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Press Contacts

Erik Cummins
Senior Public Relations Manager
Office: +1.415.983.1286
Matt Hyams
Senior Public Relations Manager
Office: +1.212.858.1042
Caroline Huddleston
Senior Public Relations Coordinator
Office: +1.615.622.3705
Press Release

THREE PILLSBURY MATTERS HONORED BY FINANCIAL TIMES FOR LEGAL INNOVATION Firm Wins Top Spot in Two of Three Shortlisted Categories at FT’s Most Innovative Lawyers Awards

December 7, 2016

NEW YORK—For the second year in a row, Pillsbury has been honored by the Financial Times for its innovative legal solutions and services. At the publication’s 2016 North America Innovative Lawyers awards dinner, held Dec. 5 at the iconic New York City Public Library, lawyers and clients across three different practices were recognized for changing and influencing regulation, creatively unlocking and delivering value and developing innovative legal ideas.

A team of corporate lawyers led by partners Deborah Thoren-Peden and Mercedes Tunstall won the “Innovation in Changing and Influencing Regulation” award for its work with the state of Delaware and client Symbiont, a provider of digital currency technology, to create the Delaware Blockchain Initiative. The project enables Delaware-based businesses to issue shares using the technology that underlies bitcoin. As part of the initiative, Pillsbury lawyers have proposed amendments to both the Delaware General Corporation Law and the Delaware Commercial Code. If adopted, the amendments would create a new corporate financial system that is inclusive of virtual currencies. The team working with Thoren-Peden on the matter includes Corporate partner Rodney Peck and counsel Elsa Broeker.

In the category “Innovation in Unlocking and Delivering Value,” Pillsbury won for its work with the nonprofit Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund (VCLF) in its novel $860 million acquisition of a bankrupt West Virginia coal mine network. Through the deal, which closed in October 2015, VCLF was able to reopen several mines, thereby keeping hundreds of workers employed, and to reinvest millions of dollars into environmental clean-up and reforestation efforts. Insolvency & Restructuring partners Patrick Potter and Andrew Troop advised VCLF in the transaction, along with Sheila Harvey, the chair of Pillsbury’s Regulatory Practice, and Corporate & Securities partner David Baxter.

A Pillsbury team led by partners Robert Zahler and Elizabeth Zimmer came in second place and achieved a “Highly Commended” ranking in the “Great Legal Ideas” category for its collaboration with financial services consultancy Paladin fs to create the Golden Contract Coalition. The Austin, Texas-based coalition’s goal is to enable community banks and credit unions to join forces in negotiating better contract terms from the industry’s oligopoly of core processing vendors. Pillsbury’s Global Sourcing practice will work with the coalition’s members to determine the new commercial terms and legal conditions of processing agreements and pricing arrangements.

Overall, Pillsbury’s scores in these three awards categories drove the firm’s No. 13 ranking in Financial Times’ list of North America’s 25 Most Innovative Law Firms, a list on which the firm has been included four years in a row.

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