Geoff Wild, Kent County Council’s Director of Governance and Law, has been named Most Innovative European In-house Lawyer 2014.
The FT Innovative Lawyer Awards are widely recognised as the most prestigious legal awards in the country and are the product of in-depth independent research.
Geoff Wild is the first ever public sector lawyer to receive the award and fought off competition from across Europe, including General Counsel for EDF Energy, Reckitt Benckiser, E.ON and Roche Products.
Addressing the guests at the ceremony, Geoff took the opportunity to emphasise how innovation, creativity and entrepreneurialism is not confined to the private sector but can be found alive and well amongst KCC’s excellent team of lawyers and support staff.
“The legal profession is in a state of flux. The traditional dividing lines between private sector, in-house and public sector are dissolving. New players are coming in; old players are re-inventing themselves; non-lawyers are making an increasingly important contribution,” says Geoff.
“There’s never been a better time to be a lawyer, since out of the chaos and confusion is emerging creativity and entrepreneurship. Perhaps the last place you would look to find this entrepreneurial spirit is in local government, where its institutions, traditions and structures tend to stifle innovation. But thankfully it is alive and well and flourishing, and this award is a tribute to the superb team of lawyers and support staff we have in Kent. And if you can do it there, you can do it anywhere!”
The citation for Kent’s legal chief read: “After transforming the council’s legal team into a revenue generator, Geoff Wild is recognised as an industry leader and has had a positive impact on perceptions of public sector lawyers.”