The Financial Times has recognized Pillsbury as one of North America’s most innovative law firms as part of its 2020 Innovative Law Firms program. The firm was shortlisted for enabling business response to COVID-19 for its ongoing work advising the LA Unified School District (LAUSD) in developing and implementing a first-of-its-kind COVID-19 testing program.

Led by partners and COVID-19 Task Force members Jim Rishwain and Brian Finch, Pillsbury is advising LAUSD across all aspects of this complex ongoing initiative. The firm’s Global Sourcing & Technology Transactions team is specifically engaged in the technology strategy and contract negotiations with Microsoft for the implementation and support of a cloud-enabled application that allows school administrators and health officials to track insights into trends and potential risks to manage COVID-19 exposures and cases.

“Pillsbury’s work with LAUSD underscores the strength of the firm’s COVID-19 Task Force and our focus on helping clients navigate crisis and the uncertainty that lies ahead,” said Pillsbury Chair Emeritus, Jim Rishwain. “We are honored that Financial Times has recognized our truly market leading work and LAUSD’s efforts to protect the health and safety of nearly 800,000 students and school district staff.”

Pillsbury also advises LAUSD on the strategic elements of the transaction with Microsoft, including issues relating to cloud subscription licensing, application rollout, data lake development, data flow analysis and ongoing application support, and the firm counsels LAUSD on data security issues arising in connection with the technology solution.

LAUSD’s COVID-19 testing program, which could eventually serve as a national model, began on Aug. 17 and will expand over the course of a year to include COVID-19 testing for the entire districts’ students and employees—a population larger than most cities and public or private companies.