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Clifford Chance

31 WEST 52ND STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10019-6131, USA
Tel:
Work +1 212 878 8000
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Fax +1 212 878 8375
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Web:
https://www.cliffordchance.com


Clifford Chance Diversity Statement

Clifford Chance is one of the most diverse law firms in the world, with offices in 23 countries spread across six continents. We are proud that our global workforce reflects a broad range of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, citizenship status, pregnancy, disability, veteran status, genetic predisposition or other protected status.

In the United States, Clifford Chance has long demonstrated a strong commitment to building a diverse team to serve clients, as well as our local communities:

  • Nearly 40 percent of our associates and 30 percent of all lawyers are ethnic minorities*, which is more than double the industry average** for US firms our size;

  • Women make up 46 percent of our US lawyers (the average for a US firm our size is 34%***); and

  • More than half (53 percent) of our US Business Services personnel are ethnic minorities.

* Ethnic minority means: American Indian/Native Alaskan, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, people from two or more races, or from other jurisdictions influenced by US-specific legislative diversity definitions. These statistics are based on self-identification by the individuals.

** Law360's The Best Firms For Minority Attorneys (2018)

*** Law360’s 2018 Glass Ceiling Report

Our global diversity policy sets out our firm-wide approach to Diversity and Inclusion. To read the policy, please visit our policies page.


Supporting Diversity

We have a very active Diversity Committee in the US comprised of partners, associates and Business Services colleagues who work collaboratively through five subcommittees – Arcus (LGBT+), Asian and Pacific Islander, Black and Latino, Veterans, and Women – to help us celebrate our diversity while promoting greater understanding and inclusiveness. Case in point: the art curator who serves our New York office works with our subcommittees on special exhibits that support diverse artists and show our appreciation for diversity during different times of the year – for example, African American History Month.

As a firm, we are committed to increasing our ethnic diversity, which we believe helps us bring a better-informed outlook when advising global clients. Our London office, for example, has forged a long-term partnership with diversity recruitment group Rare, which was founded in 2005 to support minority candidates in securing graduate positions in top firms and to help companies recruit diverse talent. Since 2011, we have made 80 training contract offers through Rare and were the first firm to adopt Rare's Contextual Recruitment System (CRS), identifying standout candidates by not only looking at grades, but determining how those grades compare to a candidate's schooling and background. Since adopting the CRS, the firm now employs more candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds, and in recent years, our trainee intake of black and minority ethnic candidates has averaged more than 40 percent.

We are focused on building deeper, broader roots in the many communities in which we operate. This enables us to gain a better understanding of the local market, deepen relationships with clients and help set the agenda for key issues. A good example of this can be seen in our Singapore office, where we have worked hard to integrate into the local community, almost doubling the number of locally qualified lawyers over the past several years. We run an active internship program for Singaporean students, and together with our Formal Law Alliance partner, Cavanagh Law LLP, we are now able to offer a two-year training program for Singaporean graduates.


Gender

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Advice To My Younger Self

In 2017, Clifford Chance in the US spearheaded (in partnership with The Legal 500) the development of a book featuring women lawyers from across our firm providing "Advice To My Younger Self." The book delivers helpful insights for career advancement and personal growth from successful women lawyers and senior leaders who are alumnae of the firm. This bespoke work has been viewed online and in print by thousands of people all over the world, ranging from in-house counsel to law school students to our firm's own associates. The full book is available to read or download here.

In 2018, Clifford Chance achieved Mansfield Certification, a year after agreeing to be a pioneering US firm for the Mansfield Rule. To be certified in Mansfield 2.0 a law firm must, among other things, consider a minimum of 30 percent women, LGBT+ and minority lawyers for significant leadership roles.

The Mansfield Rule was inspired by the NFL's Rooney Rule, which requires league teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs before a position can be filled. The Mansfield Rule is named after Arabella Mansfield, who in 1869 took and passed the Iowa bar exam, thereby challenging a statute excluding her from practicing law. She went on to become the first female lawyer in the US, and 148 years later, a new rule bearing her name is aiming to close the gender and minority gaps at law firms.

"We are proud to have met the criteria for certification under the Mansfield Rule," said Evan Cohen, managing partner for Clifford Chance's Americas region. "One-third of our US practice areas are led by a minority or woman partner, and our pipeline of diverse future leaders is robust. Nearly 40 percent of Clifford Chance US associates are ethnic minorities, and 46 percent are women. Additionally, 60 percent of our US Business Services departments are led by women. We are clearly on the right track, but we also know there is more we must accomplish in the years ahead and are committed to doing so."

In 2009, we became one of the first international law firms to establish a target to improve the gender balance of its partnership. Our target is at least 30 percent. While significant improvements have been made (for example, 28 percent of our partners in Asia Pacific and 22 percent of our partners in London are women), we are not yet where we want to be overall. We are making incremental progress towards our goal by focusing on seven key themes: policy, transparency, objectivity, education, mentoring, networking and role models.

Improving the gender balance of our leadership is a global effort. We run firm-wide training on gender diversity issues, including courses on unconscious bias. We have women's networks not only in the US, but in Asia, Amsterdam, France, Italy and London, and many of our other offices are actively involved in gender networking initiatives, including client events.

In 2016, we signed a formal statement of support for the Women's Empowerment Principles, an initiative created by UN Women in collaboration with the UK Global Compact. The seven principles promote and guide corporate action in pursuit of gender equality and encourage high-level corporate leadership on gender issues and transparent reporting on progress.

For more information about our commitment to improve gender diversity, please read our Responsible Business Reports, which can be downloaded on our reporting page.


LGBT+

In June 2017, Clifford Chance's US offices celebrated Gay Pride Month for a tenth consecutive year by showcasing on its walls the work of top LGBT+ artists. The artists also participated in receptions that launched the exhibits, which were open to a broad spectrum of clients, colleagues, students, allies and friends. Similar exhibits were held in eight other Clifford Chance offices across the world.

Through its Arcus Allies program, the firm supports and fosters an inclusive environment for LGBT+ colleagues. Allies advocate for equal rights and fair treatment of LGBT+ individuals, and take action to challenge prejudice against the LGBT+ community.

Also in 2017, Clifford Chance was proud to have received – for a ninth consecutive year – a perfect score of 100 percent in the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, which assesses the quality of US law firms' LGBT+-related policies. And in February 2018, Clifford Chance became a signatory of the UN's new Standards of Conduct for Business for Tackling Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans and Intersex people.

Clifford Chance was one of the first two law firms to adopt the United Nations’ (UN) standards of conduct to promote equality for LGBT+I people in the workplace. Also signing up to the agreements were BNP Paribas, The Coca-Cola Company, EDF, Gap, Godrej, IKEA, Microsoft and SAP.

“This isn’t just a question of ethics, it is about our ongoing commitment to be a responsible and responsive business," said Clifford Chance's global managing partner, Matthew Layton. "Excluding anyone from any group holds everyone back, and every moment that someone spends worrying about what their colleagues or clients might think of who they are is a moment wasted.”

The work we have been doing at a global level was also recognized when we were ranked among the Top 5 "UK Best Employers" for LGBT+ colleagues in the 2017 Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. Additionally, Matthew Layton was featured on the 2016 OUTstanding Leading Ally Executives List, presented by the Financial Times. The list recognizes leading individuals in business who have made a significant contribution to LGBT+ inclusion.


Inclusion and Social Mobility at Clifford Chance

We believe the best teams are diverse and inclusive, and that people flourish in an environment where they are supported in their professional and personal development. Although we have more work to do, we are proud of the progress we've made to date in building just such an environment.

As one of the world's leading law firms, we recruit the best talent from everywhere, including those local markets where we have offices: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the United States. Our view is that you cannot be a successful international firm without fully embracing and supporting diversity.

We also believe it is essential to our commercial strategy that we foster an inclusive culture. Our clients are made up of a diverse range of businesses with diverse workforces, and they expect no less from their law firms. We get that.

Transparency is a core value at Clifford Chance. We report annually on the inclusion and diversity commitments we have made, including both our progress in improving the gender balance of our partnership (so we hit the 30 percent mentioned above) and our undertaking to improve ethnic diversity.

We promote social mobility through initiatives that aim to attract and support employees from less-advantaged backgrounds. In the US, for example, Clifford Chance was the first law firm to name a scholar within the groundbreaking An-Bryce Scholarship Program, which helps NYU Law School make an elite legal education available to outstanding J.D. students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The Program provides full-tuition scholarships plus programming and mentoring aimed at assuring that the scholars will feel at home at the highest levels of the legal profession. Clifford Chance provides a full-tuition scholarship annually.

When law school students from all backgrounds join us for summer jobs, each one has the opportunity to experience the joys of diversity firsthand by working for several weeks at one of more than 30 Clifford Chance offices around the world.

Clifford Chance is also working to inspire diverse high school students to become lawyers. For example, professional services lawyer Ari Kahn – who was chosen by the New York State Bar Association as its 2016 Outstanding Lawyer of the Year for serving students in a volunteer capacity – has spent hundreds of hours, including on weekends, working with diverse New York City high school students to prepare them for Moot Court and Mock Trial competitions.

Mr. Kahn, who continues to work extensively with Robert H. Lehman High School in the Bronx, led the 2012 selection process to assemble a New York City team that would eventually compete in the inaugural International Moot Court competition at The Hague. That team was comprised of students from public schools representing all five New York City boroughs and, under Kahn's guidance, won the world championship, beating out teams from across the world.

To find out more about our progress on inclusion and diversity, please visit our reporting page.


Diversity Committee: Zarrar Sehgal, Diversity Committee Leader

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Zarrar Sehgal, Clifford Chance US
Diversity Committee Leader, New York

Mr. Sehgal, a partner of Clifford Chance, leads the Firm's Diversity Committee in the US. He also heads up Clifford Chance's Americas Banking & Finance practice and global Transport and Logistics sector.

Highly active in community work, Mr. Sehgal is President of The Citizens Foundation-USA (TCF-USA), a US-based non-profit that supports the education of underprivileged children. It has an active network of more than 30 chapters in cities across the United States.

TCF-USA supports the programs of The Citizens Foundation (TCF) in Pakistan, one of the leading organizations in the field of education. TCF was started in 1995 by a group of concerned citizens who wanted to bring about social change through education. In 22 years, it has built and operates 1,441 purpose-built schools providing quality education to 204,000 children with an all-female faculty of 12,000 teachers.

TCF-USA donors have built and support over 200 of these elementary & secondary schools with an enrollment of 65,000+ boys and girls.

In 2009, Mr. Sehgal was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, which meets annually in Davos, Switzerland.


Q&A: with Zarrar Sehgal, Diversity Committee Leader

What is the ethos behind the firm’s approach to diversity?

Clifford Chance commits to the highest standards of what we call "Responsible Business", and we are privileged to drive positive social change from a position of industry leadership across the globe. From the way we hire and develop people to the work we do and the partners we work with – these standards are embedded within our culture of teamwork and putting clients first. We are very proud of the fact that Clifford Chance is one of the most diverse firms in the world.

This isn't just a question of ethics and culture; diversity is also a business imperative. We act for the world’s leading businesses on their most important and challenging matters, which tend to be complex, multifaceted and, very often, international. Delivering the best legal and business solutions relies on our ability to assemble dynamic and cohesive teams on the basis of identifying the best person for each role.

What has a more diverse and inclusive workplace brought to your firm, and also to your clients?

For one thing, it creates a positive and measurable alignment with our clients. They have made it clear that they want diverse firms and teams, and they are "walking the walk" in their own internal staffing. With each significant industry initiative, such as the American Bar Association's Resolution 113, the terms of engagement on diversity are driving accountability. We applaud that.

The fact that we are a global firm serving a multinational client base speaks for itself in terms of the need for diversity, but we also benefit, as a practical matter, within our firm. We know that the best teams thrive on innovation, the interplay of different perspectives and a richness of views from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures.

More broadly, we are seeking to build a workplace that recognizes talent and accomplishment. When we create an environment in which everyone feels comfortable and confident, we can develop our people to their fullest potential and thrive as a more client-focused business.

How do you encourage a more diverse and inclusive workplace?

The real impetus behind our people strategy is the fact that our colleagues are highly engaged and committed to doing our best work. We believe that people excel when they are supported in expanding their skills and experience as well as in developing their resilience, and that same impulse is constantly driving us to innovate.

Role models and mentors are essential, and a diversity of role models and mentors is even better. The benefits are clear: By broadening our talent pool, people can more clearly envision themselves succeeding and developing, especially when they can see different people taking different paths.

Clifford Chance recently collaborated with The Legal 500's GC Magazine in publishing a book entitled Advice to My Younger Self: Reflections of Successful Women Lawyers. It features stories from our women lawyers and alumnae and explores the process of defining and achieving professional success on your own terms. The primary messages apply to anyone embarking on a challenging career – be courageous, push boundaries, be true to yourself, seek mentors, focus on the business of your practice and, of course, do the work. It’s compelling to see those themes weaving themselves naturally through the course of 20 separate interviews.

What is needed to help bring more diverse candidates into the legal profession?

More diverse candidates. I think all firms would like to have a larger pool to draw from. But commitment and action are also needed. The former requires buy-in and constant nurturing from the top down. Diversity must be a core value and permeate all aspects of a firm's culture.

Concrete action is essential. Among our more recent initiatives, Clifford Chance is proud to be an early adopter of the United Nations' (UN) Standards of Conduct for Business to promote equality for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex people in the workplace and beyond. In the United States, we have also signed on to be a pilot firm in a new US legal industry initiative called the Mansfield Rule, which sets percentage-based goals to ensure that diverse candidates are considered for promotions, senior level hiring and significant leadership roles in the firm.

What are your policies for recruitment, and what are the major challenges?

As a leading law firm, we recruit the best talent from around the world. It bears repeating that diversity is as essential to our commercial strategy as it is to the culture of our firm.

Taking a look at some challenges, given the structure and legacy composition of law firms – particularly of large partnerships – it’s a long-haul proposition to equalize the diversity balance. Mathematically, there are a limited number of partners we can make up annually against an existing pool of legacy candidates. We have more than 550 partners globally.

We also have attrition issues, for instance when we lose people partway through the pipeline, usually as mid-level associates, because they either seek other roles or (more often) accept an offer from one of our client organizations. We also look at unconscious bias, such as in connection with assigning challenging work so people can stretch and develop the skills needed to become a partner.

Retention of diverse staff is a critical issue – what are the programs your firm has in place that you feel will help retain your staff?

The best thing a firm can do to retain good people is to provide an interesting, challenging, supportive and happy work environment. In this context, I refer to diversity as an important component of our broader culture, which is a calling card for Clifford Chance and plays a big role in helping us attract and retain talent across the board.

Specific to diversity, we run numerous programs and initiatives aimed at promoting inclusion and diversity and wellbeing at the firm, and have several growing diversity networks. To ensure that all of our people have opportunities for development, we established the Clifford Chance Academy, which provides about 1,500 courses to our lawyers and business services professionals.

As just a few examples, in September 2015, the firm launched our global Arcus Allies program for employees who do not necessarily identify as LGBT++ but who wish to act as advocates for equal rights and fair treatment of LGBT++ colleagues. Arcus runs many events throughout the year, including a series of Pride art exhibitions, which showcase LGBT++ and supporter artists. This year the events will be held in 11 offices, including Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, New York, Paris, Perth, Singapore Sydney, Tokyo and Washington, DC.

We have Women's networks in the Americas, Asia, Amsterdam, France, Italy and London. In the US, our Black and Latino Subcommittee and Asian and Pacific Islanders Subcommittee have been well established for more than a decade, and we've recently created our Veterans group.


Reporting and Transparency

Clifford Chance submits a "Communication on Progress" report to the UN Global Compact on a yearly basis.

In 2009, we signed the United Nations Global Compact as a further demonstration of our commitment to help advance sustainable business models and markets with a view to creating a more sustainable and inclusive global economy. We actively support the UN Global Compact's 10 principles focusing on the core areas of human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption.

Our reporting is supported by an index of Global Reporting Initiative indicators, which we compile based on the principle of materiality. We also report on key diversity, employee development and community statistics.

We are proud to be one of the most transparent law firms in the world. To access any of our reports in PDF formats, please click on the following links:


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