Duane Morris receive Women’s Impact Network for Success awards

The Duane Morris Women’s Impact Network for Success (WINS) has honoured three attorneys for their efforts to advance women in the legal profession. Manita Rawat, managing partner of the firm’s Silicon Valley office, and Chicago partner Lisa T. Scruggs received the Cheryl Bryson Leadership Award. Philadelphia partner Linda B. Hollinshead received the Margery Reed Professional Excellence Award. Rawat, Scruggs and Hollinshead received the awards at Duane Morris’ virtual annual firmwide meeting.

The Cheryl Bryson Leadership Award recognises significant contributions, including professional development, leadership and mentoring, made by a lawyer to women in the legal profession. The award is named in honour of the late Cheryl Blackwell Bryson, a Duane Morris partner in Chicago who died in January 2012 after a long battle with cancer. Bryson was a leader in many significant civic and community causes, and she was repeatedly honoured throughout her career as a major pioneer, both as a female lawyer and as a lawyer of colour.

Likewise, Margery Reed spent her entire professional career as an attorney at Duane Morris, including 24 years as a partner of the firm. As demonstrated by her numerous awards, including her admission as a fellow in the prestigious American College of Bankruptcy, Reed was repeatedly recognised as one of the best commercial bankruptcy lawyers in the country. A consummate partner, Reed was incomparably selfless in giving of her time and talents to assist her colleagues and mentor junior lawyers. She was a true professional in every sense, and her unwavering commitment to her clients and colleagues, the firm and the profession of law is the reason this award for professional excellence is given in her name.

Despite her extremely busy schedule, Manita Rawat was chosen for going out of her way to work with young female lawyers and serve as a mentor to them in terms of “work product, marketing and what it means to be a good firm citizen.” She is committed to having open and honest discussions with young attorneys related to practice and personal issues.

Rawat is the managing partner of the firm’s Silicon Valley office and a member of the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group. She counsels clients on a variety of issues related to intellectual property, working primarily with software, mechanical and aerospace technologies. Rawat also has significant experience with patent office post grant proceedings (including inter-parts review and re-examination). She also has substantial experience in supporting intellectual property issues related to corporate deals, such as mergers and acquisitions and investment funding. Rawat also assists clients in patent licensing and transactional matters, including structuring, negotiating and drafting agreements. She has significant experience with providing technical support on patent litigation matters at various stages of a case as well. In 2020, Rawat was honoured with a Women of Influence Award from Silicon Valley Business Journal. She is a member of the firm’s governing Partners Board and serves on the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Lisa T. Scruggs was chosen for her dedication to mentoring young female attorneys. “In a profession that can often be dominated by competitiveness and egos, she goes out of her way to provide kind leadership.”

A core member of the Education Industry group at Duane Morris, Scruggs provides litigation and counselling services for education and school reform organisations, including individual charter and private schools, early childhood centres, charter school networks, charter and education management organisations, school districts and other education non-profit and for-profit organisations and service providers. She has handled a wide range of litigation, regulatory and policy matters for clients relating to new school development, teacher evaluation, credentialing and certification reforms, public/private education ventures, virtual education/remote learning, school finance and parent and student civil rights. Scruggs has been recognised by Crain’s Chicago Business on its listing of Notable Minorities in Law (2019) and as an Illinois Super Lawyer (Business Litigation and Education Law) for eight years running. She was awarded the firm’s Pro Bono Leadership Award for her work handling a legal challenge to the school funding system in Illinois and is a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow, joining a cohort of leaders who are “reimagining America’s public schools.”

Although employment issues surrounding COVID-19 have left Linda B. Hollinshead incredibly busy, she is still taking the time to support her colleagues during these unexpected times. She was chosen for the “advice, resources and humour she has contributed to fellow parents these past few months while coping with the new normal.”

Hollinshead practices in the area of employment law. She provides training and counselling to employers throughout the country on a variety of subjects, including monitoring employee attendance, FMLA compliance, medical and religious accommodations, leaves of absence policies, harassment and discrimination prevention, responding to harassment and discrimination claims, FLSA and wage and hour compliance, including employee misclassification, diversity and inclusion, termination of employees, hiring practices, performance appraisals and performance management. Hollinshead also advises public accommodations as well as recipients of federal financial assistance on program accessibility and other compliance obligations. She advises clients in numerous industries, including colleges and universities, manufacturing and retail companies, hospitals and other healthcare organisations, technology companies, financial services organisations, energy companies and not-for-profit entities. Hollinshead is also a member of the firm’s Cannabis Industry Group. She also assists employers by drafting employees policies and handbooks, confidentiality and restrictive covenant agreements, employment agreements, termination and severance agreements as well as independent contractor agreements. Hollinshead is a member of the firm’s COVID-19 Strategy Team.

Kirkland Sponsors GLAAD Spirit Day

Kirkland is proud to sponsor GLAAD’s annual Spirit Day for the eighth year in a row. GLAAD is the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organisation. Spirit Day, which takes place this year on October 15, 2020, is the largest and most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world that aims to accelerate the acceptance of LGBTQ youth. Spirit Day inspires millions of people around the world to wear purple or “go purple” online in a unified stance against bullying and to show their support for LGBTQ youth.

Kirkland has been a proud official international sponsor of Spirit Day since 2013. Each year, the Firm demonstrates its support on Spirit Day by encouraging Kirkland employees worldwide to wear purple, celebrate diversity and inclusion, and continue important conversations within the Firm, the legal profession and the community. Kirkland also contributes to GLAAD’s Spirit Day Fund, which supports GLAAD’s year-round efforts to combat bullying, protect LGBTQ youth and garner participation in Sprit Day each October.

“GLAAD Spirit Day promotes some of the most important values in our society today — equality, inclusion and opportunity for all,” said Diversity & Inclusion Committee co-chair Ranesh Ramanathan. “Our attorneys and staff are proud to once again demonstrate our support for LGBTQ youth through participation in this important initiative.”

Eversheds Sutherland Receives Mansfield 3.0 Plus Certification

Eversheds Sutherland is pleased to announce that it has once again received Mansfield Certification after completing the Mansfield Rule 3.0 twelve-month certification program and has officially signed on to the Mansfield Rule 4.0 program.

The certification by Diversity Lab is given to law firms that have affirmatively considered at least 30 percent women, attorneys of colour, LGBTQ+ and lawyers with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions. Firms are audited bi-annually and certified annually as they follow, comply, and achieve the Rules’ requirements.

In addition, Eversheds Sutherland has achieved Mansfield Certification Plus status, which is given to firms that have successfully reached at least 30 percent diverse attorney representation in a notable number of their current leadership roles and committees. The goal of the Mansfield Rule is to boost the representation of diverse attorneys in law firm leadership by broadening the pool of candidates considered for these opportunities.

To achieve certification, Eversheds Sutherland participated in monthly group knowledge sharing calls with Diversity Lab as well as 1:1 meetings and twelve-month data collection. Through its Women’s Leadership Initiative, Eversheds Sutherland has formally committed to achieving 30 percent female partnership and 30 percent equity female partnership by 2021.

Eversheds Sutherland is also a founding firm of the Move the Needle Fund, the first collaborative effort designed and funded with $5M to test innovative initiatives to create a more diverse and inclusive legal profession.

Baker McKenzie forms Global Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Diversity

Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie announces new Global Race & Ethnicity Task Force which will work across the Firm’s 77 offices in 46 countries and in concert with our efforts at a regional level, to help implement and operationalise programs to advance racial and ethnic diversity.

The Task Force will be led by Miguel Noyola based in our Chicago office and members include Claudia Benavides (Bogota), Anna Brown (New York), Sunny Mann (London), Anna Mello (Rio de Janeiro), Yoshiaki Muto (Tokyo), Veleka Peeples-Dyer (Washington DC), Joyce Smith (San Francisco), Kate Stonestreet (London) and Constanze Ulmer-Eilfort (Munich).

The Task Force will oversee allyship and anti-racism training; sponsorship of our Black colleagues and members of other underrepresented racial and ethnic groups; and a review of our recruitment and client programs. This work will also closely be connected to our program on social mobility and diverse pipeline efforts and will help progress other important D&I programs.

Constanze Ulmer-Eilfort, Chair of the Firm’s Global Diversity & Inclusion Committee commented: “Advancing Racial and Ethnic diversity has always been one of our most important D&I priorities and this Task Force will strive to effect change and to really make a difference. As a Firm we are proud of what we have achieved together on gender diversity and on LGBT+ inclusion. We can and must also make similar progress on racial and ethnic diversity.

“Change starts from within, and we must all embrace the need for change together. We are encouraging everyone to learn, reflect and work to become a more active ally. We need to open our minds and our hearts to the experiences of our Black community — there is so much for us to learn, to understand, and to reflect upon before change happens.”

If you would like to find out more information, please visit https://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/

Deloitte publishes its Black Action Plan

Deloitte UK has published its Black Action Plan. The plan, launched today via a firmwide webinar to 20,000 of Deloitte’s people hosted by Richard Houston, UK CEO, and Dimple Agarwal, deputy CEO and managing partner for people and purpose, is based on five key commitments that align to the firm’s global shared values of inclusion and taking care of each other.

Deloitte has responded to the Black Lives Matter movement by hosting a series of listening sessions for its people across all parts of the firm. These sessions included hearing from and understanding the experiences of Black colleagues. A firmwide working group was formed to work closely with the leadership and develop the actions.

Dimple Agarwal, deputy CEO and managing partner for people and purpose at Deloitte, said: “Over the last month we have listened, learned and started an important journey with people across the firm and with our Black colleagues. The stories, feedback and comments have brought home the difficult truth that bias and racism are widespread in our society.

“While we’ve made progress on our wider inclusion agenda over recent years, it is absolutely clear that we need to do more. Today we are going beyond listening and we are committed to the lessons we have learnt. This is a considered plan that will deliver concrete actions.”

The Black Action Plan is based on five key commitments. Each action comes with meaningful and measurable objectives that ensures Deloitte will:

  • Provide equal opportunities: Deloitte will review every step of the employee lifecycle – from how it attracts and recruits talent, through to promotion and pay processes to ensure Black and Ethnic Minority colleagues are treated fairly.
  • Focus on developing people to succeed and thrive: Deloitte will design and deliver development programmes that support its Black and Ethnic Minority colleagues to thrive and become leaders of the future.
  • Drive and evolve culture and behaviours: Recognising that achieving real and meaningful change requires everyone to think and act differently, Deloitte will implement cultural change that starts with education and understanding. This will include rolling out a mandatory training programme on ethnicity and race, and launching a Black Allies programme within the firm.
  • Influence change: Deloitte will continue to use its network to help bring about social change – working with clients, industry peers, charity partners and suppliers. This will include developing a relationship with a new Black charity partner and expanding the portfolio of Black-owned social enterprises it works with.
  • Measure and report on targets and outcomes: Deloitte is committing to 12% of Ethnic Minority and 3% of Black partners by 2025. The firm will also commit to targets across other grades to create the future pipeline. Leaders will be held accountable for these targets.

“The impact of all of these actions together will be bigger than the sum of their parts – such as race training for all of our people focusing on micro-aggressions and conscious inclusion,” added Agarwal. “Not only will it add up to a fairer and more positive overall experience for our people but for the communities in which we work.”

Deloitte’s Multicultural Network was created 14 years ago along with 10 other diversity networks. The network supports the firm’s focus on ensuring that it provides an inclusive culture that is underpinned by respect.

Nadine Dyer, co-chair of the Multicultural Network at Deloitte, said: “This action plan is an important step in the right direction. We have listened and talked, discussed and planned and now it’s time for meaningful action. All of our people across the firm will have the responsibility of taking this plan forward and bringing it to life.”

Agarwal concluded: “I want to personally thank my colleagues who have shared their stories so courageously and provided honest feedback to me. I have been humbled, saddened and shocked by what I’ve heard. We are deeply committed to this action plan and the wider commitment by the firm that we can, and will, make a change.”

Hogan Lovells associate duo named on Yahoo Finance EMpower list

Hogan Lovells associates Sengova Kailondo and Ademola Bamgbose have been named in The EMpower Top 100 Ethnic Minority Future Leader Role Models 2020, which celebrates the achievements of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) business leaders who are helping to make the workplace a more welcoming place for ethnic minority employees.

At Hogan Lovells, London-based banking associate Sengova is an active member of the Steering Committee of our Multicultural Network, as well as our newly established employee network, Race and Ethnicity at Hogan Lovells (REAHL). REAHL focuses on the progression, retention and inclusion of BAME employees.

His efforts helped see an increase in the recruitment of employees from BAME and lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Further, Sengova mentors BAME students through firm programmes in collaboration with Rare Recruitment, a specialist diversity recruitment company, and has spoken on numerous panels to hundreds of students.

He also works with Urban Synergy, an organisation that helps young people reach their full potential, where he inspires students to pursue careers in the City. In addition, he is co-treasurer of NOTICED, the UK’s first inter-firm D&I network aimed at promoting networking opportunities to celebrate diversity across the legal sector.

International arbitration associate Ademola also sits on the steering committee of both our REAHL and Multicultural Networks at Hogan Lovells. Admitted to practice in Nigeria, England and Wales, he has previously undertaken a litigation secondment at a FTSE 100 company in London and spent some time at the ICC Court of Arbitration in Paris and a leading commercial law firm in Lagos.

Ademola mentors BAME lawyers and students and takes a front seat in driving Hogan Lovells’s diversity and inclusion agenda. He co-founded Africa Arbitration, a platform designed to promote black practitioners across the globe. He is a Regional Representative (Africa) at the London Court of International Arbitration – Young International Arbitration Group, director of the Africa Arbitration Academy and Honorary Lecturer (international arbitration) at Nigeria’s premier university, University of Ibadan.

He regularly features on leading media platforms and contributes to the discourse on diversity especially in international arbitration.

All those listed were nominated by peers and employees. Nominations were then reviewed by EMpower’s judging panel, which included head of Yahoo Finance UK Lianna Brinded. The panel scored nominees on: the influence of their role; their impact on ethnic minority inclusion inside and outside the workplace; and their business achievements.