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The Financial Times Names Crowell & Moring Finalist in 2019 Innovative Lawyers Report for North America

Washington – December 11, 2019: The Financial Times has named Crowell & Moring a finalist in its 2019 Innovative Lawyers Report for North America in the categories of “Innovation in the Rule of Law and Access to Justice” and “Managing Complexity and Scale.”

The firm earned a Standout ranking, the highest possible ranking, in the “Innovation in the Rule of Law and Access to Justice” category for its groundbreaking pro bono work in Overbey v. Mayor of Baltimore, a case where our team advocated for the free speech rights of people who were abused by Baltimore police. The city prohibited plaintiffs who settle police misconduct cases from speaking about the events precipitating their cases, on pain of losing half their settlement proceeds. Earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that these non-disparagement clauses—essentially gag orders—are tantamount to the payment of “hush money” to keep victims quiet, and are unconstitutional and unenforceable.

Overbey v. Mayor of Baltimore was brought by Ashley Overbey Underwood after she was denied half of her settlement award for responding to negative comments about her case online that were then picked up by a local newspaper. After the city learned she had revealed her experience of being brutalized by Baltimore police, it withheld half of her promised proceeds. Overbey was joined as a co-plaintiff in the case by the Baltimore Brew, a news organization that claimed it was denied its First Amendment right to obtain newsworthy public information from victims of police abuses.

In the “Managing Complexity and Scale” category, the firm was recognized with a Commended ranking for its work with military shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries in the development of a cyber security risk framework and implementing a compliance management software to improve its supply chain.

The Financial Times report provides insight into the transforming role of the legal professional in North America and highlights how legal teams have evolved from crisis managers to change agents. Winners of the FT Innovative Lawyers North America 2019 report were recognized on Monday, December 9 at an awards dinner in New York City.

Read the full Innovative Lawyers report here.

About Crowell & Moring LLP

Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with more than 550 lawyers representing clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory, and transactional matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity. The firm has offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, London, and Brussels.


Andrew Loeb
Communications Specialist