European firms put the focus on diversity

Diversity has been on the radar of several firms in the UK recently, with a number announcing that they are aiming for 30 per cent of their partners to be female within the next few years.

Although independent European firms often have lower diversity statistics than their Anglo-Saxon counterparts, the issue is very much live on the continent too.

This week Iberian firm Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira has signed up to an initiative led by the Spanish government designed to increase female leadership. It is aiming for women to represent 25 per cent of its board by 2020, rising to 33 per cent by 2024. Given that currently the single woman on Cuatrecasas’s board represents just 7 per cent of the whole, the firm needs to work hard to hit its target.

Women made up less than 14 per cent of the firm’s partnership as a whole last year, which puts Cuatrecasas somewhere in the middle among the largest European firms.

Much lower down is Germany’s Hengeler Mueller, which this week announced its first all-female partner promotion round . The appointment of Düsseldorf-based public lawyer Vera Jungkind and Berlin-based litigator Johanna Wirth to the firm’s partnership increases the number of female partners by 67 per cent, from three to five. Proportionally, with only 5.4 per cent of the firm’s partners women, Hengeler is still near the bottom of the table – but the promotions are at least a step in the right direction.

Also on TheLawyer.com:

  • Simmons & Simmons has announced plans to launch a five-partner office in Luxembourg to capitalise on the jurisdiction’s funds industry
  • Squire Patton Boggs and Italian firm Bonelli Erede Pappalardo have advised Italian transmission tower operator Rai Way on its €280m (£222m) IPO this week on the Italian stock exchange
  • DLA Piper’s Turkish office has demerged financially from the firm , but the two are remaining linked with Istanbul’s Yüksel Karkın Küçük now a ‘DLA Piper relationship firm’
  • And our latest European moves round-up has all the latest partner hires and other appointments within Continental European firms and offices
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Competition – Karanovic & Nikolic: Dawn raids: a toll for discovering and establishing competition infringements
Tax – DLA Piper: Spanish tax reform: corporate income tax