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Osborne Clarke receives National Equality Standard accreditation


Written on 3 August 2019

The firm is the seventh UK firm to receive the accreditation for equality, diversity and inclusion excellence

International legal practice Osborne Clarke has received the National Equality Standard (NES) accreditation for equality, diversity and inclusion excellence, making it the seventh UK firm to achieve the certification.

Developed in by EY, the CBI, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the Home Office, the NES is a leading framework designed to assess an organisation’s performance in a range of areas relating to diversity and inclusion. The independent assessment comprises 35 competencies, seven standards and supports companies with benchmarking their programmes.

Osborne Clarke has prioritised it’s diversity and inclusion programmes since 2015, when current Managing Partner Ray Berg took over the position. The Firm has made substantial efforts to increase awareness, making it’s processes more transparent, ensuring its executive board is gender balanced and formalising and communicating its business case for diversity and inclusion to be at the core of all it does.

Achieving the NES certification is an independent verification of Osborne Clarke’s efforts over the last four years, and a further stepping stone in its diversity and inclusion journey as key learnings will form a central part of the Firm’s updated diversity and inclusion strategy, which will be launched later in the year.

As part of the assessment, Osborne undertook a Cultural Values Assessment (CVA) survey, which revealed extremely low cultural stress scores compared with industry standards.

Liz Lovell, Head of HR at Osborne Clarke commented, “Our assessment found Osborne Clarke has a caring and supportive environment, in which employees reported that they felt comfortable to be themselves. We’re very proud to have a number of senior leaders in the firm who are highly engaged and passionate about the diversity and inclusion.”

Minna Lewis, NES Lead Assessor, commented: “Osborne Clarke has become the seventh legal firm to have achieved the National Equality Standard and we are delighted to have been a part of this journey.  The organisation’s commitment to EDI is clear and they should be proud of what they’ve achieved so far. I am personally thrilled with their progress and all the hard work they’ve undertaken. This is not an easy accreditation to achieve and their doing so is a testament to their genuine desire and drive for all employees to be working within an inclusive and diverse environment.”

Ray Berg, UK Managing Partner, said: “Diversity is a hugely important for our business and our clients and will be for the foreseeable future. It’s so important that all of our people are able to talk about important diversity and inclusion topics both internally and with our clients.”

In addition to achieving the NES certifiation, in 2019 the firm was awarded Best Corporate Culture in 2019 by the Managing Partners Forum and has ranked in the top five of RollOnFriday’s independent Firm of the Year employee survey for the last three years, scoring highly for its friendly culture and management.

Ray Berg announced as an Agent of Change at the prestigious Management Today awards, shortlisted for Champion of the Year at the Inspirational Women in Law Awards and also for Managing Partner of the Year at the Legal Business Awards.

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