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Osborne Clarke launches Diversity Champions Forum


Written on 11 March 2021

New governance board made up of Partners and senior colleagues ensures accountability for the firm’s diversity and inclusion strategy

Osborne Clarke announces a new UK-based governance board of senior stakeholders that will oversee delivery of the firm’s diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategy and commitments.

Nominated for their personal interest and passion for improving diversity, each member of the Diversity Champions Forum (DCF) will have a strategic role in challenging and supporting the firm’s D&I programme, ensuring it achieves measurable change in the recruitment, retention and engagement of an increasingly diverse workforce.

Executive board member and senior Partner Victoria Parry will chair the DCF, and she will be supported by Partner Jane Park-Weir (chair of the diversity communications committee), Bola Gibson (head of inclusion and corporate responsibility), Su Akgun (diversity and wellbeing manager), and senior diversity champions for each of the six D&I strands across the firm. These include Partners Mary Lawrence and Matt Edwards (gender); Partner Rajindh Mangat (ethnicity); Director of Trade Marks Mark Foreman (LGBT+); Partner Tom Harding and Legal Director Katherine Kirrage (social diversity); Partner Edward Persse and Operations Director Paula Goggins (mind and body) and legal director Rebecca Scott (age).

Victoria Parry said: “We want all our people to feel comfortable and confident to be themselves, and at the same time, that they belong to a supportive culture that’s inclusive for all. My colleagues and I are working on a number of programmes that will embed D&I into sector and client strategies, normalise conversations around diversity and educate colleagues about the key issues. We will also look at the impacts of Covid19 on our people’s physical, mental and financial wellbeing.”

Complementing the launch of the DCF, Partner and practice group head for disputes and risk, Leona Briggs has been appointed as race champion on the firm’s executive board. She will work closely with Partner Rajindh Mangat to accelerate progress towards greater representation of racial and ethnic minorities at the firm.

Leona Briggs said: “2020 has really brought to the fore the challenges that racial and ethnic minorities face in society broadly and in our profession. The time is ripe for us to challenge ourselves to deliver meaningful change that maintains and improves our open culture because it makes Osborne Clarke a great place to work, and a firm our clients want to work with.”

Victoria Parry, Leonna Briggs, Rajindh Mangat and Bola Gibson will join The Law Society’s Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Sally Brett, for a roundtable to discuss the firm’s diversity and inclusion journey, strategy and the Diversity Champions Forum on 19th March at The Law Society’s Risk and Compliance virtual conference 2021. To learn more about the paid for event please visit The Law Society.