Weil creates specialist diversity placements throughout Europe

Weil Gotshal & Manges

has unveiled a new diversity initiative that will see trained diversity officers appointed across the firm’s European network.

The plan follows last year’s appointment of a New York-based director of global diversity, Lisa Cuevas.

Cuevas, a non-lawyer, sits on the firm’s professional conduct committee, which is responsible for promoting diversity at the firm, alongside partners, associates and non-lawyer diversity officers.

As part of the firm’s diversity push, every lawyer and partner must undergo diversity training. Diversity officers will be appointed in every jurisdiction to oversee the training process. However, one partner said it was unlikely that every jurisdiction would have a non-lawyer specialist in the role.

London HR training manager Amanda Little has been appointed as the firm’s diversity officer in London. Little will lead diversity mentoring and training in the UK arm, working alongside London partners Wade Angus and Ian Hamilton, who were appointed to the professional conduct committee in March.

The two lawyers have undergone diversity training and are together responsible for the implementation of diversity policy in the firm’s London office.

The diversity officer initiative was the brainchild of Weil’s management committee in conjunction with the firm’s professional conduct committee.

Earlier this year, The Lawyer revealed that women and ethnic minorities were still failing to break into partnerships in the UK’s top firms. Around two-thirds of trainees in the UK are female, while only 25 per cent of partners are female. The research also found that ethnic minorities make up around 23 per cent of lawyers but only 3 per cent of the partnerships at UK firms. Of Weil’s 306 partners, 49 are women and 19 are from ethnic minorities.