Firms’ diversity to be ranked in CRE-BSN top 100

The Black Solicitors Network and the Commission for Racial Equality have teamed up to launch the first league table ranking law firms by diversity.

The groundbreaking project, which has been endorsed by the Department for Constitutional Affairs and the Law Society, will for the first time reveal the demographic composition of the top 100 City law firms in the UK. The results of the survey will be revealed by The Lawyer in early January 2006. Questionnaires have already been sent out to senior partners and HR departments, to be completed and returned by early October.

The project is being supported by US firm Reed Smith, which last Wednesday (27 July) hosted a seminar for City firm representatives to learn about the initiative.

Diversity has shot up law firms’ agendas recently, thanks partly to pressure from clients. For instance, as first reported in The Lawyer (14 March), Swiss investment bank UBS asked firms participating in its panel review to provide details of their diversity policies, along with relevant statistics, in their written submissions.

Meanwhile, last November, Allen & Overy, Ashurst, Baker & McKenzie, Clifford Chance, DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary, Fresh-fields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters, Slaughter and May and Weil Gotshal & Manges launched a ‘common diversity in law’ policy – the brainchild of Global Graduates.