Magic circle firm Clifford Chance commits to new diversity targets

updated on 22 July 2020

Clifford Chance has launched a new range of diversity and inclusion targets around gender, ethnicity and LGBT+.

The international law firm said it intends to increase the number of female staff at all levels to 40% by 2025, including counsel, senior associates and associates. With the current global partnership at 21% female, global partners should reach their 40% target by 2030, while the Middle East has been given a separate target of 12.5% by 2025 and 25% by 2030.  

New regional targets have also been introduced as the UK partnership aims to increase the number of female partners by 25% by 2025 and 60% by 2030. Meanwhile, the target for the Americas and continental Europe is to increase the number of female partners by 35% by 2025 and 100% by 2030.

By 2025 Clifford Chance wants 15% of new partners and 30% of senior associates and senior business professionals to be Black Asian and minority ethnic, as it sets its first minority ethnic targets for the UK and US.

The firm has also introduced its first LGBT+ target, aiming for 3% of its global partnership to be LGBT+ by 2025.

Matthew Layton, the firm’s global managing partner said: “Creating an inclusive environment is at the heart of our Clifford Chance values and is good for our industry, our firm, our colleagues and our clients. While we are making progress and are proud of doing so, I recognise that today, inclusion and equality of opportunity isn't the lived experience for many of our people and we have to do much better.

“To make the change that our people, our clients and society expect from us, we need to be actively campaigning and forging positive, inclusive environments which are enriched by the diversity of our people.”

Partner and Global Head of People and Talent Laura King said: “The targets announced today are a step forward, but not a complete solution. Talking about numbers is the easy part; we now need to deliver on the actions which will enable inclusive teams to thrive. No matter what challenges the external environment brings, we must maintain momentum and accelerate our progress, because it is during challenging times, such as the current global environment, that a firm's values come to the fore. We are committed to breaking down the barriers that are restricting recruitment, progress and retention and believe we will be a stronger firm if we can attract the best people from the widest talent pools by delivering an equality of opportunity and advancement for all.”