Manchester firms and chambers invited to take part in leading diversity initiative.

  • 19/05/2014

1Manchester firms and chambers invited to take part in leading diversity initiative

Date: 14.05.14

The largest firms and chambers across the northwest have been invited to take part in the 2014 BSN Diversity League Table (DLT), considered by many to be the legal profession’s leading diversity reporting initiative.

The Diversity League Table started in 2006, pre-dating pretty much all of the current diversity reporting initiatives and regulatory requirements; promoting transparency and kick-starting a new way of approaching how the industry looks at itself, and to solutions that might address inequality within the profession.

The national Law Society of England and Wales is the lead sponsor of the 2014 Diversity League Table project, with regional support from the Manchester Law Society. The initiative has also received support from, the Bar Council, the Legal Services Board, the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority; also, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Government Equalities Office and the Attorney General’s Office.

Manchester Law Society CEO, Fran Eccles-Bech, said “The BSN Diversity League Table is a very important piece of work which we are pleased to support.”

The key difference between the DLT and other reporting is in the main output. The range of league tables and diversity rankings produced provides additional and significant value. They enable the reader to see, at a glance, how firms and chambers compare to peers at different levels; including the Partners/QC level, Associate/Barrister and Trainee/Pupil. Helping to provide a basis on which more informed decisions can be made, for example, around recruitment, retention and promotion strategies.

In relation to the demographic make-up of leading firms and chambers, one aim of the DLT is to provide a detailed look at some of the most diversity-progressive practices in the UK.

The DLT is made available to a wide range of stakeholders and decision-makers; this includes being sent directly to all GCs within FTSE100 and FTSE250 companies.

With many of the largest, and therefore more lucrative, clients wanting to see more transparency and proactivity is this area, the DLT could also represent something of an opportunity for participants. There are plans to go digital at launch this year and so offering instant online and therefore global reach. The DLT will seek to build its reputation as a “go-to” resource for procurers of legal services, in addition to that of a management information resource for participants.

Eccles-Bech continues, “There’s an interesting commercial point starting to be made. And if Manchester, as a whole, wants to be seen as a truly international business city then perhaps we could all do more to show a greater commitment to that intention. Participation in the DLT could be one of the ways that the legal industry in the region leads other professions. And if that’s the case I would encourage eligible firms and chambers to make enquiries and take part.”

The DLT is project-managed and published by Satsuma on behalf of the BSN (Black Solicitors Network). Satsuma’s MD, Godwin Ohajah, said, “In addition to producing the report, we also work hard to profile and promote the positive activities of firms and chambers that take part in the DLT. There are a number of things planned including, diversity events in London and also Manchester, to coincide with the release of the findings in October. Additionally, the 5th annual UK Diversity Legal Awards will be taking place later in the year.”

Although a BSN initiative, DLT reporting is balanced and covers social mobility, gender, disabilities, sexual orientation and ethnicity.

The deadline for DLT 2014 submissions has been extended to Friday 13th June.

The 2014 report will be published in October this year. The 2013 edition is available directly from Satsuma or via the national Law Society Bookshop, priced £45.00.

Eligible firms and chambers who are interested in taking part should email: [email protected] .

For partnership and other enquiries please contact Godwin Ohajah by email: [email protected]