London, 06 October 2011- Leading global law firm Mayer Brown has been awarded a top tier “stand-out” ranking in the “Legal Innovation in Finance” category of the 2011 Financial Times Innovative Lawyers (Europe) report.

This accolade was awarded for the work, led by global head of Mining Ian Coles, undertaken to develop the mining industry in Afghanistan. The Mayer Brown work was  described as “instrumental in developing a legal framework to attract sophisticated investment into the country’s mining sector, which is potentially valued at $3,000 billion.”

The Mayer Brown team designed and implemented a transparent tender process that relies upon internationally-recognized business practices on behalf of Afghanistan's Ministry of Mines in order to enable that nation to realize the full potential from its mineral resources. Reserves are thought to contain a variety of metals including gold, copper, iron ore, lithium and rare earths.

The Financial Times Innovative Lawyers report (Europe) is an annual survey and league table of the most innovative law firms in areas such as corporate and financial law, litigation and legal business management.   The Innovative Lawyers (United States) report will be published in November.

Ian Coles, global head of Mining at Mayer Brown, said: "We are pleased to have been recognised for our work.  Afghanistan is a country with incredible natural resources. Unlocking these resources is key to the development of economic stability and sovereignty in that country. The challenges involved in that process are obviously substantial, we are honoured to have been selected to lead the team in addressing the legal issues surrounding the process."