Linklaters looks across the autism spectrum for diverse talent

Linklaters has signed up to work with Auticon, a unique social enterprise, which exclusively employs IT consultants on the autism spectrum. Auticon has placed its first consultant in Linklaters’ London office.

Addressing the unemployment issue among autistic adults in the UK, Auticon has employed 20 autistic consultants on a full-time basis since 2016 and has plans to employ many more to meet growing demand from clients. 90% of Auticon’s UK consultants were unemployed before joining the company, with half of those unemployed for more than five years, despite being highly skilled. One third of Auticon consultants are educated to PhD level but struggled to find employment.

According to the National Autistic Society, only 16% of autistic adults are in full time employment despite 77% of people with autism on out of work benefits wanting to work.

Owen Clay, Linklaters partner, said:

“Neurodiversity need not be a barrier to working at a world class law firm. In fact, embracing the diverse talents of people in a diverse workforce enables us to deliver the best possible service to our clients.

“Taking an open-minded and innovative approach to the way we work is central to life at Linklaters. We look to find the best possible people for each and every role. Our experience with Auticon has been that any adjustments we need to make to accommodate the needs of their consultants are far outweighed by the extraordinary abilities and skills they bring to the firm.”

Auticon UK’s CEO, Ray Coyle, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Linklaters as our latest UK client. As a true innovator among global law firms, Linklaters immediately recognised the value of working with neurodiverse talent. Unemployment among autistic adults is a major issue in the UK. By working with Auticon, City firms can not only address the unemployment issue among autistic adults but also benefit from our consultants’ market-leading skillsets on complex IT projects.”