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Norton Rose Fulbright Backs Women’s Day

Norton Rose Fulbright is an international law firm. It is the second largest law firm in the United States and one of the ten largest in the world, by both lawyers and revenue. In 2017/18, Norton Rose Fulbright had total revenue of USD 2.1 billion.

International Women’s Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women, and in particular those working at our firm.

The theme for 2021 is ‘Choose to Challenge,’ a reminder that we all can and should choose to call out gender bias and inequality to create an inclusive world.

Women are not a homogenous group; they are diverse by nature of their backgrounds, their life experiences, their abilities, perspectives and opinions, and International Women’s Day is about celebrating inclusion of women in its truest sense.

We have much to celebrate in our global firm – we have remarkable women doing notable work throughout the world. In January 2021, we became the first ‘Am Law 200’ firm to name a woman of colour, Shauna Clark, as both our Global and United States Chair.

Recently, Shauna spoke with women leaders of the firm to get their views on the challenges that women face today, including discrimination and micro-aggression in the workplace and the perceptions of female leadership during a pandemic.

The reality, then, is that women still are fighting not just for a place at the table – but to be listened to when they get a seat there.

One issue that remains is that women who are assertive are sometimes painted in a negative light, which can make them reluctant to display their full confidence or potential.

Combatting the issue requires raising issues of disrespect, implicit bias and micro-aggression when we see it, in order to seek to correct and improve it.

Kim Askew Recognised As a Leader in Diversity

The business case for diversity stems from the progression of the models of diversity within the workplace since the 1960s. In the United States, the original model for diversity was situated around affirmative action drawing from equal opportunity employment objectives implemented in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

DLA Piper law firm is pleased to announce that Kim Askew, a partner in the firm’s Employment practice, was named to the Dallas Business Journal’s inaugural Leaders in Diversity list honouring “organisations and individuals who have shown exceptional commitment to promoting practices that advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace.”

Askew has received numerous awards throughout her career as a result of her legal practice and her efforts to advance diversity and inclusion, including the inaugural Dallas Bar Association Distinguished Service Award, which was named after her and recognises a Dallas Bar Association member who is dedicated to good work and positive relations with lawyers, the judiciary and the community, and the ABA Spirit of Excellence Award, which recognises contributions to diversity in the legal profession. Askew serves as the local Diversity and Inclusion chair for DLA Piper’s Dallas office.

DLA Piper Dallas serves a wide array of global, national and local clients, from leading multinational and national companies to emerging companies across a range of industries.

She has moderated firmwide webinars focusing on racial equality, ally ship and social justice, and she sits on the board of the National Women’s Law Centre, a non-profit that advocates for women’s rights through litigation and policy initiatives.

In her practice, Askew represents clients in significant employment matters involving claims of race, disability, gender and age discrimination and sexual harassment, as well as in litigation involving business torts, trade secrets, non-compete, and non-solicitation and employment agreements.

She has successfully tried cases to jury and non-jury verdicts in state and federal courts across the United States and has handled appeals before federal and Texas appellate courts.

Milton Cheng Joins Chief Executives in Change initiative

Milton Cheng has reinforced the commitment of the leading global law firm to join Catalyst’s mission to elevate women in leadership roles.

Baker McKenzie is a multinational law firm headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1949 as Baker & McKenzie, it has 77 offices in 46 countries, and over 6000 lawyers worldwide. It is one of the largest law firms in the world by headcount and revenue.

Milton is one of the Chief Executives involved in the Catalyst For Change initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workforce. Catalyst’s 2020 report, Towards a More Equitable Future, found that Catalyst For Change companies are addressing challenges in the representation of marginalised groups by building a strong foundation at the manager level.

The 2020 report identifies ways global companies can collect data on ethnicity and race in their organisations, as well as highlighting the latest statistics for women’s representation in the global leadership pipeline.

Milton Cheng, Baker McKenzie Global Chair commented; “Twenty years after electing the first female Chair of any global law firm, we are proud to say that once again we are leading the way in the legal sector.

To demonstrate our commitment to being inclusive, we have set global aspirational targets of 40% women, 40% men and 20% flexible by 2025.

This target applies to Partners, senior business professionals, firm committee leadership and candidate pools for recruitment.”

This pledge follows Baker McKenzie’s earlier commitment with Catalyst in 2020. The Firm became one of 56 companies and organisations who have joined Catalyst’s Gender and Diversity KPI Alliance to support the adoption and use of a set of key performance indicators that will measure gender and diversity.

Oxana Balayan Named in Women Who Will Report

The Next 100 Years have partnered with Obelisk Support to launch a new report showcasing a diverse range of Women Who Will. These are 30 leading female lawyers drawn from across the profession who are excelling in their areas of expertise, pushing the boundaries and shaping the legal world to ensure that women are able to progress.

Oxana Balayan has been named in the ‘Women Who Will’ 2020 report. The award recognises the top 30 women of the legal in-house community, private practice and other change makers from within the industry, with nominations being accepted from senior General Counsel.

Hogan Lovells is an American-British law firm co-headquartered in London and Washington, D.C. Hogan Lovells was formed in 2010 by the merger of the American law firm Hogan & Hartson and the British law firm Lovells.

She obtained her Bachelor of Laws degree from the Lomonosov Moscow State University in1992, and followed that up with a Ph.D. from the University of Regensburg in 1996.

Hogan Lovells commitment to diversity and inclusion is integral to our success as a global law firm. Oxana has been a poster-woman for gender equality in Europe and Russia for many years.

Oxana leads the Corporate and Finance practice in Russia and CIS at Hogan Lovells, is a successful business woman, a mother of two great children, a marathon runner and a relentless gender equality fighter.

At Hogan Lovells, we fully support this report which aims to shine a light on talented individuals and on the gender diversity of leadership in law and why it matters.

Hogan Lovells vision is to become the market leader in Diversity and Inclusion, and to create an inclusive environment where people of all backgrounds have the opportunity to thrive and belong.

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.

PwC reports global revenues up 3% to US$43 billion

For the 12 months ending 30 June 2020, PwC firms around the world had gross revenues of US$43 billion – up 3% in local currency and 1.4% in US dollars.

During the first nine months of FY20 to the end of March, revenues grew by nearly 7% over the same period last year with increases across all lines of business and in every major market. From April to June, revenues were significantly impacted by the lockdown and subsequent slowing economies as countries around the world fought the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to the same three months in 2019, revenues were down from April to June 2020 by 6%.

“First and foremost the COVID-19 pandemic has been a human tragedy that has deeply affected the lives of many people around the world including members of our PwC family, their relatives and friends and our heartfelt condolences go out to all those who have lost loved ones,” said Bob Moritz, Chairman of the PwC Network.

“Since the pandemic struck, our priorities have been the safety and wellbeing of our people, protecting and preserving jobs, and helping our clients and the communities in which we live and work deal with the impact of COVID-19. I am proud of what we have done over the last year and the way our people have adapted quickly to a huge amount of change while at the same time continuing to connect, collaborate and innovate for the benefit of our stakeholders across the world.”

“While the last few months have been very challenging for everyone, we have re-focused our business to help our clients manage the immediate impacts of the pandemic and reinvent their businesses for future success. It has never been more important to provide our stakeholders with high quality services. We have also continued our significant investments in technology and upskilling our people to help build a sustainable PwC for the future. Our investment in technology was borne out at the height of the lockdown when 95% of our 284,000 strong workforce were operating out of the office with no interruption to the service we were able to provide”, added Bob Moritz.

Revenues across the world

In the Americas, revenues rose by 3% with a particularly good performance from businesses in the United States and Canada. Revenues in Western Europe were up by 2%, while in Central and Eastern Europe, revenues grew by 4%.

Revenues from the Middle East and Africa rose by 10% with a strong result from the Middle East where revenues were up 14%. Across Asia, revenues grew by 5% while in Australasia and the Pacific, revenues were down 1% reflecting difficult trading conditions throughout FY20.

Regional growth numbers for the full year FY20 mask the impact of COVID-19, with all regions performing as anticipated up to the end of March 2020 and then feeling the full impact of the economic restrictions caused by lockdowns in the months of April, May and June. For the last three months of FY20, in most markets around the world we experienced declines in revenues compared with the same period in FY19 with falls in revenues of up to 30% in certain countries.

Revenues by line of business

Around the world, our businesses are focused on providing high quality services that help our clients respond to an ever more complex and challenging environment and address current and future opportunities. While all our lines of business continued to grow in FY20, each was impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19 and we expect market conditions to be challenging for all our operations as we go into our new financial year.

Assurance: Assurance remains PwC’s largest operation across the world and our brand defining business, serving key stakeholders and helping to build trust in the world’s capital markets. In FY20, revenues from our assurance operations grew by 3% to US$17.6 billion, driven by continued strong demand for our core audit. As management and other stakeholders seek insight into operations, risks and performance, and to increase confidence and resilience in business, we have seen continued strong growth in our broader assurance services, such as internal audit and governance, risk and controls. Demand for our digital risk solutions has also remained strong as companies look for support as they accelerate their transition to the Cloud. With almost 119,000 professionals, PwC is the world’s largest provider of assurance services.

Advisory: PwC Advisory operations grew by 4% to US$14.7 billion. This growth was driven by high demand across the world for advice on strategy, business transformation and value creation in the first nine months of the financial year. Our advisory business differentiates by bringing together consulting, deals and cybersecurity professionals, and our operations benefited from increased teaming with our tax and risk assurance colleagues to provide a more integrated service for our clients that gives the advice and support they need from strategy right through to execution. PwC Advisory now employs over 71,000 people.

Tax & Legal Services: PwC Tax & Legal revenues grew by 2% to US$10.7 billion, with demand for tax reporting and strategy, people and organisation and legal services in the first nine months of the year offset by the impact of the pandemic in the final three months. Guided by our PwC Global Tax Code of Conduct, the over 55,000 professionals in our Tax & Legal Services teams use their knowledge and expertise to help clients – ranging from individuals to the largest global corporations – to navigate complex and challenging environments, address people and legal issues, and comply with their tax and reporting responsibilities.

The year ahead

“While we adapted quickly to many of the new challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic brought, there is no doubt that the next 12 months and beyond are going to be difficult. Our economists are predicting that the global economy will contract by 5.5 % by the end of 2021 and while different countries will recover at different rates it is clear that the economic downturn will impact us and our clients across the world,” said Bob Moritz.

We are now very clearly focused on a number of priorities.

  • Jobs: Doing the right things to preserve jobs for our people, continue to invest in building the workforce PwC needs for the future, while maintaining the sustainability of our operations. Unfortunately we have seen some job losses in a few markets around the world, particularly in the advisory business, but we are working hard to limit these by containing non-essential costs and investments.
  • Safety and Wellbeing: Where we are returning to office based work, ensuring that our people are safe and comfortable and that we have processes and technologies in place to protect our people in line with relevant safety protocols. And where our people remain working from home, we continue to provide the support that they need to meet the challenges this can bring.
  • Quality: The uncertainty created by the pandemic and its economic impact has placed an even greater focus on the importance of trust in institutions, information and increased transparency. Investing in the enhancement of the quality of all of the services we provide to our stakeholders remains our number one priority, including continuing to invest the US$1 billion we announced last year to drive quality and innovation by making us the most cloud-enabled organisation in the world.
  • Clients: Supporting our clients across the world as they deal with the impact of the pandemic and look to restart operations, repair their balance sheets and rethink their business models.
  • Innovation: Driving and scaling up innovation right across our network and the development of new products and services. As our stakeholders grapple with the challenges of the current economic environment, it is vital that we are able to advise and support them on the best ways to construct sustainable businesses for the future.
  • Upskilling: Upskilling our own people and collaborating with UNICEF in support of Generation Unlimited to help upskill young people across the world has become even more important as the pandemic has accelerated the use of technology and remote working. Despite the economic uncertainty, we continue to invest heavily to help our own people and others better prepare for the new world of work.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Redoubling our efforts to create a PwC culture where everyone feels valued, listened to and has the opportunity to grow and succeed and taking a leading role in the global dialogue on diversity. We have created our first global diversity and inclusion leadership council.

“The pandemic brought many challenges but it also brought the opportunity to reflect and to some degree rethink the future. How we work together, how we use technology, what real estate we need, whether we need to travel so much, how to innovate, how to connect with our stakeholders and how to prioritise our health and wellbeing. These are all issues that we are actively working on as we think about the PwC of tomorrow,” said Bob Moritz.

The PwC Global Annual Review will be published in October 2020 and will cover in more detail how PwC responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, the work that we do with our clients, stakeholders and the communities where we operate, how we supported our people, the results of our quality inspections and how we are embedding a high-quality culture across PwC, and the actions we are taking relating to important issues such as diversity and inclusion.