Pact brokered for NY firms to disclose diversity record

More than 60 US firms have agreed to reveal their diversity profile to clients after a pact brokered by the New York County Lawyers’ Association.

A raft of firms from the US 100 have agreed to provide their corporate clients with information on minority staffing, according to reports in New York Lawyer today (13 May).

They include Arnold & Porter, Bingham McCutcheon, Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Dewey Ballantine, Debevoise & Plimpton, Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw, Shearman & Sterling, Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, Weil Gotshal & Manges and White & Case.

Clients have for some time asked firms to sign statements in support of diversity in the legal profession but the agreement marks the first time US lawyers have agreed en masse to provide clients with specific numerical data on diversity.

The pact states “law firms should not object to requests by their corporate clients to report the number of hours devoted to the clients’ matters by minority lawyers.”

Among the client signatories are Bank of New York, the Coca-Cola Company, Merrill Lynch and Prudential Securities.