT De Novo and the firm’s Microsoft legal team, in partnership with Addleshaw, were engaged to develop a new service delivery model for Microsoft’s global procurement contract review and negotiation. Microsoft previously used17 outside firms to handle the work and had massive swings in its monthly costs.

The three organizations worked closely to:

  • create a centralized intake system that manages workflow, documents, and communications;
  • implement service-level-agreements that improve consistency for the business stakeholders; and
  • develop playbooks that streamline negotiations.

An LPO was engaged and contract attorneys hired to execute approximately 40% of the work more cost-effectively. Budget swings were eliminated as the work is delivered on a fixed fee.

In the first year alone, the client saved 18%. Contracts are ranked for complexity and directed to the appropriate level of attention, freeing Microsoft’s in-house team to focus on the most strategic transactions that provide the greatest value to the business. Data is captured on everything from contract volumes and types to the most-negotiated provisions; this data informs process and template revisions to further reduce deal friction and shorten cycle times.

According to the FT’s report, Microsoft "considers this the next stage in outsourcing legal work." Noting the unusual partnership between Davis Wright and Addleshaw, the FT wrote: "A strong theme to emerge from the research is the importance of collaboration…Some of the most fruitful joint efforts can be with rivals or other professionals who have different ways of working."

About Davis Wright Tremaine
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP is a national law firm with over 550 lawyers representing clients based throughout the United States and around the world. For more information, visit