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FT hands pioneer award to Wild and Kent CC for Law:Public venture

The Director of Governance and Law at Kent County Council, Geoff Wild, was named Legal Industry Pioneer of the Year at the Financial Times’ Innovative Lawyers Awards last night.

The award was mainly for the local authority's Law:Public venture, which it set up with law firm Geldards.

Other nominees for the award – which looks at how legal services providers are responding to the opportunities presented by the Legal Services Act – included Riverview Law and the Co-operative Legal Services.

Wild had also been shortlisted for the FT’s Legal Innovator of the Year award.

For that award, the paper said: “Local authorities’ legal departments have often been perceived as inefficient and a drain on public finances. Mr Wild has show that public sector services need not be a burden for the community.”

At the FT’s awards ceremony last night, Wild said: “For a humble local government lawyer to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award is a rare privilege; to win it, especially in the presence of such high-profile competitors, is a real honour.

“I would like to thank the FT and the panel of judges for recognising the real innovation and talent that exists and thrives in the public sector. I just hope that now that this will act as an inspiration to others within the public sector, to bring their innovative and entrepreneurial skills to the fore, and show that local government lawyers can be the match of anyone in the profession.”

The award comes just days after Wild was shortlisted in the General Counsel of the Year category at the British Legal Awards.

The shortlisting completes a hat-trick of nominations for Wild, who has also been nominated for the In-House Solicitor of the Year Award at the Law Society’s 2012 Excellence Awards.