Mansfield UK Certified Firms + 2.0 Launch
An Open Letter From the 2021-2022
Mansfield UK Certified Firm Leaders
We, the Chairs, Managing and Senior Partners, and DEI leaders of leading law firms in the United Kingdom, are thrilled to announce both our achievement as Certified under Diversity Lab’s inaugural Mansfield UK Pilot and our commitment to continue this hard work as participants in Mansfield UK 2.0.
Mansfield is a one-year certification aimed at boosting and sustaining diversity in law firm leadership. We are exceptionally proud to be the first firms to pilot Mansfield in the UK. Making meaningful progress requires taking risks, and we are honored to have the opportunity to be the first firms outside the U.S. and Canada to test the Mansfield framework, which asks law firms to consider at least 30% underrepresented lawyers for leadership roles and to increase transparency regarding advancement to leadership. The work required to achieve Mansfield UK Certification adds another layer of accountability to our existing inclusion efforts that we are taking to ensure our lawyers have equitable opportunities to thrive.
As part of our Mansfield UK participation, we are establishing tracking and documenting norms for each of the 13 leadership and partner visibility categories, adding transparency to our succession planning processes, and joining forces with other firms to share knowledge in pursuit of a more equitable profession. Many of these changes required rigorous and intentional rewiring of our talent practices, which we are taking action on to meet the challenge.
This collaborative effort to increase DEI in our respective organisations is not an easy endeavor, but we recognise the urgency for systemic change to transform the leadership of our historically homogenous profession into one that prioritises including lawyers of all backgrounds, including women lawyers, underrepresented racial and/or ethnic lawyers, lawyers with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ lawyers. This is just the first step on a long journey, as achieving sustained progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion requires continuous action and a long-term commitment.
Some of our firms’ related accomplishments follow.
Highlighted Individual Firm Outcomes
“Being part of the inaugural Mansfield Rule in the UK has enabled us to use data more effectively, to highlight where we need to focus our energies and make improvements to key talent processes. We know we are at the beginning of a journey to ensure our firm better represents the society it serves. The data we have compiled for our Mansfield accreditation has been enlightening and has enabled some frank conversations about improving representation and ensuring we are a truly diverse and inclusive organisation.” Zoe Feller | London Management Team and London D&I Committee | Bird & Bird
“Having implemented the Mansfield Rule in our US offices five years ago, we were determined to participate in the UK pilot. The Mansfield Rule has cemented the focus on proactively tracking our progress and ensuring opportunities are distributed fairly. This framework is invaluable as we continue to build a strong pipeline of talent and provide an inclusive, equitable workplace for all our people. The “Mansfield Rule ensures there is no room for complacency – a commitment BCLP stands behind.” Segun Osuntokun | UK Managing Partner | Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
“Part of the firm’s strategy is to change the rules, and through Mansfield we are identifying areas where we can do just that. It is supporting our work to increase representation across Clifford Chance and this undoubtedly will benefit us and our clients, through diversity of thought and advice.” Michael Bates | Regional Managing Partner for the UK | Clifford Chance
“Key for us was the clarity of communication around what we’re trying to achieve. The 30% diverse rule is memorable, impactful and clear. It has enhanced our approach and focus on how we are progressing against our targets.” Sarah Twite | Senior Wellbeing Manager | Clifford Chance
“Our firm’s D&I targets and commitments are underpinned by a recognition of the importance of leadership, accountability, data and transparency. Aligned to this, our involvement in Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule certification process, in both the US and UK this year, has enabled further discussion, collaboration and engagement with colleagues across locations as we continue to drive our strategy forward.” Helen Ouseley | Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing | Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
“We are committed to creating an environment where everyone can thrive and be the best that they can be so, over the years, we have taken on a number of initiatives which have helped us become a better representation of the communities we live in and serve. We see our involvement in Mansfield as another fantastic step to ensure those in underrepresented groups within our Firm succeed and we also look forward to building on this, through collaboration and knowledge sharing across other Firms, to improve opportunities across the legal sector. Exciting times…!” Andy Stylianou | Chair | Gowling WLG LLP
“We are delighted to join the inaugural year of the Mansfield Rule in the UK. We have seen many positive outcomes during our five-year U.S. involvement and we are proud that 58% of our Board, 44% of our International Management Committee and 40% of our Industry Sector Heads identify as members of underrepresented groups. The timing of the UK Rule coincides with a number of internal programmes, including the launch of our global Diversity in Pitching policy. In our first year in the UK, we have implemented additional tracking to improve representation and inclusion in formal pitch meetings. We are also looking at staffing on matters to ensure an equitable allocation of work. Collaborating with other firms on the knowledge sharing calls has also been invaluable.” Penny Angell | UK Managing Partner | Hogan Lovells
“We’re committed to delivering an inclusive culture and a progressive environment where we empower all our people to lead, learn and grow. The Mansfield Rule keeps us and the wider legal profession accountable for achieving and surpassing these goals; over the last year alone the Mansfield Rule has helped us focus on monitoring our recruitment and promotion activities, as well as improving the diversity of our firm. We’re proud to be one of the first firms to have piloted the scheme and we’ll be continuing with our certification. We’ve seen tangible changes in our firm from championing diverse voices across all areas of our business, something we want to see continue to flourish in the years to come and with Mansfield as a key partner in building an inclusive environment for all.” Siân Skelton | D&I Partner | Taylor Wessing
“We are thrilled to have joined the pioneering Mansfield Group of UK Pilot Certified Firms. By joining our U.S offices who have been participating for several years, we will be delivering the Mansfield Rule across our UK business as part of our strategy to improve opportunities for underrepresented groups and our commitment to a diverse, progressive and inclusive culture for our people, our clients and the those who work with us.” Jessica Tresham | Partner and Board D&I Sponsor | Womble Bond Dickinson (UK)
Welcome to the Newest Mansfield UK Participants
We encourage and invite others – both law firms and legal departments – to join us on this journey. We are incredibly pleased to welcome the following new UK participating firms. We look forward to sharing knowledge and increasing diversity in leadership with you.
|Gowling WLG||Thompsons Solicitors|
|McDermott Will & Emery||Womble Bond Dickinson (UK)|
Law Firm Leadership
On Behalf of the Mansfield UK Pilot Certified Firms
|Allen & Overy||DLA Piper|
|Bird & Bird||Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer|
|Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner||Hogan Lovells|
|Clyde & Co||Mayer Brown|
Certified Plus Firms (in italics) – Mansfield UK Certification Plus status indicates that, in addition to meeting or exceeding the baseline certification requirements, the firm has successfully achieved at least 30% underrepresented lawyer representation in a notable number of their current leadership roles.