Skip to content

Wim Dejonghe awarded FT’s Special Achievement Award for Innovative Leadership

Related people
Press contacts

For media enquiries relating to this topic, please contact:

Headlines in this article

Related news and insights

News: 12 December 2023

Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration 2024 recognises 25 Allen & Overy lawyers as global leaders

News: 15 March 2022

A&O's Projects, Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure (PENRI) practice recognised as top legal adviser in 2021

Wim Dejonghe, Global Senior Partner at Allen & Overy (A&O), has been awarded the FT’s coveted Special Achievement Award for Innovative Leadership at the Innovative Lawyers Europe Awards, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the legal sector.

The award celebrates individuals who have demonstrated exceptional vision, creativity and impact in their fields. The FT praised Wim for his leadership style, which has created a culture of innovation at the firm, where partners and colleagues are empowered to experiment, and if they make mistakes, encouraged to move on and try again. As a result, they said he has built one of the most innovative law firms in the world, and which is the most successful law firm in the history of the FT Innovative Lawyers Report & Awards.

He was also recognised for his role in leading the proposed merger with Shearman & Sterling, which if successful will create a USD3.4bn global firm. Voting for the merger takes place later this month, with an outcome expected on 13 October 2023.

Under Dejonghe’s direction, Allen & Overy has implemented a range of innovative solutions to support its clients, people and communities in the face of unprecedented challenges. These include:

  • Restructuring the partnership and shaping the business in the wake of the financial crisis, putting the firm on a path of consistent growth and freeing up investment to expand A&O’s network of international offices when many law firms were either retrenching or stagnating
  • Playing a pivotal role in establishing the Legal Services Centre in Belfast, offering clients new ways to control their legal costs. It was the first of a series of innovations he spearheaded which have contributed to A&O being named ‘Most Innovative Law Firm in Europe’ a record six times in the FT Innovative Lawyer awards. New client solutions include the creation of Peerpoint, the consultant lawyer platform; A&O Consulting and Fuse, A&O’s thriving tech innovation space
  • Becoming the world’s leading AI advisory firm. Having been the first firm in the world to deploy generative AI at enterprise level, we now work with clients on everything from helping nation states shape their AI policies to advising businesses on how to develop effective and responsible AI solutions, handle AI-focused transactions, and manage AI-related disputes
  • Setting up the Centre for Leadership, Innovation & Change in 2017 to identify, develop and support partners within the firm to become future leaders
  • Championing the firm's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion agenda, setting ambitious targets and launching initiatives to increase the representation and progression of women, ethnic minorities, LGBT+ and disabled people within the firm

Wim Dejonghe, who has been the Global Senior Partner of Allen & Overy since 2016, said:

“This award from the FT is a tremendous recognition of the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of our exceptional team at Allen & Overy, who always strive to find new solutions and opportunities for our clients, our colleagues and our communities. I feel very privileged and grateful to accept this honour on their behalf.”

The FT Innovative Lawyers Europe awards ceremony took place on 21 September 2023, and was attended by a global community of general counsel, law firm leaders, in-house legal teams of large corporates together with industry thought-leaders and Financial Times journalists.