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Bristows is committed to championing equality and diversity.

Their diversity statement affirms: “As a firm and as individuals we do all we can to treat people fairly and with mutual respect, whether they are colleagues, clients or suppliers. This commitment enriches our work and our working lives, and we believe it has played a key part in our success over the years.”

Bristows’ internal Equality and Diversity Committee, meets on a regular basis and includes partners and employees from a wide variety of backgrounds. The committee implements and monitors firm-wide initiatives and tracks the results achieved. For example, when recruiting new people, Bristows partners are required to judge solely on ability and regardless of issues such as gender, race, religion, disability or sexual orientation – they have all been involved in a training against unconscious bias for the purpose. This has helped to create an open, friendly firm that is a rich mix of people with different views, backgrounds and experience. Bristows also offers flexible working practices to enable employees to strike the right balance between personal and work lives. This is one of the reasons why the firm has been able to attract a far greater proportion of female fee earners than most other City law firms. Bristows was awarded the Employer’s Network for Equality & Inclusion award for Agile Working in 2018.

Bristows is also one of the signatories to the Law Society’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter and a member of the Law Society’s Equality and Diversity Forum. The firm is also one of the signatories of the IP Inclusive charter, a pan-professional diversity taskforce with nearly 40 members in the IP professions, and the Armed Forces Covenant. Other external associations Bristows is involved with include:

  • the Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, launched by the Stonewall association, founded in 1989 with the aim to create a professional lobbying group that would prevent attacks on lesbians, gay and bi people;
  • LeGaLBesT, an inter-organisational forum for all personnel in the legal sector with the overall objective to encourage LGBT diversity and inclusion, with a particular focus on cultural change in the workplace and multiple identities;
  • Aspiring Solicitors, an association working with over 26 law firms and legal teams to provide events, mentoring, competitions, employability assistance and access to the legal profession for prospective solicitors of all backgrounds.

Additionally, Bristows employees have set up the Turing Network, an internal forum in which LGBT people and straight allies working at Bristows can share information and receive or provide support. It also offers networking opportunities for members with other LGBT associations. In the last 12 months the Turing Network also produced content and merchandise (such as rainbow mugs and posters) to encourage LGBT allies to display inclusive behaviours, challenge homophobic banter and make statements about the importance of equality.

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