UK firms and chambers invited to take part in leading diversity initiative.

The largest firms and chambers across the UK have been invited to take part in the 2014 BSN Diversity League Table (DLT), considered by many to be the legal profession’s leading diversity reporting initiative.

The Diversity League Table started in 2006, pre-dating all of the current diversity reporting initiatives and regulatory requirements; promoting transparency and kick-starting a new way of approaching how the industry looks at itself, and to solutions that might address inequality within the profession.

The key difference between the DLT and other reporting is in the output. The DLT has always published the demographic profiles of each participating legal organisation. However, the range and cross-section of actual league tables and diversity rankings produced, provides additional and significant value in that they also enable the reader to see, at a glance, how firms and chambers compare to peers at different levels; including the Partners/QC level, Associate/Barrister and Trainee/Pupil. Helping to provide a basis on which more informed decisions can be made, for example, around recruitment, retention and promotion strategies.

Also, it is important to note that, although a BSN initiative, DLT reporting is balanced and is not just about ethnicity; it also covers social mobility, gender, disabilities and sexual orientation.

Firms and chambers from all parts of England and Wales are invited to take part, and are well represented within the publication.

The analysis is by Professor Peter Urwin and his team at Westminster University.

The final report will be published in October this year. In relation to the demographic make-up of leading firms and chambers, it will provide the profession’s most detailed look at some of the most diversity-progressive practices in the UK, as well as considering wider industry trends.

The Law Society of England and Wales is the lead sponsor of the 2014 Diversity League Table. The initiative has also received support from, the Bar Council, the Legal Services Board, the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority; also, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Government Equalities Office and the Attorney General’s Office.

In the 2013 edition of the DLT, Law Society President Nick Fluck wrote, “We see the [Law Society] Charter and the [Diversity] League Tables as complementary, both providing mechanisms for firms to measure their own progress year on year and to compare their performance with their peers across a range of key areas.”

The core information required to take part in the DLT is largely in line with that now required by the regulators. This means that for participating firms and chambers, little or no additional work should be in involved in terms of data collation.

Made available to a wide range of stakeholders and decision-makers, including General Counsel within FTSE100 and FTSE250 companies, the Diversity League Table also enables purchasers of legal services to quickly identify those – in terms of equality, diversity and inclusion – that are transparent and open, with an obvious appetite for seeking further improvement.

Baroness Ruth Deech, Chair of the Bar Stands Board (BSB) wrote in DLT2013, “…the BSB shares and supports the aims of, and good work behind, the Diversity League Table.”

Formal invitations have now been sent to the Senior Partner in the top 150 law firms, as listed in the Lawyer’s UK200 report. Also invited are the top 30 international firms, as listed in the same report. Invitations have also been sent to Heads of Chambers with sets containing 30 or more members.

Although a relatively small sample number in terms of actual firms invited. Because of their size it is estimated that the lawyer headcount of this sample represents approximately 25% of all solicitors registered and practicing in England and Wales. This increases significantly for chambers due to the relatively smaller number of sets.

The deadline for 2014 submissions is Friday 4th July.

The 2014 Diversity League Table report will be published in October this year.

Eligible firms and chambers who are interested in taking part and require more information should email: diversity@blacksolicitorsnetwork.co.uk .



The Diversity League Table is a Black Solicitors Network (BSN) initiative.

Professor Peter Urwin is Director of the Centre for Employment Research and Professor of Applied Economics at the University of Westminster.

The Diversity League Table is project-managed and published by Satsuma on behalf of the Black Solicitors Network.

For general information please contact Godwin Ohajah, Director & Senior Consultant at Satsuma, on 0845 057 0515 or email: godwin-at-satsuma.eu