As recently announced at the NAMWOLF conference in Los Angeles (September 24th), Employment Law Bar Association talk (October 8th) and UK launch event (October 9th), Chambers will be requesting D&I-related information as part of the submissions process from the 2020/2021 research cycles and this data will now be assessed as part of the overall Chambers research and editorial. This will apply to all of our guides and include all strands of diversity.
By including this information, we will be helping to provide a global platform for firms that are embracing D&I, assisting the legal profession on its inclusion journey and we can help deliver best practice and innovative D&I solutions.
As part of our USA research and for the second year running, we have targeted a 50/50 gender split for our private practice interviews and actively encouraged law firms to provide a more diverse set of independent references. At our recent UK Guides launch, we released a ten-year trend on ranking statistics that showed that at partner level across the UK, 30.6% of our rankings are women. This is in line with The Law Society’s diversity data. The gender diversity trend is progressive at the junior and up-and-coming level with 41.6% of our rankings being women lawyers. Additional analysis from Chambers shows that the top ten ranked law firms in the UK have an average gender diversity split amongst ranked lawyers of 29% which represents an increase of 6% since 2012*.
We recognise the need to drive change within the profession, and in the last year, we have laid the foundations to bring the diversity and inclusion dialogue to the legal professional globally. We have achieved this through interviews with diverse lawyers and allies, requesting firm diversity data and requesting client referees who can genuinely attest to a firm’s approach to D&I as part of the D&I awards submissions process in all jurisdictions (USA, Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific).
In June 2019, we launched the Chambers D&I Charter which is a series of public pledges, as a way of galvanising and bringing together the legal community to collaborate on diversity and inclusion. In June 2019 and October 2019, we held our Chambers D&I Awards in San Francisco and Amsterdam to celebrate diverse trailblazers and allies from across the profession.
We have also taken significant steps to embed D&I into the very core of our internal business.
Some of the internal initiatives we have undertaken include:
- Appointing a Head of D&I, Dee Sekar. Dee is a UK-qualified lawyer and D&I expert.
- Creating a specific D&I company policy which is firmly embedded in our business strategy.
- Launching an internal D&I committee, INSPIRE, which is employee-led and offers events and networking opportunities for all of our colleagues.
- Appointed executive sponsor D&I champions across all strands of D&I including gender, race and ethnicity, LGBT+, parents and carers, social mobility, age, disability, wellbeing and corporate social responsibility.
We look forward to collaborating and working with you on this global inclusion journey.
Tim Noble, CEO, Chambers and Partners
*Source: Chambers Business Intelligence