Twelve More Firms Sign Race Fairness Commitment

Baker McKenzie, Clyde & Co and others have joined the pledge to combat career obstacles faced by minority ethnic lawyers.

Seventeen major law firms have signed the Race Fairness Commitment (RFC), a mutual pledge to strive for racial equity within legal organisations.

Firms that sign the RFC commit to removing race-based obstacles faced by ethnics from BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) backgrounds, making an effort to recruit and retain BAME talent. These firms pledge to ensure that race is discussed in every induction and exit interview, and that qualified ethnic minority applicants are just as likely to receive an interview as their white counterparts.

Further standards set by the RFC include a commitment to ending racial pay disparity, ending “othering”, and ensuring that lawyers of all races are equally likely to receive promotions.

The RFC’s newest signatories are Baker McKenzie, Bird & Bird, Burges Salmon, Bates Wells & Braithwaite, Clyde & Co, Dechert, Fieldfisher, Gowling, Mishcon De Reya, Stephenson Harwood, Taylor Wessing, and Withers.

“When it comes to ethnic diversity, law firms have a lot to do; we have a lot to do,” said Stephenson Harwood CEO Eifion Morris in a statement. “But we are committed to change. Cross-sector collaboration, and commitments like this, challenge and support us to take meaningful action that will make a lasting difference. I’m really pleased to sign us up.”

The pledge was launched in July and quickly received signatures from 17 major law firms including Linklaters, Allen & Overy and Slaughter & May.

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