Latham Recognized for Innovative Work in Europe

October 17, 2022

Financial Times honors the firm for its work in the KanaVape CBD case and partner David Ziyambi for diversity leadership.

Latham & Watkins has won the “Creating new standards” category at the Financial Times Innovative Lawyer Europe Awards 2022 for securing a landmark ruling from the European Court of Justice on behalf of former KanaVape executive Antonin Cohen. London finance partner David Ziyambi was also named among the top 10 “Legal intraprenuers” for spearheading a variety of diversity initiatives both within and outside the firm.

The FT’s annual Innovative Lawyers report celebrates law firms and individuals who are passionate about driving innovation in the legal sector.

In this year’s report, the firm was recognized in the following categories:

  • Creating new standards (winner): Latham’s victory for Antonin Cohen, former co-director of KanaVape, in the French Court of Appeals of Aix-en-Provence stimulated a European market for cannabidiol (CBD) products and overturned criminal charges in France against Cohen, former director of the company that distributed the KanaVape CBD e-cigarette in France. The court’s ruling held that member states cannot ban the sale of CBD extracted from whole hemp plants and that, unlike other cannabis derivatives, the specific product should not be considered a harmful narcotic.
  • Legal intrapreneur: Ziyambi co-founded the firm’s Black Lawyers Group and devised a “layered mentoring” approach, in which individuals are mentored by someone 2-3 years more senior. He also continues to demonstrate diversity initiatives’ positive financial impact, such as through the pro bono advice he provides to Add Psalt, an incubator that aims to bring more Black-owned brands into UK supermarkets.
  • Managing complexity (commendation): Latham provides counsel to Grail, a US cancer screening start-up, in proceedings and challenges involved in its US$8 billion acquisition by gene sequencing company Illumina, including defeating a European Commission challenge in one of the highest-profile matters of the global antitrust bar.