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The international law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner today announced purposeful new inclusion and diversity (I&D) aspirational goals designed to increase equality of opportunity and fairness firmwide.

“Equality of opportunity is paramount to our Firm values and vision, and the events of this past year have accelerated the level of urgency around inclusion and diversity among our colleagues, clients and communities,” said BCLP Co-Chairs Lisa Mayhew and Steve Baumer. “We are committed to purposeful change that strengthens the future of our Firm.”

The new I&D aspirational goals include:

  • 35% global female Partners by the end of 2025; 40% global female Partners by 2030
  • 15% US/UK racial/ethnicity minority Partners by end of 2025; 18% US/UK racial/ethnicity minority Partners by 2030
  • Equal retention of racial and ethnic minority/white Trainee Solicitors (UK), Lawyers and Business Services professionals
  • Equal retention of female/male Trainee Solicitors (UK), Lawyers and Business Services professionals
  • Equal retention of LGBTQ* Trainee Solicitors (UK), Lawyers and Business Services professionals
  • Equal retention of Disabled Trainee Solicitors (UK), Lawyers and Business Services professionals 

“Equality of opportunity and fairness are at the heart of our approach. Our expectation is that all of our colleagues will know that they are able to operate on a level playing field. Our intention is to identify and address all barriers to that sense of equality,” said BCLP Partners Segun Osuntokun and Meridyth Andresen, global I&D co-chairs. “As we actively focus on equity moving forward, we clearly recognize that setting aspirational goals alone is not enough and that we must act in a manner that will enable us to achieve our goals. Included in these actions will be a number of steps aimed at driving a more inclusive culture at BCLP.”

Much of that work is already underway firmwide, with strong momentum through a number of new I&D initiatives and programs actively focused on equity and inclusion. This presently includes:

  • Diversity Sponsorship Program: The US diversity sponsorship program has proved to be successful in nurturing diverse talent to partnership. BCLP is pleased to announce that in 2021 the program will expand to EMEA.
  • BCLP Amplify: BCLP Amplify brought together an inaugural cohort of 12 women across the UK Business Services and lawyer populations for a series of high-impact training days – which will culminate in a TED-style speaker event in 2021. Amplify 2.0 will launch early next year.
  • Work Assignment: The Firm is actively focused on equity – meaning fairness and equality of opportunity. For lawyers, this has involved a laser focus on work assignment, both through systematic diversity hours reporting and, in the UK, through the introduction of Mason & Cook’s work allocation methodology which has led to all work being allocated by a dedicated resource manager. 

And to ensure BCLP keeps clients better updated of priorities and progress, the Firm launched its inaugural six-month Inclusion & Diversity Report for spring and summer 2020, which provided candid insight into the Firm’s progress and future plans.

“While we’re pleased with all of this momentum, there is still much to be done,” added the BCLP Co-Chairs. “Now is the time to be bold and to strive for lasting change. Together, we must embrace the power of belonging, inclusion and diversity, and create an environment where all in our Firm are valued, respected, celebrated and able to reach their full potential.”

This document provides a general summary and is for information/educational purposes only. It is not intended to be comprehensive, nor does it constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought before taking or refraining from taking any action.