Linklaters Race Action Plan

Our Race Action Plan - Changing the Narrative

Through our Race Action Plan, we affirm our commitment to anti-racism and strive to use our position as a global firm to lead change.

George Floyd’s death in the United States sparked a global movement and exposed systemic inequalities that continue to be experienced by members of the Black community. When perspective shifts, action should follow. That action starts with listening, learning and reflection, and then moves to more concrete steps to drive change.

We have a lack of Black racial diversity in our firm and are committed to doing better. We aim to create an inclusive culture in which everyone – regardless of background, identity and circumstance – can reach their full potential.

Our key developments to date

In 2018, we launched a ‘Diverse Voices’ Reverse Mentoring scheme to provide senior leaders in our firm an opportunity to build their awareness and understanding of different people’s perspectives and experiences. We also established our INspire programme to support, retain and progress our minority ethnic talent.

In July 2020, we joined the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance, a coalition of over 200 law firms working collaboratively to dismantle structural and systemic racism. We continue to pledge our support to organisations advancing racial justice, including the NAACP, and we have named Juneteenth as an annual paid holiday for our U.S. offices, encouraging our people to use it as a day of service and engagement.

We have recently adopted the Halo Code, the UK’s first Black hair code, championing and protecting the rights of individuals to embrace all Afro-hairstyles in the workplace.

Read more about our programmes and initiatives here.

Our commitment

We pledge to improve representation of Black and underrepresented minority ethnic lawyers and business team members at all levels in our firm. Our 2020 Race Action Plan sets out how we plan to accomplish this throughout the career path, from school-age to leadership positions, and the concrete actions we will take, aligned to aspirational targets.

Tom Shropshire, Partner and Global Head of U.S. Practice and Co-Sponsor of Linklaters’ UK BAME Network, stated:

"We are committed to being leaders for positive change, including across the global legal industry and within the communities where we live and serve. We see there is structural change needed, and we have an important role to play and must be agents for that change."

Our action plan

Our aspirational targets

Recruit Diverse Talent

Starting from the 2020/21 recruitment cycle:

35% Minority ethnic trainees each year, of whom 10% will be Black (UK)

50% Minority ethnic first years each year, of whom 10% will be Black (US)

Retain Diverse Talent

Proportional retention of white, Black and underrepresented minority ethnic:

  • Lawyers at all levels (UK & US)
  • Business Team colleagues at all levels (UK & US)

Strengthen Partnership Diversity

15% Black and underrepresented minority ethnic partners in partnerships by 2025 (UK & US)

15% Underrepresented minority ethnic partners in new partner elections annually (UK & US)

5x as many Black partners globally by 2027

Charlie Jacobs, Senior Partner and Senior Champion for Race & Ethnicity, commented:

"As a firm, we pride ourselves on our values of respect, integrity and inclusion and we are calling on those values to stand against racism and champion equality. We must do better as a firm, industry and society to ensure greater representation of Black and minority ethnic groups at all levels of business.

Reinforced by our Race Action Plan, we will create meaningful and long-term change within our firm and are committed to ensuring that we are home to and have an inclusive culture for everyone."

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