2020 Awards Announced

Innovation Award

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc.—"One Team" Employment Convergence Model

Key Team Members: Charles Baldwin and Brian Burbrink (Ogletree); Michael Kaplan and Christina Santangelo (Red Robin)

Red Robin’s legal and HR departments took a fresh look at their service delivery, going beyond "who" does the work and instead reimagined "how" the work is done. Red Robin collaborated with Ogletree to create a "One Team" integrated structure blending Red Robin’s legal and HR departments, with the team from Ogletree.

The One Team approach improved alignment and performance by eliminating the historical siloed structures of the legal and HR departments. The "One Team" approach included a two-year, flat-fee arrangement and integrated "all-in-one" solution that resulted in a total savings of more than $3 million in Total Employment Legal Costs over the conservative 2018 "before model," and the following results:

  1. Reduced costs: a reduction in Total Employment Legal Costs over two fiscal years. from $3,044,000 in FY 2017 to $1,654,000 in FY 2018 and $1,857,000 in FY 2019 – a total savings of $2,577,000 ov
  2. Budget predictability: a zero variance in outside counsel quarterly budgets.
  3. Improved outcomes: a 70% reduction in single plaintiff employment litigation between FY 2016-17 and FY 2018-19.
  4. Settlement amounts savings: The program resulted in more than $1 million in reduced settlement amounts. 

View the Ogletree-Red Robin video below for more information about this winning entry.  

Inaugural InnovActor Award

Liam Brown, Founder and Executive Chairman, Elevate—This honoree, a long-time contributor to innovation in the legal ecosystem, was at the forefront of creating what some have called "a law company" combining consulting, services, and technology into a single entity. Throughout his career, Liam had a vision to bring more efficient ways of working to the legal industry. He was one of the pioneers developing lower-cost, process-driven solutions for document review, contract review, and other legal support services. On the cutting edge of the new normal, he combined managed service and technology to change the traditional structure of law departments and law firms. 

For more information, View Elevate's video recognizing Liam Brown. 

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