Herbies brings in diversity expert to appease client demands

Herbert Smith has recruited a permanent diversity consultant amid increasing requirements from potential clients to provide tangible evidence of a commitment to diversity issues.

Carolyn Lee joined the silver circle firm last week as its inclusion manager.

A former diversity consultant to German investment bank Deutsche Bank, Lee will be responsible for conducting diversity training at the firm, introducing programmes to target candidates from a range of backgrounds, as well as creating diversity networks within the firm.

Chair of the firm’s inclusivity group and corporate partner Martina Asmar said that, although there was a business strategy behind the move, it was a genuine effort to address diversity issues and not just “lip service”.

Asmar added that the appointment was also part of the firm’s wider strategy to attract and retain staff from a range of backgrounds.

“If we maintain a happy ship, people will feel comfortable about working here and want to stay,” she said.

Last year Herbert Smith lost more than 20 per cent of its litigation associates in 12 months. The firm’s overall attrition rate was 14.8 per cent.