UBS demands diversity as clincher for panel places

UBS Investment Bank has asked firms that are seeking a place on its coveted legal panel to disclose statistics relating to diversity


Firms participating in the Swiss investment bank’s tender exercise (see The Lawyer, 28 February) were asked to provide details of their diversity policies, along with relevant statistics, in their written submissions. It is understood that this is the first time UBS has sought such information from its external lawyers.

Historically, US investment banks such as Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan have been ahead of their European counterparts in requiring law firms to provide information on diversity. However, the trend is slowly making its presence felt over here. For example, when the Royal Bank of Scotland ran its high-profile panel review in 2003, it used diversity as a criteria for its choices.

A UBS spokesperson said: “Workplace diversity is a priority for UBS and a well-grounded indicator of the breadth and scope of the kind of judgement that can be brought to bear on the global legal issues by both in-house and outside counsel.”