Two Pillsbury matters have earned a “Commended” honor from Financial Times in connection with the publication’s annual North America Most Innovative Lawyers awards program. The awards recognize legal work that demonstrates innovation through originality, leadership and impact on clients’ business and the legal field.

In the “Enabling Business Growth” category, Pillsbury lawyers were recognized for their work advising India-based infrastructure and engineering firm Larsen & Toubro Hydrocarbon Engineering Ltd. in developing a new framework agreement that helped preserve a jeopardized $3 billion oil pipeline contract with Saudi Aramco when another company involved in the contract filed for bankruptcy.

Over a three-day negotiation between L&T and several other entities, Pillsbury’s lawyers worked to create a novel framework agreement that salvaged the contract with Saudi Aramco. This agreement was unprecedented in modern bankruptcy law dating back to 1978, saving L&T billions of dollars and preserving its contracts with key client Saudi Aramco. The Pillsbury team advising L&T was led by Insolvency & Restructuring partner Hugh Ray and included Energy partner Elina Teplinsky and associate William Hotze.

In the “Rule of Law and Access to Justice” category, a Pillsbury team led by Litigation partner Christine Scheuneman collaborated with the Disability Rights Legal Center to secure a $900,000 settlement between California’s Pomona Unified School District and students with disabilities who had suffered abuse and injury as a result of the school district’s harmful practices.

The September 2017 settlement is the first of its kind in the United States and requires the district to make fundamental changes to its policies, practices and procedures for students with special needs. The case marked the first legal action in the U.S. on behalf of a class of students with developmental disabilities to address school district-wide policies involving civil rights and safety. The $900,000 settlement will be available to a class of students dating back to 2013. Joining Scheuneman on the Pillsbury team were partner Michael McDonough and associates Benjamin Strauss, Elaine Lee, Stephanie Amaru and Rebecca Lee.