A tool designed to mitigate risk for lawyers has won the Law Society of Scotland’s 2022 Innovation Cup.
Mary-Jay Morton, senior associate solicitor at Laurie & Company in Ballater, Aberdeenshire, won with an easy-to-use key date calendar. It is designed to save time, stress and worry in a busy legal environment and most importantly, it reduces risk for the client and the firm.
Now in its fifth year, the Innovation Cup, organized by the Law Society in partnership with Master Policy Insurers RSA and Lockton Brokers, invites legal professionals and law students to share their brilliant ideas about products, tools or strategies for risk management.
There were 11 entries for the 2022 Innovation Cup competition, with three shortlisted ideas. In addition to Ms. Morton’s winning entry, shortlisted ideas related to Paul Brown’s residential ownership transfer at W&JS Gordon, and Stuart McDonald’s cryptocurrency and blockchain technology risk management at Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie .
The Key Winning Dates Calendar is a simple checklist for transactions to mitigate risk and ensure that key dates are not forgotten by providing a checklist that is helpful to both the person making the transaction and to anyone who takes the job in his absence.
Designed for residential conveyancing, it can also be adapted for other areas of law and would be useful for litigation, matrimonial, personal injury and debt collection, where key dates can have major consequences for the client and the business. if they are ignored. The schedule will now be developed by Lockton’s risk management team for distribution to the profession.
The jury was impressed with the simplicity of the Key Dates calendar and agreed that it will draw practitioners’ attention to risk while providing an easy-to-use system to avoid mistakes.
John Mulholland, head of the Law Society’s insurance committee, said: “Congratulations to Mary-Jay for her fantastic schedule of key dates. This is an excellent idea which can be put into practice very quickly and simply and which will appeal to the entire profession.
“The Insurance Committee is committed to providing a strong risk management program for the profession. As one of the judges for this year’s competition, it was a real pleasure to see so many awesome new ideas that promote risk management. Creative thinking that helps us share best practices and continues to raise our professional standards is always welcome.
“Well done to everyone involved, I can’t wait to see the ideas put into practice.”
Law Society chief executive Diane McGiffen presented the award to Ms. Morton on Friday, August 19 alongside Kenneth Law, risk management attorney at Lockton, and Paul Mosson, executive director of member services and commitment and secretary of the insurance committee.
Ms McGiffen said: “The Innovation Cup celebrates innovation across the legal profession – innovation the profession can be proud of and which is needed more than ever as we strive to recover from recent years.
“Mary-Jay had a great idea that can benefit many in the profession. The Law Society thanks our sponsors and innovators and is proud to be part of showcasing these great ideas.
Ms. Morton, who has always worked in rural law firms, does a variety of legal work including residential sales, purchases and commercial leases, while also doing work with private clients.
She said: “I am delighted that my entry for this year’s Innovation Cup has been selected as the winner. It was wonderful to be able to witness the presentation of the Cup in person at the offices of the Law Society.
“The Key Date Calendar is a simple and effective way to track key dates throughout a transaction, especially in a busy legal environment. It can be adapted to any area of law and can be easily integrated to any existing case management system I look forward to expanding the schedule with Lockton and RSA.
The Key Date Calendar will now be developed by Lockton and RSA into a practical application. Ms Morton received a cash prize of £1,500 provided by RSA and the Innovation Cup trophy.